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Avera Medical Minute: Nurses honored during 2020 designation Year of the Nurse

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 11:39 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse. The honor marks the 200th birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, who worked for a better world of nursing. Avea nurse Chelsea Hanson might embody what Nightingale envisioned.

“It’s gratifying, it’s rewarding, it’s fulfilling,” said Hanson, who was drawn to a career in nursing at a young age.

“Growing up, like having a friend that got hurt once and her mom came storming in and kind of saved the day and want to be her,” said Hanson.

Like other nurses, Hanson has had more cross-training and goes whenever she’s needed at Avera St. Lukes in Aberdeen.

“They need help on the floors and ICU wherever they’re at,” said Hanson.

The encouragement that comes with The Year of the Nurse recognition could not come at a better time. Lindee Miller is an Avera Charge Nurse in the ER at Avera St. Mary’s in Pierre. She started her career in Florida and moved back home to South Dakota a few years ago.

“Taking care of our neighbors and friends and sometimes even our family. It’s just been a hard hit after a hard hit and it’s heartbreaking,” said Miller.

She has no regrets in choosing her profession.

“I have loved every moment and even though it’s heartbreaking and even though it is so hard, you can balance those with the overwhelming joy of watching somebody come into the world, and watching somebody get better and leaving,” said Miller.

Avera Chief of Nursing Officer Lori Popkes has been a nurse for more than 30 years.

“To me, The Year of the Nurse really needs an opportunity to lift up the profession to really help get out the word of the incredible profession that nursing is,” said Popkes.

In her leadership position, she’s talked to many nurses and has witnessed incredible dedication.

“This pandemic our nurses have stepped up in, in ways that are so admirable, they are working extra hours they are working, you know, long days long nights. I always say nursing is truly the profession that is here 24/7, 365 at the patient’s bedside,” said Popkes.

Hanson is proud to be a nurse and proud of her team.

“Everybody everybody’s just doing their part, you know, we’ve been pulled so far out of our comfort zone so many times and I just, I can’t say enough about how awesome the staff at Avera has been. It’s just a big family we do it for each other we do it for the patients it’s been very rewarding to work during this time,” said Hanson.

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