Pic sent by Wendy Knefelkamp Communications at AzNA

Amy Steinbinder, PhD, RN, with her father 2013. Together they went on an Alaskan cruise. Says Amy, “Going to Alaska had been on Dad’s bucket list for a long time and we had a blast together!”

Entering the automatic door of any hospital or medical facility brings anxiety, fear, even sadness.  The smell of ultra-clean surroundings and a player piano producing sounds of hope and tranquility all add to the experience of understanding of what may be coming or what is unexpected.

As you enter the hospital elevator, you see the looks of other incoming patients and the feeling is one of mixed emotions.  Sometimes, a nice visitor gives you a smile or tells a joke.  Other times, it is just silence.  The feeling of dread can be very difficult, as health sometimes seems to be a gift just for the young.

The elevator door opens.

As you travel down the hall towards the doctor’s office, you notice the activities of the waiting room.  “How long do I have to wait today,” enters the mind.  “Should I use the bathroom now or see if they need a sample,” is another thought.  Then, from across the office, your special and favorite nurse approaches and the fear, anxiety, and dread start to diminish.

As Amy Steinbinder, PhD, RN writes, “Despite all of the challenges that patients face every day, a nurse’s role is to admire her patients for their tenacity and their ability to keep moving forward.”

Steinbinder knows first-hand how important a nurses’ role is not only because she is a nurse, but also because she was an advocate for her father until his passing at age 89.

Referring to her father at 87 years-old, Steinbeinder stated, “My father is elderly – that doesn’t mean that he is incompetent, infirm or uninterested in decisions and information about his body, his health and his life. It does take him longer to process information and he is slowing down. His purpose in life is rapidly changing. Nurses should always tune into the needs of their patients, to ease the burden, the confusion and the angst.”

How many nurses do we know demonstrate this depth of compassion? Which ones come to your mind? Think about all of the nurses you have encountered and which ones stand out from the rest. In doing so, you have begun to answer the question, ‘Why Honor Nurses?’

Nurses understand our fears.  They answer our questions about our health.  They advocate for us.  They are highly trained and skilled in their profession.  Many times, they work long hours and shifts and are somehow pleasant at 2 am in the morning after a health scare.  They are resourceful and comforting after a 6-hour surgery removing a bad tumor from a patient and then change gears ever so seamlessly by caring for another patient with a completely different health issue.

We honor nurses because how they make us feel and how they care for us.  This means more sometimes than words can define or express – it’s the comfort they provide after leaving the hospital after a visit; it’s the confidence they give us for living each day as it comes; it’s the way they reduce our anxiety about medical visits. The best nurses give us the guidance and support to live our best lives.

Simply put, we honor nurses, because they honor us. Please consider honoring a nurse that has impacted your life by donating to the Arizona Foundation for the Future of Nursing. Not only will that nurse receive recognition, but your financial donation goes towards academic nursing scholarships awarded to entry level nursing students as well as graduate level students. For more information, please call 480-831-0404 or visit http://www.aznurse.org/HonorANurse . Your donation is tax deductible.