Nurses are versatile souls; they are constantly adapting to situations and prioritising their work. This week in Paris the staff at Paris’s ambulance, fire services and hospitals had rehearsed a scenario based on a Charlie Hebdo style attack , never realising they would be enacting this scenario later that night.
The scale of what those nurses, Drs and paramedics would be faced with was unbelievable. At the Georges Pompidou European hospital forty –nine unconscious patients arrived overwhelming the facility. The Drs and Nurses who all worked at the hospital just all arrived to help, amidst the mayhem. Four hundred and thirty three people were injured in these attacks, and they were injured badly, the gunshot wounds burst eye sockets and shattered bones as well as inflicting soft tissue damage. The staff were shell shocked, as well they would be.
I cannot imagine how hard it was to care for patients when all around you, in your city, a city that stands for the very notion of egalite and fraternite and libertie is imploding. But still the nurses and Drs kept working. Nurses respond to societal change, they respond to whatever is asked of them, even in times of tragedy. When we think of how versatile nurses are you only have to think of the many different types of work they do, they work in clinical areas, managerial areas, they work in ICUs and Emergency Departments, they go to war zones and do humanitarian work, they are fearless, educated, kind and compassionate, they are caring.
Every day, every minute nurses are responding to the situations around them. They are nursing in Afghanistan with very little supplies and in Syria, Baghdad, Brisbane and Ottawa, they are universal and they are indispensable. When the floods were in Bundaberg a few years ago, nurses came to work when they were unsure even of the status of their own homes. So selfless are their acts. We should be so proud of our profession, proud of the way we adapt and prioritise our work, proud of the nurses in Paris who were faced with such a terrible situation last week and who are still caring for the critically ill in their hospitals. Such a scope of practice does not exist in any other profession, that I can think of, we are very lucky to have this scope and this profession.