Nursing a valuable — and indispensable — calling

January 8, 2019

As a member of the baby boomer generation, a practicing cancer surgeon and a hospital president, I am acutely aware of U.S. demographics and how they will affect health care in our nation in the years to come.

While we lament the wait to see our physician and the lack of primary care physicians, an even greater challenge is the need for more members of the nursing profession. Twenty-four hours a day, our nursing colleagues are on the front lines of health care, not only providing curative treatments but providing holistic care for our patients and their families.

While we worry about the numbers of our nursing colleagues, we often forget that exceptional patient outcomes correlate directly with high-quality nursing care. Time and again, we see that a well-trained and thoughtful nurse caring for a patient in an organization that supports integrated nursing care can result in superb patient care.

The recent award of the Gold Level Beacon Award by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses to the intensive care units at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center is a testament to how this level of care is possible in San Antonio.

Since 2010, just over 500 units across the United States have been awarded this distinction. We are proud of our nurses and physicians at our Medical Center hospital, but our greatest joy is in how such a level of nursing care helps our patients heal and to return their normal lives.

In the new year, we should all encourage friends and associates to consider the profession of nursing. These are the caring individuals who will care for us and our families in the years to come. We are blessed that San Antonio has some of the finest nurses in our nation.

Dr. Ian M. Thompson Jr.is president of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center.

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