Of all the careers in the United States, few garner as much universal praise and respect as nursing. When people see scrubs, or learn that a new acquaintance works in nursing, there’s a look that says both “I respect what you do” and “I wish I could also do what you do”. And in the past few weeks, that respect and praise has hit new levels, as the spotlight has shone on several amazing stories.
Probably the most popular story of the past few weeks involves nurse Michael Ketterer, who first impressed the country with what he does inside hospital halls, then blew the country away with what he could do outside those halls.
Ketterer, a pediatric nurse in Orange County, showed up on the stage of America’s Got Talent. When he shared his career, they applauded. When he revealed that he’s taken in six foster children, they were astonished at his heart and selflessness. And when he sang, they rose to their feet, culminating in the rare Golden Buzzer from judge Simon Cowell.
You can see the performance here, but we’re warning you… keep the tissues handy.
Across the country in Boston, another group of nurses were also taking a bow—not from a stage, but from the center of Fenway Park. Despite heavy rain and tornado warnings, over 4,000 nurses and fans showed up to the park for Red Sox Nurse Appreciation Night, an attendance that even beat the popular Star Wars night at the park.
At the center of the large crowd of nurses, ten were recognized for outstanding achievements in their field. The nurses ranged from a former Army medic, to a pediatric burn unit nurse, to a nurse who saved a life at his gym.
You can read about each of them here.
Other nurses in the spotlight include nurse Lori Wood of Aultman Hospital, who received the Heartsaver Hero Award for saving a man’s life with CPR. Nurse Wood was feeding the ducks in the park with her grandchild when she witnessed a nearby man go into full cardiac arrest. Using Hands-Only CPR, she was able to keep the man alive until help arrived.
Similarly, nurse Amy Somwaru of the Munroe Regional Medical Center also stepped up when a man was found unresponsive in his car—also the victim of a heart attack. Her help, along with a local deputy’s, saved the man’s life—a man who turned out to be the husband of another nurse in a neighboring medical center.
Other notable nurses honored this week include nurse Effie Farnham, who recently retired after fifty years as an emergency room nurse. And then there’s the late Nurse Lini Puthussery, a woman to whom the World Health Organization paid homage this month after she died battling the Nipah virum in northern Kerala (the Nipah virus, transmitted by fruit bats, has a mortality rate of nearly 70%).
Of all these spotlights, one thing is clear: the impact of nurses around the country and around the world is indispensable, and nothing makes us happier than to see that recognized.