Port Saint Joe, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health wishes to celebrate and thank Florida nurses during National Nurses Week. Florida’s more than 600,000 nursing professionals work every day to provide high quality care in a variety of settings from hospitals to doctors’ offices to county health departments and schools.
“The knowledge and skills of public health nurses enable them to make significant contributions to public health,” said Marsha Lindeman, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin Counties. “We have 19 public health nurses working in a variety of health department programs, including Women’s Health, School Health and Healthy Start. This week, we recognize their dedicated service to providing the highest quality of care to residents of Gulf and Franklin.”
Nursing is a huge part of the public health workforce and the training nurses receive in school gives them the skills needed to successfully improve public health. Public health nurses work with individuals, families and communities as a whole to prevent disease and promote the overall health of the area. They work in clinics to provide immunizations, conduct testing for diseases and infections, help people manage chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma and help people achieve a healthy lifestyle. Public health nurses also help communities prepare for natural disasters and assist in disaster relief efforts. Public health nurses are on the front lines every day in their communities and they are the backbone of public health.
“Having been a public health nurse for many years, it really makes me happy is when I see the process come full circle,” said Ann Barnes, School Health Coordinator for the Florida Department of Health in Gulf County. “Working in school health, I often see children that I gave their first immunizations to when they were 2 months old. I see parents that I also gave immunizations to or that participated in our family planning program. I look around our community and see so many people that have benefited from the many programs that are provided by core public health.”
“Protecting the health of women in our community improves the health of families in our community,” said Helen Cook, ARNP for the Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin Counties.
There are a variety of programs offered at the Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin Counties that highlight the work of public health nurses. The includes women’s health services such as birth control, pregnancy testing, and Breast & Cervical Cancer Screenings; immunizations; STD education, prevention and treatment; Healthy Start risk screenings and childbirth education; and School Health programs.