The Florida Department of Health wishes to celebrate and thank Florida nurses during National Nurses Week. Florida’s more than 600,000 nursing professionals work every day to provide high quality care in a variety of settings from hospitals to doctors’ offices to county health departments and schools.
“Public health nurses work very hard in our communities” said Aaron Kissler Health Officer of the Florida Department of Health in Lake County. “They are caregivers, teachers and patient advocates. This week we celebrate them for the great job they do in public health.”
Nursing is a huge part of the public health workforce and the training nurses receive in school gives them the skills needed to successfully improve public health. Public health nurses work with individuals, families and communities as a whole to prevent disease and promote the overall health of the area. They work in clinics to provide immunizations, conduct testing for diseases and infections, help people manage chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma and help people achieve a healthy lifestyle. Public health nurses also help communities prepare for natural disasters and assist in disaster relief efforts. Public health nurses are on the front lines every day in their communities and they are the backbone of public health.
“It’s hard to describe a day in the life of a public health nurse because, no two days are ever alike” said Ellen Schultz, Community Health Nursing Director with the Florida Department of Health in Lake County. “I have had the privilege of being a public health nurse for 27 years starting as a nurse working in the clinic up to the last few years working as the Director of Nursing. I work very closely with all the programs within the health department as part of the leadership team. I oversee many clinical programs including School Health, Immunizations, HIV Care, TB testing and treatment, Family Planning, Maternity, Dental and STD testing and treatment including the oversight of the budgets for these programs. There is always a new challenge and a new opportunity to make a positive difference in our community.
What I like about my job is knowing that you have made a positive impact in someone’s life. I have enjoyed working with children as a nurse providing immunizations and watching them develop into adolescents and then one day seeing them bring their children in for immunizations and the most rewarding part of it is a simple “Thank you” from a client.”