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Pictorial celebration of nursing planned

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By Charlotte MacKay
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Pictorial celebration of nursing planned

THE local branch of a national organisation representing nurses and other healthcare workers is calling on budding artists to help them celebrate International Nursing Day.

This year International Nurses Day (May 12) marks what would have been the 200th birthday of the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.

And the Dumfries and Galloway branch of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is hoping children and young people will help them celebrate the work of nurses across the country by drawing their own picture of a nurse.

Branch chairwoman Vicky Keir said: “Our members are registered nurses, student nurses and health care support workers, we have got over 1000 members in Dumfries and Galloway.

“Every year I usually visit one of the local primary schools to give a presentation about nursing, and I ask the children to draw a picture of a nurse. Normally we would display the picture in Tesco in Annan and do it as a competition with a prize for the winners.

“Because the schools are closed I can’t do it this year, but given all the good press that nursing is getting just now, it would still be really nice to host it, as a celebration of our frontline workers.”

International Nurses Day celebrates the contribution that nurses make to societies around the globe and highlights the important role that nurses have in addressing health issues worldwide.

During her school presentations Vicky usually talks to the children about nurses who have been hailed as heroes, from Florence Nightingale and British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole, to WWI nurse Edith Cavell who was arrested for helping German soldiers as well as the Allied troops.

Vicky continued: “Edith Cavell thought it was her job as a nurse to treat everyone who needed help. We talk about the history of nursing, how nuns used to be nurses which is where the term ‘sister’ comes from. I used to show them pictures of military nurses or nurses treating ebola patients, just to give them an idea of what different nurses look like and show it is not always the traditional image of the white dress and hat with the cross.”

To help mark International Nurses Day, DNG Media has teamed up with the Dumfries and Galloway branch of RCN to collect drawings or paintings of nurses, and we will display as many as we can in the windows of our office in Annan. Branch chairwoman Vicky Keir and other local RCN members will choose some of their favourites which will feature in our newspapers in two weeks time. Please send your nurse pictures to Charlotte MacKay, DNG Media, 96 High Street, Annan, DG12 6EJ. Closing date for entries is Monday May 11.

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