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Dialogue@ZJU: With ZHAO Xuehong, recipient of the 49th Nightingale Medal


ZHAO Xuehong

Chief Nurse

Deputy Director of the Department of Nursing at the First Affiliated Hospital,

Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU)

Director of Disaster Nursing Committee, Zhejiang Nursing Association Member of Disaster

Nursing Committee, Chinese Nursing Association

The 49th Nightingale Medal Recipient

"I believe that if I can help patients relieve their pain and regain their health, the sense of achievement I obtain can overcome all difficulties."


Q1: Could you share one thing that has impressed you most?

ZHAO: I have experienced numerous major global public health events such as SARS, avian influenza, Ebola and theCOVID-19 pandemic. In 2015,1 worked in Libya as a member of the medical team for Ebola. Late one night, a little boy on the ward was crying, fearing that he would lose his life after he closed his eyes. To calm him down, I told him that we would cure him and that I would lull him to sleep every night until here covered. When he left the hospital, he called me “Chinese mom”, which was a great joy to me.

Q2: How do you understand the Nightingale spirit?

ZHAO: I think it is a nursing philosophy featuring humanistic care and professional responsibility. As a health care worker, our mission is to treat every patient with professional skills and a caring attitude and to always put the patient's health first. Meanwhile. we also have the duty to participate in volunteer services and to contribute to the development and progress of the nursing profession.

Q3: Are there any innovations your team have practiced?

ZHAO: We developed the “Intelligent Emergency Treatment Pre-examination and Triage Information System”in2011, which is used to screen high-risk patients quickly. The system has completely changed the uncertainty and heterogeneity of the traditional empirical triage and achieved the homogenization and standardization of triage work. In addition, we developed the “Intelligent Fever Clinic Treatment Pre-examination and Triage Information System” and the “Intelligent Risk Warning Model for Infectious Diseases” since the outbreak ofCOVID-19. The realization of the partitioned management of fever cases reduced the risk of cross-infection among patients.

Q4: What kind of support and assistance did you get in your career?

ZHAO: It is on the big platform of Zhejiang University that I gain growth. Its cutting-edge technical information, rich cooperation models and flexible earning systems enable me to improve greatly in my specialty. Its people-oriented service philosophy and inclusive culture have become my solid spiritual pillars. Every time I fight on the frontline, ZJU and FAHZU are my strongest support.

Q5: What would you like to say to the nursing students?

ZHAO: As the saying goes, “Successors excel their predecessors”. I hope that young nursing students can stick to their original aspirations and keep their missions in mind, learn more, practice more, think more and communicate more. I believe the sense of fulfillment that arises from helping patients to alleviate their pain and restore their health can overcome all difficulties.

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Source: School of Medicine, Zhejiang University