DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) -- When it's a matter of life or death, you depend on doctors and nurses. Monday, begins national nurses week. So the Wiregrass is celebrating the best in the profession.
As more Americans live longer, the need for health professionals is even greater. It can be a stressful job but as we all know - good nurses make all the difference. That's why we want to introduce you to Chris Hovey - Patient Choice Nurse of the Year - at Flowers Hospital.
"It’s a good field to go into and I’ve always enjoyed it," said Hovey.
Chris has been a nurse for over twenty years - and it shows.
"He consistently shows compassion for his patients he's not only technically expertise in the field but he does it with such compassion he really connects with people," said Dan Cumby, Director of Nursing.
That's why Cumby says it comes to no surprise that a family nominated Chris after seeing his calming approach.
"It's the interaction with patients, it slows me down some days but i find if you spend a little time with the patient and explain the procedure and get to know the family and when things get rough you can refer back to those things it seems to calm their nerves," said Hovey.
Cumby says a nursing shortage is something they face.
"It kind of ebbs and flows but we have people that have folks that go the extra mile like Chris who helps us get through," said Cumby.
Flowers Hospital uses scholarship programs as well as community involvement to help recruit -
"we got a lot of elderly patients we have to take care of and sick patients coming to our emergency room every day, we need nurses we need help,” said Hovey.
Troy Dothan School of Nursing says there see a good number of applicants - but not everyone can make it through.
"you're having someone's life in your hands, it's important to be skilled and have education and think outside the box and apply all your skills into the population,” said Katherine Leigh, Nurse Educator.
"Nurses deserve appreciation every single day because they see people at their worst they see people when they are coming in and depending on those nurses to take care of them, it's more of a calling than a job," said Cumby.
The bureau of labor statistics says there's a need for an additional 200 thousand new r-n's each year - the reason, newly created positions and to replace retiring nurses.
Southeast Hospital will name their Nurse of the Year Friday as well as events all week for Nurse Appreciation Week.