Health care providers celebrate Nurse Appreciation Week

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Columbus, Miss. (WCBI) – Patience, resilient, and compassionate. All words that can be used to describe nurses across the country over the past year.

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This year, Nurse Appreciation week holds more significance to healthcare workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed nurses to be extra diligent while working on the front lines.

“Without each other, we wouldn’t have made it through we are now, you know. Cause, a lot of time, we were exposed to these patients so we couldn’t go see our grandparents or family. So, this is my family, ” Kailey Hall said.

“Yea. We kind just became one big family because we kinda had to,” Kelsi King said.

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle showed appreciation to old and new nurses who quickly adapted to protocol changes during COVID-19.

“The hospital’s been great. They’ve really shown

that we’re appreciated. Um, you know, they’ve done, we do drawing every morning, different door prices that you can win. We’ve received gift bags of coolers, more food. They’ve been really great showing us their appreciation,” Kelsi King said.

The journey to normalcy has been long, but for registered nurses and nursing students, overcoming obstacles pushed many to continue to serve, like recent Mississippi University for Women graduate Kayla Johnwick.

“This made me want to become a nurse even more just to see how resilient nurses are together and how appreciated they are now throughout the community and everything you can see and hear about them,” Kayla Johnwick said.

Although there were obstacles to working during the pandemic, nurses believe that it was patient support that helped them to continue.

“I’ll be having a hard week and it’ll be just that one smile from a patient that’s been down all day, just like knowing that I can make that stage of life easier for them is just, it makes my day and all the hard days worth it,” Kailey Hall said.

Kayla will begin working at UAB hospital in Birmingham at the end of June.