National Certified Nurses day is March 19, and National Nurses Week falls in early May each year. But you don't have to wait for one of these "official" times to show appreciation to nurses in your life. Seniors in assisted living communities may have reason to appreciate a wide range of nurses who work to help them keep up with medical issues and live as healthy and vibrant a lifestyle as possible.
Whether you want to appreciate a nurse within the assisted living community or one that works at a hospital or your doctor's office, here are some tips for doing so.
One of the best ways to show your gratitude to any health care professional is to simply offer your thanks. A meaningful verbal thank you at the time of service is great, but not everyone is comfortable with verbal communication.
Plus, if you're in a doctor's office or other clinical setting, you might be concentrating on discharge instructions or feeling fatigued from treatments. Nurses do understand that patients can be appreciative and forget to verbally say so in such situations. That's why thank you cards can be a great idea; write a sincere thank you when you're feeling better or have time to rest and send it to a nurse who cared for you.
If given the choice between a patient listening to good medical advice or taking time to say thank you, most nurses are going to choose the former. Following your discharge instructions, taking your medication, eating right and caring for yourself are all some of the best ways you can honor a nurse. Taking your health seriously shows you take them seriously. Ultimately, most nurses got into the business to help people, so they love to see their patients succeed.
Another way to honor your nurse is to ensure that you actually understand the advice or instructions. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification, even if that means calling your nurse after you've left the office or reaching out to a Park Regency assisted living staff member. Nurses would much rather you avail yourself of their services than suffer later because you didn't understand what to do or how to take your medicine.
Don't just follow medical advice. When it works and you start feeling better or overcome an obstacle with your chronic illness, share that win with your nurse. Simply taking time to share success when you're checking in to your next appointment or getting your vitals taken can make a difference in a nurse's job. It lets them know that they really did make a difference.
If you're showing appreciation for a nurse within the assisted living community, this can be even more special. Many times, the staff get to know residents and they love to see each person thriving.
It's true that when you interact with a nurse, both of your minds are typically on the issue at hand. But that doesn't mean you can't engage in some enjoyable small talk. Many nurses ask patients about hobbies, family and other interests as a way to get them talking and help alleviate some of the anxiety inherent in the medical treatment process.
But you can turn the tables on your nurse to show appreciation by demonstrating that you care about them as a person. This is especially true if this is a nurse you interact with on a regular basis. Asking how a nurse or their family is doing or how their certification course or hobbies are coming is lovely. But remembering that information next time and asking about an update can make a nurse feel really special.
Some seniors want to show their appreciation in the form of a gift. When doing so, however, it's important to remember that nurses may not be able to accept all gifts. Health care is extremely regulated, and providers can't accept anything that might look like a kickback or bribe — no matter how well-intentioned it might be.
That means many health care organizations have rules about what types of gifts staff can accept. Generally, health care workers should not accept any gifts of value; some hospitals say no tangible gifts at all while others provide limits such as nothing over $20 in value.
Some safe bets if you want to provide a gift to a nurse include:
A nice card
A handmade token of appreciation, such as a crochet scarf
A delivery of modest (but still lovely) flowers
A small gift such as a coffee mug or small bottle of lotion
Items they can share with others in the break room, such as a small box of chocolates
Expressions of gratitude are never required, and nurses do their jobs well no matter what. But it's always nice to hear thank you or know you're appreciated, so reaching out to do so can be a kind and wonderful gesture for seniors to make.