“One thing is certain, patient care concerns us all!
So, we implore you, dear doctors: celebrate your ladies and gentlemen with the lamp, when they make their rounds through the children’s hospitals day in and night out and help take care of our patients!“
When the on-call phone rings at 3:00 a.m. and the ER announces a sick child, it is not only the strong coffee that keeps us going, but above all our vocation:
Help people, alleviate distress, heal diseases.
The “lady with the lamp” – as Florence Nightingale was endearingly called – also had this motto. At night she made her rounds by candlelight through countless soldiers’ hospital rooms and was already convinced in the middle of the 19th century: without the nurses we are only half as strong as a hospital team!
The foundress of western sanitary teaching and nursing science is known as a strong woman with an empathetic and pragmatic spirit and a clear goal: Improving patient care through nursing knowledge. In her honor, May 12th, her birthday, is known as International Nursing Day.
We, as young doctors know just how vital good nursing staff is for everyday work to run smoothly on the busy wards in Europe’s many (but not enough…) children’s hospital.
The nurses know, where the right suction catheter in the exact infant size is located, in some cases they might also know how to use it even better- and they often are the ones to hold our hands (metaphorically?) the first time we set out to do something alone instead of our attendings. When we would rather divide us into at least three selves in order to manage both ward and emergency room and writing discharge letters, it is incredibly reassuring when someone says, “Hey, I’m keeping an eye on your patients, you go ahead.” And that someone not only has watchful eyes but can incidentally both take care of a toddler with a broken leg as well as persuade the older teenager to inject his live-saving insulin on time.
However, the pediatric nurses are not only there to support our diverse patients but also us young and old Physicians, with knowledge, advice and constructive criticism. They are there. Every day, in the hustle and bustle and in the quiet times of grief. Through staff shortages and under precarious pandemic, wars or earth-quake conditions.
We would therefore like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU. Without you we would be lost!
And we want to draw attention to a problem. Because the training as
child and youth care specialist who provides the basis for a well-established professional cooperation is still not streamlined across Europe. In some countries it is a first-entry position while in other countries one first undergoes training as a general nurse and then specializes. A few have started university training while in most it is an apprenticeship. In Germany, for example, they even want to stop specialist training entirely and generalize with only a few months of Paediatrics rotation. These variations across Europe in the educational preparation of nurses who care for Europe’s youth are a barrier to mutual recognition and geographical mobility of nurses. Training exchanges are not only important to personal growth and learning, but ensuring mobility across European countries might reduce the devastating staff shortages and therefore ensuring better safeguarding of our mutual patients. Read more at the Paediatric Nursing Association in Europe https://pnae.eu/
One thing is certain, patient care concerns us all!
So, we implore you, dear doctors: celebrate your ladies and gentlemen with the lamp, when they make their rounds through the children’s hospitals day in and night out and help take care of our patients!
And please do not only clap on May 12th.
About the authors:
Young EAP Representative for Infection Control/Vaccination
Nora Karara is a paediatric resident and global public health enthusiast, currently working in youth psychosomatic medicine and pursuing a doctorate at the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin.
She is an active founding member of the Young German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and proud to be a delegate to the European Academy of Paediatrics. She currently holds the position of Representative for Infection control and Prevention, partaking in various Strategic Advisory Groups such as Medicines for Children, Vaccinations, #ImmuHubs and Choosing Wisely.
Nora is excited to be part of the YEAP and sees this as a great opportunity to improve paneuropean physicians’ training, promote child health and – together with her colleagues- bridge the gaps between our countries for a brighter European future in Paediatrics.
Young EAP Representative for Advocacy
Sian is a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Trainees’ Committee and currently works as a third-year resident at the Health Education North East in the UK. In her new role, she looks forward to representing trainees’ views on issues related to child health across Europe, raise awareness of current issues and promote this within paediatric training, as well as to advocate for children’s rights to health.