Nursing in the U.S.A

Nurses Caring for SARS Patients Saluted by ICN

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On the occasion of International Nurses Day, ICN publicly commended the professionalism and commitment of all nurses, exemplified by their work caring for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) patients worldwide.

"The nature of our work means that nurses are in close contact with patients during all phases of their illness, often the first to detect the problem as well as to provide consultation, care and follow-up," said Judith Oulton, chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

"With SARS, as in other crises, nurses work around the clock in difficult circumstances, and with great personal sacrifice," she continued. "The current public attention focused on SARS highlights the value and critical importance of nurses and their work, everyday and everywhere."

Nurses caring for SARS patients may have to live in or near the health facility where they are working, instead of returning home, Oulton explained. Practicing 'barrier nursing' as they must, means wearing layers of protective clothing and tight-fitting masks for long hours and working in isolation from their colleagues. The care they give is essential for the recovery of SARS patients.

"Nurses caring for SARS patients have shown dedication and stamina in carrying out their work. We are proud of them and grateful for their professional commitment," declared Oulton.

The International Council of Nurses is a federation of 125 national nurses' associations representing millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses for nurses since 1899, ICN is the international voice of nursing and works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

For further information contact Linda Carrier-Walker at the ICN Web site or by telephone:

(+41 22) 908 0100, fax: (+41 22) 908 0101 or e-mail: