National Skilled Nursing Care Week

May 9 -1 4, 2022

“To have striven, to have made the effort, to have been true to certain ideals, this alone is worth the struggle.” — William Osler

Today marks the first day of National Skilled Nursing Care Week – a commemorative week honoring all of you who, some might consider, have the most challenging of nursing positions.

The quote above is attributed to William Osler, a physician, educator, historian and cofounder of the renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The physicians and scientists who founded Johns Hopkins were true innovators and believed in the convergence of science and medicine – which actually were considered separately for centuries. The leaders of this institution were on the frontline in 1918 frantically attempting to develop treatments and a vaccine for the global pandemic known as the Spanish Flu.  You may recognize Hopkins as one of the most credible national databases that has tracked the rate of Covid infections in all 50 states beginning in 2020.

Scientific discovery is certainly a struggle – rarely achieved with the first, second or countless subsequent experiments and often never.  Struggling is a part of life – no matter your race, religion or economic status. Most of the world struggles much more than a minority percentage who have more resources, but no one is immune to encountering challenges in life. It is what we do with the struggle, how we manage it, how we help others experiencing the same struggle, that makes the anguish and exhaustion worth it.

“…to have been true to certain ideals…” is a part of Osler’s quote that makes me think of all of you. Throughout all of everything in the near three years of this viral storm, you have remained true to your ideals – and that speaks directly to your character and the capacity of your heart. I wish the world could walk in your shoes for one day and feel the weight of your responsibility, see and hear your experience and feel the intensity as well as the gratification of caring for a vulnerable person, sometimes a very sick person, sometimes as a resident passes away.  The appreciation of what you do would spread around the world faster than a pandemic and leave an imprint on humanity’s conscience that you are what it means to be human in the best definition of the word.

Thank you as the founder of Focused Care, as a former long term care administrator and a Certified Nurse Aide, as a husband, father and fellow human being. You represent the best of all of us and it’s hard for me to believe at times how fortunate I am that we are in the struggle together. Several quotable people have said if you dare to struggle, you dare to win.  I’m right here with you and I know we will win – together.

With all my gratitude and respect,

Mark McKenzie