International Nurses Day – the strengthened solidarity and camaraderie shown amongst nurses following the COVID-19 pandemic


Amidst the gloom being cast by the coronavirus crisis, gleams of positivity are emerging. One of the brightest is the renewed sense of unity and solidarity amongst those working in the social care sector.

International Nurses Day falls on 12th May, a day that looks to celebrate the contributions of nurses from across the world. This year, it holds special significance. Nurses are currently at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus in countries the world over – a fight which is shining a light on the value and worth of the nursing profession.

The fact that COVID-19 is a viral infection means there’s little that can be done medically to combat it. Without a vaccine – something that’s a long way off at present – we’re reliant on the strength of our immune symptoms fighting it off, supplemented by quality medical care.

Nurses then, are playing a central part in delivering this care. In the face of the adversity thrown up by the pandemic we’re seeing real camaraderie amongst nurses. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, as nurses become the go to people for care needs, acting as the vanguard for the healthcare system, they are taking on amazing leadership roles.

Indeed, at Askham, we’re seeing that a clinical background in a social care setting is making our nurses’ skills more valuable now than they’ve ever been before, and this is being reflected by the wider medical community.

GPs and other senior medical staff are relying on nurses to go above and beyond the call of duty, taking on additional responsibilities around end of life care, death verification and more. Our nurses are rising to the challenge and indeed thriving in these additional responsibilities, welcoming the additional trust being placed in their expertise and capabilities.

Another major positive has been the increase in communication and teamwork amongst healthcare professionals. We’re sharing best practice on a level that we’ve never seen before, as we look to counteract the pernicious effects of the pandemic and keep our residents safe. The very nature of nursing means that we want to care for others, so we’re doing all that we can to support colleagues in this endeavour, wherever they happen to be.

This spirit of communication and togetherness isn’t confined to Askham’s five homes or our local care community either. It’s not even confined to a regional or national level. We’re seeing incredible levels of international collaboration, as nurses from around the world share methodology and observations as to what works best, both from a case of containment and protection and also in the sense of care and treatment for those suffering from COVID-19.

At Askham we’re blessed with a wonderfully diverse team, spanning many international backgrounds, meaning that we’re able to call upon experience and expertise from a wide range of sources. This wealth of knowledge helps to improve our overall approach to care, as we cherry pick the elements that we know work well and ensure they’re ingrained in our day-to-day workings.

It’s part of what makes our caring environment at Askham so special. We’ve long fostered a collaborative approach, with initiatives such as our Lead Nurse Peer Group Project, where the lead nurses from the five homes at Askham come together each month to share reflections and support, helping to set us apart. Now though, we’re seeing this sense of cooperation and teamwork spread, not just beyond our homes but across borders too.

Amidst the awfulness of a global pandemic, it’s elements such as these that serve to give us hope, that once we overcome the worst of it, we’ll be able to build a better future for our industry, where our many qualities are recognised.