Honor to whom honor is due
They say that behind every great doctor, there's an even better nurse.
As the daughter of young medical student parents, I spent most of my childhood playing in the corridors of the Los Andes University Hospital in Merida, Venezuela.
My father was in his twenties, and the family tradition did not consider that we children would be cared for by anyone else; much less if the household budget did not allow for babysitters, day-care centers, or anything of the sort.
From the time I was four years old, my playgrounds were the hospital's pediatric emergency corridors, where I would race other hospitalized children in wheelchairs that we stole from the halls; where I would sit on hospital beds and play with Dad's stethoscope, and where hours were spent in a completely different universe.
I remember perfectly the first time I had to spend a whole morning with him in the emergency room. He told me very carefully and pointing to a strong, brown woman in a white uniform, that I had to behave well, respect the patients who were feeling bad, but above all, respect and obey those women in white because they were the bosses of the hospital.
Dad was about 27 years old, and I noticed how much time he took to greet each nurse on his service one by one. He would call them by name, ask about their husbands, children, and family, bring them coffee from the machine in the lobby, and tell them that I would spend the morning with them.
Those days I learned how to make cotton balls for vaccinations. I learned how to organize the material on the shelves, I saw how the nurses scolded the young doctors who insisted on calling the patients by numbers and not by name, and I learned that without them, the doctors simply would not exist.
It has been an honor for me to be part of the editorial team of AL DÍA, especially in writing and structuring this issue, where we join in the celebration of the World Health Organization and the many institutions that today give a standing ovation to these warriors; tireless women and men whose stories it was time to elevate.
On behalf of our entire team: Thank you!