May 08 2022

National Nurses Week

by at 8:57 pm under Uncategorized

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all mothers and mother-like figures enjoyed the weekend.

We are in the middle of National Nurses Week. Think about the last two years — it has been hard for everyone, but in many ways, nurses have truly been our front-line heroes — from the darkest times of spring 2020 through the COVID roller coaster that has followed. They are our patients’ primary caregivers, their best advocates, and many times have been the last people who our dying patients would see as they succumbed to COVID — again and again and again, as we close in on 1 million COVID related deaths in this country alone.

No wonder that so many nurses have burnt out, their psyches ground into dust by relentless cycles of fatigue and misery. Many have left the field, others have moved into less stressful nursing roles, and still others have found that alternative arrangements — nursing gig work, if you will — beats the more traditional forms of employment.

Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s not there. Nurses, our health care system’s glue, are hard to hire, hard to keep, and it is incumbent on all of us to recognize that it is not just about the money. It’s about being part of a team, part of a shared mission that brings a sense of purpose and belonging. It’s about breaking down ancient hierarchical health care structures that don’t work in our post-modern, technology-driven, post-COVID era. It’s about embracing the future.

Health systems and clinical research enterprises like our own Clinical Research Management Office (CRMO) are living this new reality. Our need for nurses has never been greater, and we have a golden opportunity to rethink how we create work with added value that will foster excellence, inclusion, opportunity and purpose.

I want to acknowledge all of our nurses — those in the CRMO, and those who directly work with our patients — for all they do, and look forward to communally redefining ways to make their work, which is so very important, into the work we all do — together.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to attending a Cancer Moonshot event, organized by the White House, on Wednesday of this week with Lucile Adams-Campbell. It promises to be very interesting. Stay tuned for more news about the event and some related activities.

Stay safe and be well.



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