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It is an important week for nurses around the United States. The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes May 6-12 as National Nurses Week  – a celebration of the important role nurses play in society. At Cogito we are fortunate to provide solutions that enhance the interactions between health plan members and the employees who serve them to deliver better health outcomes. Through our work we have developed a deep admiration for the caretakers who work tirelessly everyday, giving of themselves to improve quality of life.

ANA designated 2017 as the official “Year of the Healthy Nurse”, emphasizing the balance of mind, body and spirit. The harmony between the three is critical for nurses – especially as they balance being on the front lines with patients with their own physical and emotional health.

To participate in this year’s recognition we interviewed two amazing nurses at one of the largest health insurers in the United States to better understand what motivates them to give so much of themselves.  We hope some of their insights help other nurses experience a more fulfilling career and happier life, and help the rest of us appreciate how lucky we are to have such dedicated, talented people caring for us.

 

Why did you choosing nursing as a career?

 

“I get immense gratifying joy when I make someone feel better. It is a good feeling. That is why I became a nurse, to make a difference in someone else’s life.” - Patience

 

“I had a strong desire to help other people ever since I’ve been old enough to know that I could. Helping other people has its own intrinsic reward, so I really connect with that desire to help other people.” - Sherri

 

What role does empathy play in the nursing profession?

 

“Empathy is woven into the fabric of the nursing profession. Only one with a heart of stone can practice this profession in isolation. It plays a role in my job by allowing me to connect with my members emotionally. I must feel what my member is expressing to me in order to respond appropriately to their needs. A nurse is everything to the members, an advocate, a teacher, a confidant, even a family member to that dying patient who has no one else but you holding his/her hand as he/she passes through the veil. There is no way I can perform these functions well without empathy.” – Patience

 

Why it is important to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit?

 

“If you fail to take care of yourself, you cannot be 100% invested in taking care of others, especially now that we do not move from one patient’s room to the other or jump up to answer call lights. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed due to the number of overdue calls we have in our queue or due to falling behind in meeting our numbers, therefore we choose not to get out of our seat for eight hours or more. That is not healthy. Setting aside two minutes every hour for stretching ourselves will keep us healthy and make us more productive.” – Patience

 

 Is there anything else you would like to add?

 

“Thank you for taking the time to listen. It’s not often we get the opportunity to share what nursing means to us. I’m just absolutely delighted that you took the time to ask and listen. Thank you.” – Sherri

 

Sherri, Patience and all nurses, we thank you for your dedication and commitment to improving healthcare across the country. We recognize the important work you do each day to improve the quality of life of all the members you encounter.  At Cogito, we look forward to continuing our partnership with caretakers around the nation. Our goal is to empower nurses with the right tools so they can provide the best care for their members and also take great care of themselves.