COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A big need for nurses across the country can be seen in our own back yard, as Columbus hospitals continue to search for and hire those ready to take on the demanding job.
The issue is brought to light once again this week, as May 6 kicked off National Nurses Week, set to celebrate their importance in health care facilities across the country.
When you're in the hospital, friends and family may visit, but it's nurses that stay with patients 24/7. National Nurse Week is in full swing to celebrate that dedication and care, and Columbus hospitals are getting in on the appreciation.
"Physicians see the patient sometimes one time, sometimes a few times a day, but nurses are there 24 hours a day," said Shirley Hoskins, Chief Nursing Officer at St.Francis.
For nurses like 20 year St Francis veteran William Reynolds, the job goes beyond the shots and pills they administer. It ranges from supporting families through loss, to checking in on those who are still around thanks to their quick action.
"She said you saved my life and we did. she coded while she was on dialysis and she proceeded to tell me how sore she was afterwards and I said yea, we pumped on your chest quite a bit," said Reynolds.
While rewarding, the demanding profession has left hospitals across the country needing more nurses to keep up with growing demands.
"The baby boomers are growing older and as a result of that, a lot of the baby boomer nurses are retiring but they're also becoming patients," said Hoskins.
In an effort to keep local hospitals fully staffed, St. Francis administrators say they are recruiting hard, and retaining the hundreds of nurses they have by offering training opportunities and a teamwork environment.
"The nurses in this community are a community in themselves, and when you step outside of here it doesn't matter if you're a nurse at Saint Francis or a nurse at a doctors office, we are all still nurses," said Reynolds.