From our first moments in life to our last, a nurse is almost always involved. They are one of the first, if not the first, person to hold a newborn baby entering the world. They often are the ones holding a hand as people leave this world.

For all the moments in between, they are there, both to assist doctors and to deal directly with patients in situations pleasant and unpleasant.

Last week was a chance to thank all nurses. The Kenosha News was grateful for the opportunity to honor nurses with a recognition luncheon held at the Kenosha Country Club last Wednesday and a special section in Sunday’s paper, thanks to the sponsorship of Froedtert South, as well as Skin R.N., the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Gateway Technical College and Chiappetta Shoes.

In the special section and at the luncheon, 10 amazing nurses were recognized for their work helping the community.

Every day, on the pages of the paper and on our website, we share the stories of vehicle crashes and tragedies. After victims are taken from the scene, they often go to the hospital where they undergo extensive treatment and care.

Nurses, who are there doing the front-line care, often don’t get the recognition they deserve. Many times, they get the brunt of a family’s anger because no one wants to be in need of medical attention.

Other times, we have had criminal complaints that detail nurses being spit on, or worse, just for trying to take a patient’s vital signs.

Last week was a chance to say thank you to nurses who have to deal with all that and more.

Thanks, too, to the judges: Vicki Hulback, dean of the school of nursing at Gateway Technical College; Bryan Lewis, assistant to the dean for health-related professions at UW-Parkside; Cheryl Peterson, assistant professor at Carthage College; and Joan Wilk, professor emerita at the UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing.

Linda Wohlgemuth, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Froedtert South, has spent 43 years in the nursing profession. Her remarks at the luncheon to the nurses said it all:

“You are united by the desire to give selflessly and care perpetually for those around you. You are dedicated to the betterment of the community. You gladly accepted the seeming insurmountable task of caring for your fellow human beings.

“You do this with no desire for recognition or reward. It is a blessing.”

This week and every week, we say thank you to the nurses who make this community a better, healthier place to live and work.

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