Every year, World Humanitarian Day pays special tribute to the Real Life Heroes who have committed their lives to helping others in the most extreme circumstances throughout the world. However, as a result of the pandemic, many of us have found the extreme circumstances to be on our very own doorsteps.

Therefore, this World Humanitarian Day we need to do all we can to recognise and thank our Nurses and Health Professionals who are working in various roles around the globe testing, treating and preventing covid-19.

One of our very own Real Life Heroes is Katy, Registered Nurse, Midwife and Nurses in Action Leader who sits on our World Youth International Board. Katy is currently working in a Respiratory Assessment Centre in Victoria, completing covid-19 testing for her community.

At the testing centre, we treat those at the earliest part of the covid-19 journey. They experience a great deal of fear that they are coming down with the illness. However there is equally a feeling of community togetherness; people offering to care for those in isolation, and people never leave without providing endless thanks to the health care workers caring for them. It’s important people know that the majority of the community are ‘doing the right thing’ for all,” highlights Katy.

Many would say that 2020’s International Year of the Nurse and Midwife has been shadowed by the impacts of the coronavirus, but on the other hand, the timing could not have been better. The pandemic has demonstrated the generosity, strength and courage of nurses globally more than ever. But we shouldn’t dismiss that there is great sacrifice and a fear that our health professionals have needed to overcome, just to be able to do their jobs.

The hardest part of nursing through the pandemic has been the fear that by doing my work, I could bring coronavirus home to my family, friends and my community. My young son has just been diagnosed with asthma, which puts him at high risk if he were to contract covid-19. This all fills me with fear and dread,” shares Katy.

Despite this fear, Katy, along with so many of our health care workers in Australia and beyond, are doing all they can to provide the highest standards of care.

One lesson I have held onto during the pandemic is that during the times of uncertainty, of fear, of disease, the only way to get through it is by sticking together and working as a team. We all put in the hard work and we are all working towards the same goal. I have held onto this during my most challenging moments when the fear of going to work has been very overwhelming. I try to focus on the fact that if we are all in this together we can get through it.”

We are so proud and in awe of Katy’s ongoing dedication and passion for her work. Our thoughts are with the millions of health professionals worldwide, in particular our past, present and future Nurses In Action volunteers. Stay safe <3

Read more about Katy's volunteer nursing experiences in Kenya, and her nsights as a leader in her field in this article featured in the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal.

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