By Richard Rourk
National Nurses Week was observed May 6-12. In honor of the nationwide recognition of nurses, Ballad Health held its own week-long celebration honoring some of its healthcare heroes.
Unicoi County Hospital Administrator Loveland Hobson has been busy preparing to replace outgoing Administrator Eric Carroll, who was recently named Chief Executive Officer for Greeneville Community Hospital.
“We have a great staff here and they work hard,” Hobson said. “This week is an important time for the entire staff. We had pizza for the entire staff to kick off this celebration.”
Hobson planned several activities for the week.
“We’ve had everything from an ice cream social to donuts for the staff,” Hobson said. “We are giving away totes with healthy snacks and several other prizes. One thing we have been doing throughout Ballad Health is playing bingo and it has been a hit. Bingo has gotten some people that normally wouldn’t participate to open up and participate. It’s been really fun. Each day we give out new numbers and the staff members come in each shift ready to mark them off.”
According to Hobson, some of the most impactful expressions of gratitude to the nursing staff have come from their own peers.
“We have a thank you board set up here where staff can send thank yous and notes of encouragement to each other,” Hobson said. “This has been a big hit.”
Dr. Scott Denham with the hospital acknowledged that the nursing staff has had an exciting week.
“They have been excited and we’ve had fun showing what they mean to us,” Denham said. “Anyone that works in medicine can tell you how stressful this year has been, so to be able to recognize and honor the nurses, it’s been great.”
National Nurses Week began as National Nurses Day in 1982 after President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation designating May 6 as National Nurses Day. The American Nurses Association expanded National Nurses Day to an entire week in 1991 and it has been celebrated since.