Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Celebrating Red Cross Nurses

American Red Cross Nurses Pin
The coveted Nurses Pin is worn by more than 20,000
Red Cross Nurses across the country.

by Stan Frank

American Red Cross Nurses
Red Cross nurses during World War I,
World War II and student nurses today.
During National Nurses Week, May 6-12, 2017, the American Red Cross in Greater New York is celebrating the contributions of more than 20,000 nurses and nursing students throughout the United States who serve the Red Cross in many different capacities.

The Red Cross Nursing Service was established in 1909 by Jane Delano, who honed her nursing skills in 1888, helping victims of yellow fever, and in 1898 treating soldiers during the Spanish-American War. As the first president of the National Committee of the Red Cross Nursing Service, she is credited with organizing for disaster relief and training more than 8000 registered nurses by the time the United States entered World War I in 1917.

Debbie Hayden, RN
In the Greater New York Region, Debbie Hayden, RN, serves as Regional Manager for Health Services, leading over 150 health volunteers, including nurses, doctors, physicians assistants, paramedics, EMTs, and nursing students across New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley, and Long Island. She joined the Red Cross as a volunteer in 2010 and was the Long Island Health Services lead starting in 2012. A seasoned veteran, Debbie has been deployed on more than 20 nationally-declared disasters including Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy both of which struck in the New York region.

Depending on the nature of a disaster or emergency, Debbie uses the computerized Red Cross Client Assistance System (CAS 2.0) to communicate with nurses and other medical personnel and alert them to the need for assistance. Disaster health service workers are all part of Disaster Action Teams who work together in an emergency. Nurses are trained to work at the scene of a disaster or at a disaster shelter.

Among the varied services nurses provide are the following:
  • Assess the overall physical, mental and spiritual needs of disaster victims
  • Provide assistance or care for disaster-related unmet health needs through Disaster Health Services casework 
  • Obtain information about victims’ needs for medication or medical equipment 
  • Provide assistance to replace medications, medical supplies, eyeglasses, drug prescriptions, etc. 
  • Refer victims to the appropriate resources for medical or financial assistance
In addition to providing disaster services, Red Cross nurses also serve in a wide variety of roles within the Red Cross, including in management and supervisory positions, as teachers, and as representatives of the Red Cross with local and national community partners.

Thank you to all of the Red Cross Nurses who help us prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters every day!

To learn more about the Red Cross and Red Cross nursing opportunities, visit www.redcross.org/support/volunteer/nurses

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