The Ripple Effect: International Women’s Day

adrouin March 8th, 2011, 2:40 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN
Author Profile
(photo by q thomas bower)

(photo by q thomas bower)

Did you know today is International Women’s Day?

According to the International Women’s Day website: “It’s a day to celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women from the past, present, and future.” This event is celebrated globally with many activities in major cities across the world. I wasn’t even aware that it’s considered a national holiday in other countries like China, Russia and Bulgaria.

Although there is no one theme under which everyone celebrates International Women’s Day, the United Nations has chosen the following:

Equal Access To Education, Training, Science, and Technology:

Pathway To Decent Work For Women

As I reflect on this theme, I can’t help but apply it to the work of many inspiring nurses who surround me each day. We, as nurses, utilize all of these concepts in our daily work. We use our foundation of nursing science to provide the best possible care. We use our knowledge to orient each other to the numerous specialties in our nursing discipline. We also train patients or caregivers how to feel comfortable changing a colostomy bag or administering medications via a feeding tube. We strive to continue our education so that we can support evidence-based practices and enhance our therapeutic communication with patients and their caregivers. And we use technology every day in the form of machines for intravenous fluids or wound vac devices as well as our tablets or computers for documentation into electronic health records. Nurses are a very innovative group of individuals that I’m inspired to work with and have been grateful to learn from throughout my career. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of nurses past.

Lillian Wald, a graduate nurse in the late 19th century, made one of the first VNSNY home care visits. She may not have had the technology that we have today, but she utilized her educational observations about health and hygiene to care for women, children and immigrants to our country. She established a norm in the community that compassionate care for individuals was necessary for the betterment of the future. She even advocated for children with physical and learning disabilities so they could obtain an education. Her work made ripple effects throughout the community. It allowed future nurses to gain momentum to improve health care conditions. We still feel those ripple effects today as they are the momentum that continues to carry home care forward. (Source:

Is there a historical woman in your past who has made it possible for you to do the work you are doing today?

What can you do in your own life to make a positive ripple effect in your family or community?

Wishing all women a Happy International Women’s Day!


  • I am a type 2 diabetic insulin dependent; I have had two heart attacks and currently have two stints in place, I also have HBP; sarcoidosis, migraine headaches, neuropathy of the stomach and legs, my question is I am tired of being sick and I need some help I am obese and I need to lose some weight and exercise, but I need some help, and I don’t have a lot of money to pore into these diet programs I need the kind of help that I can do and live with on a daily basis based on my income I am on disability so my funds are very limited.

  • I would like to hear back from you regarding my first comment and thank you for any help you could give me regarding the matter.

  • Cherron,
    I’m so glad you commented. I hope the following information is useful to you.

    First, share your goal for weight loss and exercise with each of your physicians. Ask them of your limitations given your medical history. It’s important to consult with a doctor before starting any nutrition or exercise program. I recommend mentioning your goal at the beginning of your doctor’s appointment so you will have time to discuss it.

    Next, ask your physician(s) if he or she is aware of any nutritional or exercise program that you can be referred to. If your doctor is not aware, ask if it’s possible to be referred to a dietician. Your insurance will also dictate if you qualify for these programs.

    You can also seek out programs at your local community centers or YMCA. Read information from the The American Heart Association which may offer some suggestions. (Click here: or The American Diabetes Association. Again, inform your physician prior to starting any diet/exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you.

    Begin reading books about nutrition such as “Food Matters” or ask a librarian at your local library about books on nutrition. A better understanding of nutrition will help you make appropriate, healthy food choices.

    Last, consider relaxation techniques to alleviate stress. Just four slow deep breaths when you’re feeling overwhelmed can elicit a relaxation response in your body. Write an affirmation (a positive statement eg. I enjoy being healthy. I’m on the road to fitness. I choose to eat healthy foods.) and post it where you’ll read it everyday. Consider using guided imagery for weight loss or pain issues too.

    I repeat, please talk with your physician prior to starting any diet or weight loss program. You need to make sure it is safe for you. Your physician will be proud to hear about your healthy goals.

    Good luck! Remember that positive results require patience. One step at a time.


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