SEARHC honors nurses during National Nurses Week

Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009

SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is pleased to honor the work of its nurses for their ability to save lives and maintain the health of their patients as part of National Nurses Week this week.

National Nurses Week is an annual event celebrated from May 6 to 12 throughout the United States. The annual event starts on May 6, which is the birthday of the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale as well as RN Recognition Day. This year's theme, selected by the American Nurses Association, is "Nurses: Building a Healthy America."

SEARHC employs more than 120 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and family nurse practitioners. These nurses provide exceptional care to all of their Native and non-Native patients who come to SEARHC facilities throughout Southeast Alaska. More than 60 nurses are employed at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, with the rest working at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau and most of SEARHC's village clinics.

SEARHC nurses provide a variety of services. At Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, they work in the emergency department, critical care, acute medical services, perioperative/operating room, outpatient department and obstetrical/surgical services. In SEARHC's clinics, nurses assist doctors during routine patient visits, see patients themselves (FNPs) and work as case managers to assist patients navigate the health care system. Flight nurses help the SEARHC Air Medical Services program transport patients from the villages to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital during medevacs.

"Nurses have the privilege and honor of being with patients during their most intimate and vulnerable times," SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Director of Nursing Alyssa Sexton said. "We are there when lives are brought into this world and we are there holding a hand when they slip away. In a world that is becoming more and more electronic, nurses get to provide the human connection that is sometimes lacking."

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