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Forrest General Hospital Emergency Department Nurses Honored with City Proclamation by Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker - Forrest Health
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    Published on October 14, 2021

    Forrest General Hospital Emergency Department Nurses Honored with City Proclamation by Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker

    Forrest General Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Phyllis Chambers-Berry, RN; Administrative Director of Emergency Services, Brandon Bougard, R.N.; and Emergency Room nurses representing their colleagues were on hand for the reading of the Proclamation by Hattiesburg Mayor, Toby Barker.

    HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (October 14, 2021) On Tuesday, outside the Forrest General Emergency Room, Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker presented a proclamation recognizing October 11-17 as Emergency Room Nurses Week in the Hub City. This coincides with the national recognition week for ER nurses.

     

    The theme for Emergency Nurses Week is “Celebrate Our Front Line Heroes” and does more than just show appreciation and gratitude; it helps others see the heart that emergency nurses bring to their hospitals and patients every day.

     

    In speaking to the nurses, Barker said, “Last year we gathered here during what we thought was the worst part of COVID-19, or so we thought then, to declare this week Emergency Nurses week.” He continued, “I know even when there’s not a pandemic going on you have one of the toughest jobs around, and I can’t imagine what it’s been like for the past 18 months. So, thank you from your city. We appreciate your hard work.”

     

    Barker said he hoped that years from now, when people look back to these days, he’s sure they will remember all the arguments and debates over vaccines and masks. “But what I hope they will remember is there are people, like you, who put themselves in harm’s way, day in and day out,” he said. “For almost 2 years now, you’ve taken care of people the best you could – people who were going through some of the worst situations, who had family members who were on their deathbed – but you were there and kept showing up. You were compassionate and determined to save lives. That says something that’s worthy of our respect and our ongoing praise.”

      

    Administrative Director of Emergency Services, Brandon Bougard, R.N., said the hospital could not do what it does and have its doors open for this community without these nurses.

     

     “Through the pandemic these nurses have had a lot of grit, and they’ve had to make things happen when we had little resource,” Bougard said. “But they save lives every day. It’s good to take a moment to recognize what they’ve gone through the last 18 months. That’s what this week is about – showing what they’ve done for the community and for the world at large. A pat on the back every now and then doesn’t hurt. We went into this field knowing what we were getting ourselves into and know it is part of the job. We are all about helping people, making a difference.”

     

    Carolyn Guy, RN, who has been a nurse for 30 years, believes this profession is her calling. “I’ve always wanted to help,” she said. “Being a nurse you can touch somebody’s life in so many different ways. Even if it’s not the patient, we can help family members along the way. It helps just knowing that doing one simple little thing in your job can change somebody’s life. It’s very heartwarming to know that we have the support from the community. We do see a lot of people here from the community and from surrounding counties, and it’s rewarding to know that we have the support of the mayor, the city and other officials. We need it, and appreciate it. It helps a lot and gives us that extra push to go a little bit further.”

     

    Dylan Fields’ nursing career has never known anything but the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s great to be able to help people in their time of need, especially right now with COVID,” he said. “It takes some weight off of my shoulder to know that I can do something to help make patients and their family members better.” Fields said he believes recognition, such as this from the city, encourages nurses. “It means something just to hear recognition like this.”

    In addition to Mayor Barker’s visit, several meals and recognitions are being held throughout the week within the department.

    Since 1989, the Emergency Nurses Association has recognized the second Wednesday in October as Emergency Nurses Day, a day honoring emergency nurses for their commitment to patient care. In 2001, ENA expanded the celebration to devote an entire week to honoring emergency nurses, because one day is simply not enough to recognize all contributions made by emergency nurses.

     

    About Forrest General’s Emergency Services:

    Forrest General provides around-the-clock emergency coverage for major trauma, general medical treatment, and all other emergency care. Forrest General is the only Level II Trauma Center in the Pine Belt. The department provides access to board-certified ER physicians and specialists, specially-trained nurses and staff, testing labs and the latest technology. 


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