Good afternoon, dear ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon, dear nurses,
As a patron of Looking for soul nurse campaign, I am absolutely delighted and pleased to welcome you all to the Riga Castle today.
As campaign has reached its end, we have gathered here today to express our appreciation to best nurses of the Children’s Clinical Hospital in 2019 according to their little patients and relatives.
Today is your day. Today we all want to say a big thank you to you. Today you can put all your worries aside. Today you can take a short break from you everyday rush. Today we want you to feel appreciated.
Although we do not see it, we can still feel the presence of all nurses throughout times who transformed the world, or at least ‘the face of medicine’, with their vision and actions in this room.
We feel the presence of Florence Nightingale, an English nurse who lived from 1920 to 1910. As a nurse, she went to Crimean war that lasted from 1853 to 1856. She survived the war and after the war she realised that patient care is a separate field of health care as important as doctor’s work.
We feel the presence of Florence Blake, an American nurse who lived from 1907 to 1983. She proposed and described the role and responsibilities of parents in helping nursing staff achieve the best health outcomes for their children. The term family-centred nursing care coined by her is widely used in health care.
We feel the presence of Elsa Brändström, a Swedish nurse who lived from 1888 to 1948. She is a Swede born in Saint Petersburg and during the World War I served in Tsar’s army as volunteer nurse. Stationed in Siberia, she took care of wounded soldiers and war prisons from both sides of the trenches. We know her as the ‘Siberian angel’.
We feel the presence of Cicely Saunders, an English nurse who lived from 1918 to 2005. She realised and advocated for diversified palliative care for specific patients because each person or patient has different palliative needs than a patient who is, for example, recovering from appendectomy.
We feel the presence of Lidija Lasmane, a trained Latvian nurse who later became a political dissident. She firmly believed that Latvians are entitled to their own independent state and paid a heavy price for that.
The legacy of these women lives through you. Your thoughts, ideas and voice will always be heard in our society. Let me once again thank you for your professional dedication, kindness, optimism and patience, for having to trot up and down those long hospital corridors and tireless work day and night.