SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Navy nurses from various commands and their Air Force counterparts wrapped up National Nurses Week with a joint closing ceremony at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) on board Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, Texas, May 11.
National Nurses Week is held annually in May, and this year the American Nurses Association (ANA) designated the theme "Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit," to collaborate with their previous announcement of 2017 as the "Year of the Healthy Nurse."
One item highlighted was stress.
"One of the big things that happens when providers or anybody working with patients doesn't control stress is burnout," said Beverly Benson, Brooke Army Medical Center's Army Public Health Nursing Health Promotion Department. "You see it happen a lot."
The burnout nurses face led to the ANA's decision to encourage nurses to focus on themselves for a change. To commemorate Nurses Week, Navy and Air Force San Antonio area nurses got together for several health-focused activities from May 5-11. There were healthy meal gatherings, a one-mile walk and closing ceremonies that featured a health and wellness presentation by Benson, who regularly holds classes and seminars on the topic.
Benson's advice for handling stress is, "Take each day in stride. Don't try to do it all at once. Don't try to do it all yourself. You're a human being; you're not a robot. Take time for you. Take care of yourself. How you see a problem determines if it's a grizzly or a teddy bear."
The week-long celebration was more than just a time to focus on health. It was also an opportunity for nurses to remember previous men and women who paved the path, including Florence Nightingale, and recognize the successes and accomplishments of nurses around the world.
"It is really an honor for me to be here," said Air Force Major Brenda Miazga, a METC instructor. "I have been a nurse for 20 years, so this is my 20th Nurse Week. Each year it gets bigger and better and brighter. And this year, I am honored to be celebrating with the Navy here."
Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, commander, Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC), was the senior Navy Nurse Corps officer present and took the opportunity to thank everyone who planned and participated in the week-long activities.
"I thank you for taking this week to celebrate who you are," she said. "Be so proud of who you are and how you touch lives; because you do touch lives."
The closing ceremonies were ended with a symbolic cake-cutting. National Nurse Week officially ends May 12. Navy nurses from NMETLC and other San Antonio commands plan to celebrate the Navy Nurse Corps birthday with a luncheon May 13.
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