MICHAEL D. Higgins has paid a touching tribute to the contributions made by nurses working in hospitals and other facilities across Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video address to the graduates of Dublin City University’s School of Nursing, the President of Ireland praised the “remarkable courage, compassion and generosity” of those working in the health service during this time of national crisis.
President Higgins said, “Recent months have brought into sharp focus the vital contribution that the nursing profession makes to our society.
“As a nation facing, together, the challenge of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been so greatly inspired and uplifted by the remarkable courage, compassion and generosity of those who work in our health services.
“Central to that service is, of course, the nurses who deliver such safe and effective care in our hospitals, health centres, clinics, hospices and, of course, out in our wider communities.”
Paying tribute to the DCU nursing class of 2020, many of whom are now working on the front-line in the fight against Covid-19, President Higgins also singled out the importance of care and compassion in the nursing profession.
“We also celebrate the instinct that has prompted you all to study nursing and that has driven you forward through the many hours of study and lectures, and on those first nervous steps into real world working environments,” he said.
“The role of nurses may have changed considerably, and will continue to evolve and grow.
“However, the spirit of compassion and care that has always lain at the core of the nursing profession remains one of its most important attributes.”
“Recent months have brought into sharp focus the vital contribution that the nursing profession makes to our society,’ says President Michael D Higgins @PresidentIrl @DCUSNPCH #DCUGraduation pic.twitter.com/pk0VU4qO0Z
— DCU - Celebrating 40 Years (@DCU) June 6, 2020
He also highlighted the significant contribution of the nursing profession in Ireland to global healthcare.
President Higgins said: “In 2017, the World Health Organisation stated that the advancing role of nurses and midwives in Ireland, which has seen the delivery of quality care to patients while simultaneously reducing the workload of primary care doctors, offers an important example for other countries.
“You can be very proud, therefore, of the profession into which you now graduate – a profession which accounts for half of our global healthcare workforce.
“It is a profession which has grown to play a critical role in the implementation of patient-centred care and in the delivery of effective primary care services.
“It is also, of course, a profession which requires specific and in-depth qualifications and today we celebrate your achievement of those important credentials.”
The comments came as the National Public Health Emergency Team announced a further 9 deaths of Covid-19, and 24 new cases.
A total of 1,678 people have died from coronavirus in Ireland.
25,182 have been infected with healthcare workers making up 8,059 of cases.