By Mr. Douglas Demaio (Army Medicine)May 14, 2013
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Staff from the Grafenwoehr Health Clinic celebrated National Nurses Week with some multinational flare here Friday.
Two nurses from the Royal British Army and eight nurses from Weiden Klinikum joined their American counterparts to celebrate Nurses Week, which is an American celebration to recognize the work nurses do to take care of patients and support the health care system.
Nurses from the two nations spent the day in the clinic learning about the level of care the American health clinic provides and how the clinic's staff delivers medicine to the Bavaria Military Community, said Lt. Col. John Gourley, chief nurse at the health clinic.
"We paired nurses from Weiden Klinikum with our nursing staff," Gourley said. "and rotated them throughout the clinic today for a few hours. This helped them understand what kind of care our patients receive here. The intent is to build a understanding of why we sometimes send our patients to their facility; so they can receive the type of care not available in our outpatient clinic.
Gourley's predecessor had started the practice of inviting German nurses from Weiden's hospital for a tour of the health clinic to build a better understanding amongst the medical professionals.
"The purpose is to liaison for our patients and better understand how to educate them for Host Nation Care. This will provide a better experience when they are hospitalized at the Klinikum," he said.
The two nurses from the U.K., are participating in an exercise in the Grafenwoehr area called "Bavarian Charger" from May 12 to June 8. They gave a presentation on Florence Nightingale, who was the founder of modern nursing.
"It seemed appropriate since Florence Nightingale was British and affiliated with the British army," Gourley said. "We are trying to build better relationships with our NATO partners here in Grafenwoehr."
The Royal British Army has a Medical Squadron set up at Camp Aachen for the exercise.
"We have been interacting with them over the past couple of weeks," Gourley said. "We have had some of their medics rotate through our clinic to learn what level of care we provide. It is vital that we build relationships with our active-duty NATO partners."
Nurses' week is celebrated annually from May 6 to May 12.