Ohio’s Hospice Nursing Honor Guard holds tribute

DAYTON — As part of National Nurses Week, the Ohio’s Hospice Nursing Honor Guard held a tribute on May 12 at the bell tower at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton to recognize nurses who have dedicated their careers to caring for patients.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

The Ohio’s Hospice Nursing Honor Guard recognizes nurses who are in hospice care with a tribute for their service. Since the program began in 2016, the Nursing Honor Guard has completed more than 200 tributes at the bedside of nurses in hospice care.

During a Nursing Honor Guard ceremony, nurses dress in the traditional and historical blue nursing cape, white uniform and cap. The Nursing Honor Guard highlights the honoree’s nursing career and individual achievements. The ceremony includes the recitation of the Florence Nightingale pledge and a final call to duty in which the honoree’s name is called out three times to release them from service. The Honor Guard finishes with the proclamation: “Though your nursing tasks are complete, they are not forgotten.”

At the end of the bedside tribute, the Nursing Honor Guard thanks the patient for their nursing service and presents them with a lantern, a thank-you card, and a Florence Nightingale pin.

“The joy and pride that comes from the Ohio’s Hospice Nursing Honor Guard tribute ceremony is palpable. Stories from families and loved ones continue to highlight how powerful this moment is for all,” said Yvonne Turner, vice president of Clinical Care and chief nursing and care officer at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “This dedicated group of nurses has made a significant contribution to hospice and end-of-life care. We’re honored and privileged to recognize the careers of those nurses who have served so many.”

At the May 12 tribute ceremony, nurses from the Ohio’s Hospice Nursing Honor Guard, dressed in traditional nursing uniforms, honored Ohio’s Hospice nurses and all nurses, past and present, who have enhanced the lives of others through their service. They recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge and a poem.

“We would like to thank nurses everywhere for all they have given to the nursing profession,” Turner said. “We’re grateful to them for their service.”

Ohio’s Hospice is a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices. Members of Ohio’s Hospice share the values of serving each patient in an atmosphere of hospitality, respect and caring; attending to the social, physical and spiritual needs of each person we are privileged to serve; preserving and enhancing patient dignity; celebrating the life of each individual we serve; and reducing unnecessary suffering in the communities we serve.

Affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice include Community Care Hospice, Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, Ohio’s Hospice at United Church Homes, Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care, Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties, Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County and Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County.