This week marks the beginning of National Nurses Week (May 6 to May 12) and the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region is honored to thank nurses for the countless ways they have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not all heroes wear capes, and nurses are a testament to that.
It has been nearly 140 years since the founding of the American Red Cross, and nurses and nursing have been at the core of its mission. Clara Barton, founder of the organization, first came to public attention as an amateur nurse who provided aid to soldiers during the Civil War. Since then, the role of Red Cross nurses has adapted and evolved to meet the needs of the American people, whether during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918 or during times of disaster.
Additionally, the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth on May 12,1820. If there was a year to celebrate heath care workers, this one is it.
"We're celebrating the efforts of nurses and healthcare workers at a time when they are needed more than ever," said Jarrett Barrios, CEO for the Red Cross Los Angeles Region. "And we are grateful for the many nurses and other health professionals who serve as Red Cross clinicians, educators, leaders, and more, for everything they do to support the Red Cross humanitarian mission."
Today, more than 20,000 nurses are active in paid and volunteer service with the Red Cross nationwide. Red Cross nurses now focus on a wide range of community needs: teaching courses in home nursing and nutrition; supporting the Red Cross Biomedical Services and community blood drives; providing medical and training support to communities during national health emergencies, such as the severe polio epidemic in the 1940s and 1950s; and providing support to those affected by disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and wildfires.
This Friday join us in celebrating National Nurses Week during COVID-19 and learn how Red Cross nurses help us fulfill our humanitarian mission. Though digital platforms, the Red Cross has started offering a series of interactive Facebook Live broadcasts.
The programming is designed to connect those at home with the work of the Red Cross and its community partners. Visit the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region on Facebook to view our entire series of interactive Facebook Live broadcasts.