Hampton visits clinic to salute nurses

Duane Hicks

FORT FRANCES—This has been National Nursing Week, with Kenora-Rainy River MPP Howard Hampton visiting the Fort Frances Community Clinic on Friday morning to salute those who remain dedicated to strengthening health care for local residents.
“Let’s be clear, nurses do most of the work,” Hampton said in an interview.
“Physicians make a lot of the decisions, but nurses do most of the work,” he reiterated.
“If you start losing nurses out of the system, you very quickly start losing health services, and that’s becoming very evident in a lot of communities around the province,” Hampton added.
“And it’s probably going to become more evident over the next couple years because there are more health care cuts on the way,” he warned.
Hampton stressed the importance of nurses in the health-care system.
“The key to a better health-care system is making greater use of the skills, knowledge, and ability of nurses,” he remarked.
“That’s really what we’ve discovered with nurse practitioners.
“Nurse practitioners are able to take on many of the things a doctor can do, and do extremely well, freeing up doctors to spend more of their time with those patients who need the more specialized skills the physicians have,” Hampton noted.
 Marlis Bruyere, administrator of the Fort Frances Family Health Team, said the role of nursing in health care is vital as a complement to physicians.
“I think we’ve really noticed it’s so important in this community because of the doctor shortage,” she noted.
“With the nurses and the nurse practitioners, we’ve been able to ensure that the health care is ongoing and that access to health care is still provided.
“Even though it may not be with a doctor, people can still get their health care needs met,” Bruyere stressed.
“That’s what’s really shown in our community,” she added.
“Thank God for the nurses because if we hadn’t had these ongoing programs, likes chronic disease management and wound care, our blood pressure clinics, our ongoing B12 clinics, these are things that people would have had to wait to get into to see a doctor about, and who knows what would go unnoticed?
“I think that we, through these girls, have contributed significantly to the health care in our community, and I’d be lost without them,” Bruyere continued.
“They’re really great girls.”
Bruyere pointed out that through wound care, for example, nurses have “saved people in this community from amputations.”
“People have no idea how many people would have amputations if it wasn’t for this team,” she
The Fort Frances Family Health Team currently includes seven nurses: nurse practitioners Marlis Thiessen and Cathy Bock, RN Patti-Jo LeDrew, RPNs Brenda Gustafson, Cheryl Kawulia, and Amanda Meeks, and Wendy Anderson, who’s in the process of relicensing.
According to the Canadian Nurses Association, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12—Florence Nightingale’s birthday—as International Nurses Day back in 1971.
In 1985, in recognition of the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession, Ottawa proclaimed the second week of May as National Nursing Week in Canada.
Nightingale is best known around the world as the “Lady with the Lamp” who nursed British soldiers during the Crimean War and turned nursing into a profession.
But she also was much more than that.
She was an activist, social theorist, and author whose advocacy to improve health and sanitation for British Army soldiers, and writings on hospital planning and organization, laid the foundation for nursing’s emphasis on social determinants of health today.
Nursing Week gives nurses across the world the chance to celebrate the work they do to keep Nightingale’s work alive by advocating for policies that keep people healthy, and care for them when they’re ill.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)