International Nurses Day

Date: 12/05/2019

Today is International Nurses Day, which is celebrated around the world on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Florence Nightingale was a British nurse who pioneered formalised nursing education.

On International Nurses Day we are recognising the work of our amazing nurses whose dedication, commitment and attitude makes our health service what it is.

Day oncology nurse Samantha Viti said she loved being a nurse.

“I wasn’t the best student at school but I always wanted a job that would keep me satisfied. It became clear pretty early on that nursing was the career for me,” Ms Viti said.

“I always wanted a job where at the end of the day I could go home knowing I had made a difference and been able to help people. Luckily I get that feeling every day.”

Despite it being a hard job, she said there were many rewarding aspects.

“Working in day oncology can be emotionally challenging because we see people who are going through a very difficult time in their lives,” she said.

“We become really close with our patients and it is sad to see them when they are at their lowest. But it is also a time when people’s positive spirit really comes out. We meet their family members and get to know about their lives, which is really special.”

“When patients die, that is really hard but we also get to see many of our patients improve and go on to live amazing lives, which is incredibly rewarding to see.”

“In cancer, there are always new treatments and breakthroughs that can make a difference in people’s lives.”

Ms Viti said seeing her patients smile was all the thanks she needed.

“People don’t always thank you as a nurse but you can immediately see a patient’s response in their demeanour. We have a joke with them and laugh and to see them smiling when they leave is all the thanks you need.”  

“It is really nice to see their progression and to watch them improve. Cancer isn’t the death sentence it used to be and we get to see a lot of our patients to go on and lead long, happy and fulfilling lives. Nursing is incredibly rewarding in that sense.”

“We often have former patients come in to say hello to us after they have finished treatment, which is really lovely. It is good to know you have made a difference in people’s lives and that it has been appreciated.”

“In nursing, you don’t get the same performance review that you would in the corporate world, the only really positive reinforcement you get is from your patients, which lets you know you are doing a good job.”

Ms Viti said Cabrini had a community feel about it that you don’t get in bigger hospitals.

“I like that I often run into people I know in the corridors. It has a really warm and friendly feeling about it. You know you are part of the community.”

Ms Viti said International Nurses Day was a great way of recognising the important work nurses do.

“It is really nice for people to acknowledge the work that we do and to have that recognition from your peers as well as from people outside the profession,” she said.

“It makes you feel like you made the right decision to become a nurse and do something you love. When people are thankful for the work you do, that makes all the difference.”

“It is nice to have a day that makes you feel a bit more special.”

Cabrini celebrated International Nurses Day with a dinner for all of its nurses and midwives at Caulfield Racecourse on Friday, sponsored by Belmore Nurses and Maxxia. It was a fitting way to recognise the wonderful work of all of our nurses and midwives.