Texas Wesleyan’s School of Health Professionals has named 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.”
The designation was made by the World Health Organization executive board in honor of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a pioneer of modern nursing, according to who.int.
The school has followed the WHO in the designation because nurses and midwives constitute more than 50% of the medical workforce, said Heidi Taylor, dean of the School of Health Professions.
“Nurses are the backbone of the medical field,” Taylor said.
She said that nurses and midwives don’t fix just one thing; instead, they “connect on a more personal level. Nurses work to fix the whole person mentally and physically.”
Paul Austin, professor of nurse anesthesia, said nurses and midwives are important because “people need to be cared for as well as cured.”
“Patients spend tremendous more time being cared for by nurses,” Austin said, “instituting medical treatments, coordinating care, instituting nursing treatments that prevent illness and alleviate suffering, versus the amount of time they interact with physicians.”
Terri Kane, associate professor of nurse anesthesia, discussed all the hard work that goes into being a nurse or a midwife. She said nurse midwives have advanced degrees.
“They are responsible for the carrying and delivery of a pregnant woman,” she said.