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Devereux honors nurses and teachers during observances in May

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is paying tribute to the selfless and inspiring nurses and teachers who continue to provide the best possible care and support for children, adolescents and adults through the COVID-19 pandemic – and all year long.

At Devereux, we are recognizing the hard work and dedication of these committed and compassionate individuals during the following annual observances:

  • Nurses
    • National Nurses Month: May
    • National Nurses Week: May 6-12
    • National Nurses Day: May 12
  • Teachers
    • National Teacher Appreciation Week: May 4-8
    • National Teacher Day: May 5

“Challenges often reveal champions, and our nurses and teachers are proving they are champions in every sense of the word,” said Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rhea Fernandes, Psy.D. “Whether they are on the front-lines serving and supporting those in our care, or helping our students – and their families – adapt to, and embrace, distance learning, these servant leaders demonstrate that we are all in this together, and we are #DevereuxStrong.”

‘Year of the Nurse’

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife.”

In addition, the American Nurses Association (ANA) expanded the traditional National Nurses Week, which begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Nightingale’s birthday, to a month of recognition. On its website, the ANA said, “Whether it is a national health emergency or routine daily care, nurses’ vital contributions impact the health and well-being of our communities, which is why ANA selected the theme for May as Nurses Make a Difference.”

Nurses share their perspectives

We asked a few Devereux nurses to tell us how they feel about making a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of individuals with special needs. Here’s what they told us:

“My love of being a nurse has always been taking care of people, but at a time like this, it’s so much more than that – it’s working hard to protect our most vulnerable populations who are not able to protect themselves.”
– Devereux Pocono Director of Nursing Cherie Podolek

“I believe in empowering others through education. In times of chaos and confusion, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. I encourage those we serve to remember the basics of hygiene; keep in contact with family and friends; and don’t forget to laugh – it helps rejuvenate the soul.”
– Devereux Texas Nurse Sandra Field

“I love many things about being a nurse, including: 1) helping the adults we serve receive the best possible care; 2) coaching and mentoring staff who work directly with our individuals, particularly those with challenging behaviors; and 3) advocating for the medical needs of those entrusted to our care.
– Devereux California Nurse Roxane Dryden

“What I enjoy most about being a nurse is teaching. Teaching others how to take care of themselves, and encouraging them to live healthy lives. While these are difficult times, my team and I have risen to the challenge by lending a helping hand wherever we are needed; educating our individuals on infection control and proper hand hygiene; and being as supportive as possible.”
– Devereux New Jersey Nurse Akeisha Punch

Celebrating our teachers

The National Parent Teacher Association states on its website, “It's in these challenging times that we truly recognize and appreciate how our nation’s educators play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives – inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery, and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.” During National Teacher Appreciation Week, the Parent Teacher Association is encouraging supporters to express their gratitude – using the Twitter hashtag #ThankATeacher – for everything these educators do to ensure students have the necessary tools to reach their full potential. 

At Devereux, our teachers play a critical role in the lives of individuals with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Look below to see what a few of our team members had to say about teaching during a pandemic.

“I really love working with kids and seeing them learn something new; overcome their fears and challenges; and become happier and more successful. COVID-19 has shown me that every encounter with a child is priceless. I take time to explain things they may not understand in simpler terms, and am a more active listener.”
– Devereux Arizona Special Education Teacher Catherine Schmitt

“I enjoy interacting with my students. I love all of their personalities and how they continually challenge me to step up my game. With this pandemic, I’ve gone from being a very hands-on teacher who sees my students for six hours every day, to trying to figure out how to engage them through a computer screen. I see this as an opportunity to develop new ways of teaching our students. Plus, it gives parents and caregivers a chance to see their children utilize the skills they’ve learned.”
– Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS Special Education Teacher Mary Kate McGee

“COVID-19 has affected how I deliver instruction and monitor student progress. It has necessitated a review of my teaching strategies, and ultimately, pushed me out of my comfort zone to explore new and interesting ways of diversifying my instruction.”
– Devereux Texas Special Education Teacher Paul Friery 

Want to make a difference? Join our team!

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is always looking for nurses and teachers to help the individuals we serve lead healthy and more fulfilling lives. Visit jobs.devereux.org to explore our career opportunities today.

 

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