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Nurses are backbone of medical profession

Nurses are often described as the backbone of the practice of medicine, working with doctors and patients to help provide the best medical care possible.

National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6 — which is National Nurses Day — to May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Cathy Hughes, the director of nursing at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis, said there are different units of nursing at the hospital that feature more than 100 nurses.

“We have patients that are medical or surgical patients, and we have two floors that see those types of patients,” she said. “We have registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and orderlies. We provide total patient care, including medications, administration, teaching and assessment with the patients.”

Hughes has been in the nursing profession for 34 years, serving at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital for the last 15 years, with 13 of those years as the director of home health agency.

“I don’t think you can beat the experience that’s there,” Hughes said. “I have to say that my job is not very difficult because I do have such good nurses here. This group of people takes excellent care of the patients.”

The nurses work with the doctors and other medical staff to help ensure quality care.

Dr. Maurice Fitz-Gerald is a physician who also serves on the hospital’s board of directors.

“The working relationship between the doctors and nurses is excellent!” he said. “My nurses are my best friends and help that I have anywhere. They are well trained now, and they can appraise a situation very quickly, making it very easy for me to respond.”