Take Time to Appreciate the Work You Do
Posted Jun 16, 2021
We are fast approaching the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country, and we could not be more pleased or thankful. Now is a time for reflection of our recent past, one that forced us all to face and acknowledge the horror of the disease and the effects on all our communities.
History from the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic, which wiped out entire U.S. communities, allows us to review the response from some of the nurses that served during those horrific times. As recorded in The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919: New Perspectives, a student nurse named Mabel Chilson decided to join the ranks “of helpers” but wondered “were we helpless or could we fight?” Chilson recounted her experiences as challenging, but also as positive, “emphasizing the opportunity it held for meaningful ministration.”
Now is the time to look to what hopefully will be viewed as improvements and opportunities that have come from our shared experience with a pandemic. We also should acknowledge the unintended positives of the past 15 months: new knowledge in creating vaccines to fight viruses (including some, such as malaria, that have challenged us for years); new ways of working that allow for more flexibility and more attention to family and community needs in addition to business needs; and new ways of teaching that hopefully meet the needs of all our children, to name a few.
I hope we all can learn from student nurse Chilson’s experience and see that our work, though challenging, was well done and needed in many instances. Most importantly, let us take time to truly appreciate the work we do!
Associate Provost for Graduate Studies
Reference: Killingray, D. & Phillips, H. (2003) The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919: New Perspectives. Oxfordshire, England.
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