In 1976, President Gerald Ford started officially recognizing Black History Month during the celebration of the Bicentennial. Black History Month is now celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture, and community centers, both great and small.
President Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
As a new, slightly goofy nurse working at UCLA Medical Center in the 1980s, I was developing my sense of who I wanted to become as a professional. My style was relaxed and informal and I was often arrived to work a few minutes late.
Later that year, I started graduate school and transferred to the night shift. That’s when I met Ms. Davis, who role modeled the professional I wanted to become.
Ms. Davis was the only black nurse in our unit and she commanded respect. As a charge nurse, she arrived to work early and listened intently to the report, taking careful notes. Her crisp white uniform, sparkling white shoes, and nurses cap pinned proudly on her head inspired me to be better. As a matter of fact, I got my nurse’s cap down from it’s shelf and started wearing it again, along with shining my shoes and arriving on time.
We never called Ms. Davis by her first name and we never questioned why. We understood that she had earned our deference and respect.
As a new nurse, I had plenty of questions, which Ms. Davis answered with kindness, never making me feel embarrassed or inferior. She was knowledgeable, hard working and a natural leader. I was excitable and known to overreact in crisis situations. Ms. Davis role modeled calm composure coupled with swift and deliberate action.
Once Ms. Davis found me crying in the break room.
One of my patients had a constricting trachea, gradually stopping airflow, that no surgery would repair. I was devastated and in despair. Ms. Davis wrapped her arms around me and patted my back. This moment might have lasted for seconds or minutes. It didn’t matter, her hug seemed to set my world right again.
Thank you Ms. Davis for showing me what I could become. You are one of my most influential role models as a professional nurse. Your presence, grace, and dignity are etched in my memory forever.
In celebration of Black History Month, please share your stories with us so we can highlight a colleague, friend, or role model that made a difference in your life. We will publish your stories throughout this month in recognition of Black History Month to celebrate our black role models and heroes!
This course is an essential review for anyone in the field of diabetes. This course summarizes the 2021 updates to the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes and provides critical teaching points and content for health care professionals involved in diabetes care and education.
Earn 2.0 CEs and get ready to lead the charge to implement best care practices for the New Year.
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October 6 8:00 am – October 8 3:00 pm
March 8 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
March 11 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
April 1 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
April 8 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
July 8 11:30 am – 12:45 pm