When you get in contact with any nurses’ may they be retired or not, please give them a pat on the back because we seldom get them. And those that have retired ….chances are, they didn’t get much of those before neither.
The nursing profession is one of the most unappreciated profession and so as a nurse myself, I would like to say there are ways to make us feel appreciated.
18 Ways to Appreciate Nurses (for patients/family members)
1. Look us in the eyes.
2. Fully listen to what we have to say before cutting us off and dismissing the idea.
3. Avoid the temptation of ignoring our instructions.
4. Resist the urge to rudely interrupt us, as what we have to say pertains to your care or your family member’s well-being.
5. Acknowledge our presence when we enter your room as we want to just make sure that you are OK.
6. Don’t be irritated when we keep coming in your room or if we are repeating questions or asking way too much…it’s all for your safety. It is for fall precaution, assessment completion etc. And mind you the length of assessment that we have to complete is quite long so it might also be for that reason.
7. Please tell us the truth because we depend on most of our nursing care and interventions from the gathered information you provide.
8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom or doing anything most especially when your hands have come in contact with your bodily fluids. We need to be well to be able to take care of ourselves, family and patients. Including you.
9. Screaming at us is not a good way to get what you want. Be calm as we are here for you.
10. As we are expected to always be polite. Show us some respect also by talking to us with tact.
11. A little smile every so often is always nice.
12. Positive body language is important as well.
13. “Thank you” makes a big difference as it makes a hard day easier.
14. Positive feedback is very much appreciated.
15. Acknowledge our positive actions.
16. You can send us a card or just a small thank you letter if it’s not too much to ask.
17. You can give us a good feedback on surveys or just drop the boss a note to compliment us.
18. Share your positive experience to friends or family.
20 Ways to Appreciate Nurses (for the bosses i.e. managers/directors/supervisors)
1. Acknowledge our presence, especially if we’ve passed each other in the hallway or in the nurses’ desk.
2. Be consistent in acknowledging our positive actions not just the errors or patients complaints.
3. Compliment us if it’s due.
4. “Thank you” goes a long way.
5. Do not communicate to us only on meetings, reviews and or if there are errors/ omissions..we need to know that you care.
6. Be present….physically and emotionally. We need your support.
7. If at all possible, give us enough staff according to patients amount. We know about the budget but patient and staff safety should be the main priority.
8. Listen to our story first before holding us accountable on patients complaints..there are always two sides to a story.
9. Lend us a hand if there’s staffing shortage, especially if it’s obvious that we are overwhelmed.
10. Try to be as up to date as possible as to what’s going on in the unit. That’ll truly say that you care.
11. Ask staff if they already had their lunch.
12. Promote good team work or camaraderie amongst staff by being a good example.
13. Encourage staff in voicing their opinions and listen fully.
14. Be consistent in giving feedback. We need to know what’s going on.
15. Be fair especially when doing our schedules.
16. Understand everyone’s styles and preferences.
17. Try to be as personable as possible.
18. Recognize if staff are having a difficult day and offer help or acquire help if it’s available.
19. Acknowledging our birthdays is another way of appreciating us.
20. Little things make a big difference “a pat on the back” means a lot too.
What Is So Special About Nurses That makes Appreciating Them So Important?
For those of us who are called to this profession, each given day that we are on duty we have to make ourselves prepared as we don’t always have an uneventful day. We have to be ready emotionally, mentally and physically as it can be hectic, challenging and anxiety driven due to different reasons.
A few reasons maybe is being short staffed, patients are of high acuity or sicker or there are issues with machines and or supplies. Sometimes it’s a conflict problem in which a certain nurse does not work well with a specific staff member. There are times the staff that are on duty are mostly new hires or new graduates. Nothing wrong with them especially if they are all hardworking and knowledgeable, but it still makes a big difference if there are more experienced nurses’ mixed with them for a much more balanced work flow. Or there’s simply no team work amongst the nurses’ and other staff that are on duty on that specific day.
We wear a lot of hats. We are teachers/educators, housekeepers, dietary personnel, technicians, respiratory therapists, secretaries, phone operators, Psychologist/counselor to name a few as we incorporate our tasks and responsibilities with theirs according to our practice limitations and patients safety.
Not only do we wear a lot of hats…. we deal with all kinds of foul smelling bodily excretes or bodily fluids. Not only do we suffer from mental and psychological exhaustion but also a lot of physical ones as we pull, push, bend and walk so much. But let me tell you ‘though, on some rare occasions we run, especially when there’s an emergency. So yes nursing is a very daunting profession..it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
In my 20 plus years of being in the nursing profession, I can say nurses’ are the most unselfish and the most giving I know. We look after our patients and advocate for them like they are our family. We not only care for them but we listen, laugh and cry with them. Most of the time we forget to take our lunches, drink water and even take care of our basic needs like going to the john. Often times we have given so much of our energy to our sick patients that when we go home to our family, there’s nothing left to be given until we are able to fully recharge.
So next time you see a nurse, just say “Thank you for your service”. And as for me a pat on the back will do.
Thank you for reading! Please let me know if you have questions. Don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below.