BASS Coast Health nurses have taken a moment to enjoy International Nurses’ Day on Tuesday, May 12.

The special day followed hot on the heels of International Day of the Midwife a week earlier.

BCH chief executive Jan Child said the World Health Organisation had declared 2020 the “International Year of the Nurse and Midwife” and, fittingly, this year’s theme for International Nurses’ Day was “Nursing the World to Health”.

“With our incredibly hard working, dedicated and caring nurses and midwives who lead excellent health care service delivery… we really couldn’t be more proud of the calibre of our nurses and midwives – their passion and commitment and skills are truly sensational,” Ms Child said.

Nurses and midwives make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of the Bass Coast community, from midwifery to maternal child health, to residential care, to community and district nursing, to the hospital wards and emergency department, and also throughout the structure of the health care service, with many BCH senior staff and executive having gained leadership positions from a nursing background, using their skills, compassion and insight to guide the organisation.

Student nurse Rhamyr Parcon with BCH clinical development nurse Erin Passarin mark their special day.

Chief operating officer and chief nurse Louise Sparkes said BCH nurses and midwives had shown their true spirit during this pandemic.

“Fortunately, we have not seen the scale of horror other countries have, and we have had a window of opportunity to prepare ourselves – which is exactly what our nurses have done,” Ms Sparkes said.

“They have worked tirelessly to ensure they have sufficient training, some staff returned early from annual leave to help us prepare, they have taken extra shifts, they have calmed anxious and frightened patients, they have worked in hot and uncomfortable PPE, they have adapted to new rosters, and new procedures, and all of this in addition to their usual work, including supporting students.

“I encourage all nurses to take time to care for themselves during this unprecedented time.”