By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and TransitionMay 8, 2017
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - From the birth of a child to taking care of our wounded, ill, and injured, nurses are there on the frontlines providing comfort and quality care to our loved ones.
It's a career Col. Wendy Campbell, an Army Nurse says she was destined for.
"I wanted to be a nurse since the age of five. I just wanted to do it. I love to take care of people and it just came natural," Campbell said.
Campbell is one of three million nurses across the nation being celebrated during National Nurses Week beginning May 6 and ending on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Nightingale is considered the pioneer of modern nursing after she led a team of nurses that reduced the death rate at a British base hospital by two-thirds during the Crimean War in the 1850's.
But this profession is more than colorful scrubs and a stethoscope, it requires understanding, compassion, and the ability to think clearly in an emergency.
"[Nursing,] definitely is a calling. It requires critical thinking and a certain style of leadership because it involves not only taking care of people, but also managing patient care and those involved in that care. I see it more as an art -- the art of connecting with and helping others," she said.
Nursing comprises the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and represents one of the fastest growing professions in the country. With thirty years dedicated to the profession, Campbell says the profession is rapidly evolving. Nurses are dealing with more and more complex health issues and continue to develop ways to adjust to a more digitized society.
"Technology plays a more significant part, from how we document care to how we render care. Our patients are getting more and more involved in learning about their medical conditions due to information readily on hand. As this profession changes you will see more and more people getting online, using medical apps and just basically taking control of their health."
Technology is calling for nurses to become more innovative as well, with a demand to further their education by obtaining advanced degrees in addition to their caregiving duties. However, with the changing face of healthcare, Campbell says putting patients and their families first will always remain a top priority.
"As a nurse, you're in a position to impact someone's life and their family. There's no disputing that. I have always loved what I do and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Campbell will retire this fall after 30 years of service.