“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion” — Florence Nightingale

A good nurse’s heart flows through her hands to reach out with comfort and healing for the sick and infirm. Nurses understand the above quote from Florence Nightingale and perform above and beyond to relieve a patient’s mental burdens as well as their physical ones.

They work long, hard, stressful hours and touch so many it’s only fitting they have a week named in their honor. National Nurse’s Week is May 6 -12 each year. May 12 is Nightingale’s birthday.

Recently, Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital recognized five outstanding registered nurses. The nurses are voted on by their peers which makes the honor that much more memorable.

The 2007 Nursing Excellence recipients are:

* Mary Ann Sanchez (emergency room) - Leadership Excellence Award

* Traci Haggard (medical/surgical) - Continuous Improvement Excellence Award

* Lou Gokul (intensive care unit) - Education Excellence Award

* Karen Fritz (labor and delivery) - Clinical Excellence Award

* Pat Mewhinney (emergency room) - Patient Advocacy Excellence Award

The theme for nurse’s week is “A Profession and a Passion,” an appropriate theme for the people that spend hours on their feet, dealing not only with patients but the patient’s family members, charting fine details on reports for the next shift, answering call button after call button, retrieving snacks, watching IV drips and administering medications just to name a few of the things a nurse does on a daily basis.

If you know a nurse give him or her a hug this week. They deserve it.