Austin officials urge public to honor nurses during National Nurses Week

Tierra Neubaum

AUSTIN, Texas – It’s National Nurses Week and it’s a chance to raise awareness about the value of nursing and teach the public about the role nurses play in meeting healthcare needs. 

Nurses have become even bigger heroes during the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as they put their own lives at risk and care for patients who are seriously ill. 

RELATED: Dunkin’ restaurants in Austin offering healthcare workers free coffee and donut on May 6

May 6 is National Nurses Day and the Austin skyline will be lit blue. Austin Mayor Steve Adler is also asking Austinites to stop what they’re doing at 7 p.m. to applaud nurses and medical workers. 

Justin Solomon is a flight nurse on the Dell Children’s transport team. Solomon’s job is to go out in the community and pick up kids from outlying hospitals and clinics and bring them to Dell Children’s if a higher level of care is needed, like for patients who are potentially infected with COVID-19.

RELATED: ICU nurse at Dell Seton shares her experience of treating and comforting COVID-19 patients

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According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), relatively few children that get COVID-19 require hospitalization.

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Solomon says that while no patients are currently at Dell Children’s with the coronavirus, the team and the hospital are taking precautionary measures and implementing new protocols to keep themselves, equipment, patients, families, and other medical staff safe.

FOX 7 Discussion: Texas nurses fighting the coronavirus pandemic

Nurses are on the front line of fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. Texas Nurses Association CEO Cindy Zolinerek joins FOX 7 Austin’s Marcel Clarke to talk about about what is needed in the fight against the virus.

While the workflow during the pandemic has been an adjustment, Solomon says he doesn’t see what healthcare professionals are doing now is necessarily going above and beyond.

“I’ve heard hero go around but I really don’t view hospital workers as heroes. This is just what we chose to do and where we chose to work,” Solomon says.

RELATED: Central Texas nurse travels to aid New York during coronavirus outbreak

Solomon adds, “One thing that’s just blown me away has been the outpouring of love and support from the community. Whether it’s in the form of food, or notes or just words of appreciation. We all get them, we all appreciate it.”

Officials are asking the public to makes posts on social media to show support as well and use the hashtag #HealthCareHeroesATX.

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