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ss spotlight - Winter 2021,  eclipsed by COVID

eclipsed by COVID

How can we encourage others when good plans seem thwarted? Asks Rachel Grubb
'When they said 2020 was the year of the nurse they weren't joking' - this quip made me sigh and smile wryly when it rolled by on Facebook last spring, but I also remember clearly thinking 'the year of the nurse? I had no idea!' Recently I asked a few of my colleagues if they knew much about it; they didn't. Assuming we are not anomalies, what hope is there for the WHO 2020 Year of the Nurse and the Midwife if our own awareness is so low, let alone that of the policy makers and general public the campaign hopes to impact.

COVID-19 has affected us all, be it the death of a loved one, the threat to health, isolation, loss of perceived security or the disruption of the best laid plans. The WHO goals for the year of the nurse and midwife - culminating in facilitating global access to healthcare by 2030 - certainly seem fine and noble, to be deeply desired and prayed for by every Christian. It seems right that we should lament the disruption of this initiative as we lament all of the disruption, disappointment and heartache of past months. But as Christians we also recognise, we are uniquely placed to respond:

'Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have'. (Peter 3.15) We have eternal security through Jesus Christ, we have all the wisdom contained in the Bible, record after record of how God has caused things of beauty to rise from ashes. The world desperately needs the wisdom, security, peace and courage we know as Christians, not to mention knowledge of the love of God and we can prayerfully consider how he is asking us to bear witness right now. We all have a testimony to share. We are all role models and leaders in some capacity. And perhaps there is hope for the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. In the UK the Clap for Carers raised the profile of health care professionals beyond what anybody could have imagined. Patient facing workers report a renewed relationship with the public and WHO has announced the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife will extend into 2021. So maybe those objectives will be met after all, just not in the way planned.

who knew?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)

Rachel Grubb is a community palliative clinical nurse specialist working in the west midlands

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