The president of a nurses organisation said that the efforts of healthcare workers over the Covid-19 pandemic made appreciation day for the profession this month even more important.
Renée Faulcon, the president of the Bermuda Nurses Association, said that nurses had put their lives at risk and worked “around the clock” to care for people who suffered from the disease.
She added: “They have worked tirelessly day and night to help control the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“As I always say to people, nurses are always 24/7 — there’s always a nurse on watch somewhere and they’re in direct contact with people who have actually been diagnosed with the coronavirus. They’re doing their screenings for the coronavirus and educating others.”
Ms Faulcon was speaking in the run-up to International Nurses’ Day on Tuesday.
The event, held on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a pioneer of modern nursing, was created to honour the dedication of nurses around the world.
This year is also the International Year of the Nurse.
Ms Faulcon, who also teaches nursing at Bermuda College, said that the BNA had planned to hold several events next week, including a church service and a brunch where several outstanding nurses would he highlighted.
She added that that Covid-19 safety regulations had forced them to cancel.
Ms Faulcon said that the association had turned to electronic media instead.
She added: “We’re going to put together a video called ‘We Care’ and that’s a video of nurses around the community — the hospital, the Department of Health, the Department of Corrections, the care homes — just to present to the community reasons why we care and reasons why we’re nurses.
“We normally have a proclamation on May 12 to recognise International Nurses Day and the minister, Kim Wilson, has agreed to recognise nurses on that day.”
Ms Faulcon said that the public could still show their appreciation.
She explained: “One item that we’re planning on having is just to have everyone applaud for a nurse on May 12.
“People can just stand outside their homes, their businesses, in their communities and recognise a nurse by applauding.”
Ms Faulcon added people could also “light a torch” or use another light source at night to thank the profession.
Florence Nightingale was nicknamed “the Lady with the Lamp” after she set up a hospital for soldiers wounded in the Crimean War in 1853 and toured the wards at night to check on her patients.
Ms Faulcon thanked her colleagues for their work during the pandemic. She reminded them to think about their own health as well.
Ms Faulcon said: “For us to take care of others, we have to learn how to take care of ourselves.
“This is a very stressful time for everyone — it’s a stressful time for nurses, it’s a stressful time for our families — and they have to learn that they have to take a moment for themselves in order to care for others.”