The blessing of being a nurse

In these joyful days of the Christmas season one cannot forget the great mission which our nurses have. In my hospital experience here, at Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, I see the great blessing of being a nurse.

On December 16, 2022, our nurses, particularly those who work in Ward 1, were awarded the award Team of the Year 2022. This award was given during the activity which took place on Thursday December 16, wherein the National Workers’ Award of the Year was given. In the name of the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre Chaplaincy I want to make my own the beautiful message that Puttinu Cares shared on their Facebook. Well done to all the hospital nurses who work heartily during the year, especially in these days of Christmas festivities, including Christmas, to be close to the patients who direly need so much care and love. We appreciate the professional dedication of nurses. THANK YOU from our heart! We are proud of you!

In his message to nurses at the International Nurses Day on 12 May, 2020, he said that within the context of the global health emergency of coronavirus, we have rediscovered the fundamental importance of the role being played by nurses and midwives. Pope Francis praised the courage and sacrifices made by healthcare workers as well as by nurses in particular. The Holy Father recalled that nurses dedicate themselves, to the point of putting their own health at risk. He also recalled the high number of healthcare workers who have died as a result of their faithful service.

The Pope said that nurses have historically played a central role in health care. He described nurses as guardians and preservers of life who never stop giving courage, hope and trust as they administer the required treatment. Nurses are important and their moral responsibility is the hallmark of [their] professional service. Their task is that of offering continuous listening while taking care of women and men, children and the elderly, in every phase of their life, from birth to death. When confronting a situation nurse, more than simply follow a protocol, they engage themselves in a constant effort of discernment and attention.

One can easily regard nurses as those amongst the saints who live next door. The Pope told them: You are an image of the Church as a ‘field hospital’ that continues to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, who drew near to and healed people with all kinds of sickness and who stooped down to wash the feet of his disciples. Thank you for your service to humanity. That is why it is the important that nations leaders invest in healthcare as the primary common good by strengthening its systems and employing greater numbers of nurses, so as to ensure adequate care to everyone, with respect for the dignity of each person. This, in practice means, enhancing nurses and midwives’ professionalism and involvement with the suitable scientific, human, psychological and spiritual tools necessary for their training, so that they can carry out their service in full dignity.

A piece of God’s wisdom to all nurses coming from the lips of St Camillus de Lellis, patron saint of nurses and hospital workers: The poor and the sick are the Heart of God. In serving them we serve Jesus Christ. Hence, commitment is doing what you said you would do, after the feeling you said it in, has passed. That is why for every nurse it is so important to, as St Camillus rightly pointed out, Think well. Speak well. Do well. These three things, through the mercy of God, will make a man go to Heaven.

Jesus, you are the Healer who calls all nurses to serve and to care for people in your name. As we carry out this holy ministry, be with us, bless us with the wisdom of your Holy Spirit and fill us with the compassion that allows us to put the needs of those we serve before all else. In the midst of this highly technological and often impersonal age let us not forget that nursing is fundamentally about being with people in need. It is about touch … a listening presence … a willing and compassionate heart that sees beyond symptoms and signs of illness to a person in need and to their community of concern. Help us to embrace the charism that is nursing … to make it our own and in so doing to bring your healing presence into the lives of people in need. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

What a blessing it is of being a nurse!

Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap