ANMF celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for others, providing health advice, looking after our elderly, and generally providing everyday essential care to the community. For some they are the only point of care in their communities. But did you know that the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

This is why the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife – a year-long initiative to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.

Why is it so significant?

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the invaluable role that nurses and midwives play, now and in the future. It is an opportunity for members to recognise their achievements and the achievements of their colleagues – to share experiences and celebrate wins. These can be on a small scale, such as being an advocate in their workplace, or on a large scale, such as volunteering to provide healthcare in a third world country.

Do you know a Tassie Nightingale?

In honor of International Women’s Day (IWD) and 2020 being the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are calling on your support for the health of Tasmanian women and women working in healthcare by getting involved in our Tassie Nightingales campaign.

By sharing your story, you are standing in solidarity with women everywhere working in female-dominated occupations such as nursing and midwifery. These women support our health systems and communities every day but often have their sacrifices and achievements overlooked as they put the care of others ahead of their own needs. We believe these women deserve respect, support, and recognition, and we hope that you will join us in celebrating them in a small way for the incredible work they do.

Ask yourself, do you know a nurse, midwife or care worker that is leading change in healthcare? Is your colleague initiating discussion that better the future of health? Have you experienced the warmth of a nurse going above and beyond? We are calling on YOU to tell us about it! Whether you are a nurse, midwife, care worker, healthcare professional, family member, friend or member of the community, you are invited to share with us.

For every story that we receive, the ANMF will donate $15 until we reach our target donation of $1,000 for Women’s Health Tasmania! Simply fill out the form below.

All donations to this campaign will be given to the Women’s Health Tasmania Encore Program. This is an eight-week recovery program for women who have experienced breast cancer. Located in Hobart and Launceston, the program lowers the risk of lymphoedema and helps to restore strength, mobility, and confidence. It is a free program that needs the support of others to continue to grow and succeed.

Great, that is absolutely ok too. You can donate directly to the cause by clicking here, please note that you will be redirected to our Go Fund Me page where donations can be made. Thanks for your support, it is much appreciated.

In addition to 2020 being the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, it also marks 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale. Born on 12 May 1820 in Italy, Florence (named after her birth city) is most well known for her incredible contribution to modern nursing and medical care, many of which remain standard today.

Many healthcare professionals will be familiar with the name, but who was Florence Nightingale?

In the 1800’s, Florence defied the expectations of the time to pursue a career in nursing. This was a pathway that her wealthy and traditional family did not support, forbidding her from pursuing it further. However, a head strong and no-nonsense figure, Florence felt this to be her divine calling and persisted.

It was during the Crimean War that Florence, alongside a team of nurses, made her mark in history. Following battle, over 18,000 ill and injured British soldiers were left in unsanitary conditions with little to no medical attention. With no nurses stationed in the military hospitals, conditions were dire, and the death rate was high. More soldiers were dying from infectious diseases like typhoid, than from injuries sustained in battle.

Florence was requested to lead a team of nurses to tend to the ill. Nothing could have prepared the team for the sight of the ill. Florence and her team quickly set about cleaning the hospital and caring for patients around the clock. In the evenings she would walk the hallways tending to the injured soldiers by candlelight, it was this that earnt her the nickname the ‘lady with the lamp’. Her work during the Crimean War reduced the hospital death rate by two-thirds and greatly changed how we approach modern medicine even to this day.

Based on her experience during the war, Florence went on to publish a number of pieces analysing her experiences and proposing alternatives. Despite her own illnesses she remained a fierce advocate for healthcare reform and education. In the 1860’s she pursued this further, opening the Nightingale Training School for Nurses which remains active today. It is on this site that a Museum commemorating her achievements would be established following her death on 13, 1910, in London.

This campaign will run from 10 March 2020 until 7 April 2020 when an announcement of the final donation amount and presentation to the Women’s Health Tasmania clinic will be made on World Health Day.