National Nurses Week is this week, May 6 is Nurses’ Day and Monument nurses are working hard against COVID

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Year of the Nurse, Nurses Week and Nurse Appreciation Day on May 6th. It is the month of nurses and while people across the nation have shared their appreciation for health care staff, they are still at work fighting COVID-19.

Monument Health may not have predicted a tough year for nursing staff but they are still providing the training needed to be prepared in case a surge happens.

“We have the gift of time here in the Black Hills,” said Senior Director of Professional Practice, R.N., Shannon Waldner. “And we want to use it to the best of our abilities and we really have had the opportunity to help people get ready for whatever may happen in the future regarding COVID-19.”

In partnership with University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University, Monument staff have been training new and returning nurses how to work with COVID-19 patients and patients in general.

“Any person coming to the training will be learning how to proactively take care of patients before they are put into a role where they might need to,” says Nurse Development Practitioner, R.N., Rebecca Bradley.

Training started 7 weeks ago. But guidelines and cases change quickly and training staff have to redevelop the courses just as fast.

“It’s been very challenging but a lot of fun,” says Waldner. “It’s really stretched our resources. We’ve been able to pull some nurses from the bedside to help us teach which has been a lot of fun too. And we just try to stay flexible through this whole thing and upbeat. It’s very important that we keep our spirits up here.”

While conditions change and health care staff work to provide the best care, showing appreciation keeps spirits high — and health care staff are thankful.

“I think any person who is willing to step out of their comfort zone to help us in any sort of crisis or surge that we might have is so courageous,” says Bradley.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News