National Nurses Week is May 6th – May 12th and is celebrated at Comanche County Memorial Hospital and hospitals across the country every year.

“Nursing is one of the greatest professions ever,” Carla Vaden, lead house supervisor at CCMH, said.

Nurses are everywhere at a hospital, in the ER, labor and delivery, helping patients staying in the hospital, along with many other places. Vaden has been a nurse for 35 years and still loves what she does and where she is.

“This is the only hospital that I’ve only wanted to work at, so when I started, I started here, and I thought this is where I want to finish,” she said. “As it turns out, this is where I will finish.”

She said the biggest change she’s seen while working as a nurse is technology.

“When I started, everything was paper, pencil,” Vaden said. “I mean, you wrote out everything. You gave your meds and checked that off with a pencil and paper. Nowadays, while it is different and for old nurses, it is harder, because we’re just used to get to getting in there and writing. The things that come along with it are the safety.”

Chris Ward, the chief nursing officer at CCMH, said people don’t go into nursing without the desire to help people.

“I think nurses go into the profession because they want to help patients,” Ward said. “We are regarded as the most trusted profession. That’s amazing and something we want to guard. We want to be trusted. At the same point, I think it’s because nurses do care about patients.”

He said one doesn’t become a nurse because they got a diploma.

“You become a nurse as you start practicing nursing, which is the profession of caring, compassion, of saying ‘I’m going interact with this person for the best outcomes they could ever have,’” he said.

To celebrate this week, CCMH got their employees plaques and goodie bags as a way to let them know that they appreciate everything they’re doing.

“Thank you for being a nurse in the midst of a pandemic that really challenged you,” he said. “You were concerned whether or not you could take it with you. You were concerned about whether or not you would get it. Yet, we had nurses who did not hesitate at all to take care of patients, and I will say Comanche took care of a lot of patients.”

Vaden said as she’s gotten older, she appreciates weeks like this one, and that’s a good thing because National Hospital Week started on the 9th and overlaps with National Nurses Week. CCMH plans to have activities to celebrate all of its team members.