JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Brooke Army Medical Center is celebrating National Nurses Week this week with a plethora of activities geared toward nurses, medical technicians and medics.
Activities include an opening and closing ceremony, awards presentations, mentorship opportunities and tasty treats for the nursing staff.
National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Nightingale was an English social reformer who is credited as the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organized care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. She significantly reduced death rates by improving hygiene and living standards.
The Defense Health Agency’s theme for Nurses Week this year is, “Nurses Make A Difference: Anytime, Anywhere – Always.”
“It couldn’t be more fitting,” said BAMC Commanding General Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen. “Nurses make such a profound difference in the lives of our patients and their loved ones. They are the face and the voice of the patient’s care team.”
Army Col. Maria Bruton, BAMC chief nursing officer, praised the nurses, techs, and medics for the value they bring to the health care team.
“We recognize the fantastic work our nurses provide on the multi-disciplinary team here at BAMC every day, but we get a week to really celebrate and recognize all of our nurses -- Army, Air Force and civilian, and all of our techs and medics and the value that they bring to the team,” she said. “I just want to say, ‘thank you’ for what you do!”
Air Force 1st Lt. Jessica Monsivais, who works in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at BAMC, said she became a nurse to fulfill her passion of making a difference and advocating for her patients and their families.
Emergency Department clinical nurse Air Force Capt. Jillian Buck agrees.
“I became a nurse because I really enjoy working with people and science. Nursing is the perfect combination of the two,” Buck said. “I love the diversity and the various patient population that we see from day to day.”
Some nurses have more personal reasons for choosing the nursing profession.
Critical care nurse Army Capt. Alexandra Bell said she became a nurse because of the care her grandmother received in hospice.
“I watched the hospice nurses care for my grandmother with such compassion and grace and I really wanted to give back to my patients the same way that they did for her,” Bell shared.
Army Sgt. Lakesha Butler, a licensed vocational nurse on BAMC’s 3-West ward, said her brother’s injury influenced her decision.
“His nurse actually became my instructor, and we are really close friends,” Butler said. “She has inspired me, and my brother has inspired me to make a difference in other people’s lives.
“The thing that drives me and keeps me coming back is hearing my patients’ reactions when they see me come into their room and their family members telling me how much impact I’m making not just for my patients but also on their lives,” Butler added.
Bruton, a family nurse practitioner, has been an Army nurse for 21 years. “I love nursing because we are a pivotal piece of the multi-disciplinary team,” she said. “The role that we play not only in patient advocacy and care delivery, but in improving team communication and team dynamics is really important.”
The commander wants the nursing staff to know how much their role in the organization is appreciated.
“To all our nurses, I want to say thank you,” Teyhen said. “Thank you for your hard work, your dedication, and your unwavering commitment to excellence. Thank you for making a difference every single day. And thank you for being the heart and soul of Team BAMC.”