Nurses are burned out. If you’re a nurse, you know the truth of that statement! For those outside the profession, endless research studies back up how common the phenomenon has become. Nurse appreciation is one way to reverse the trend.
National Nurses Week is an ideal time to show the nurses in your life a little love. Each year, the weeklong celebration comes with a unique theme. Learning ways to praise nursing professionals fits into any year’s topic.
If you need some help figuring out how to show your gratitude to nurses, this article covers the following to help guide you:
- Why nurse appreciation is important
- How to show appreciation for nurses
- Lack of appreciation on mental health
- Lack of appreciation on physical health
What is appreciation?
Merriam-Webster defines appreciation as, “a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude.” You can appreciate someone, but not necessarily express it through your actions.
It’s important to show nurses how much you appreciate them by transforming feeling into doing. Nurses feel valued when feelings are put into action. Sometimes all it takes is some simple words of praise to make someone feel cherished.
Why nurse appreciation is important
Let’s be honest. Nurses put up with a lot while caring for patients. Difficult family members and sometimes patients themselves can make the job a lot harder. If you’re a nurse, you know you must maintain your composure, no matter how unpleasant the situation.
Emotional labor takes a toll on you after a while. Whether the source of your stress is patients, their families, coworkers, or management, you must hold it together while at work.
The nursing profession is one of giving and caring for others – giving of time, empathy, care, compassion, energy – said Dr. Morgan Krumeich, a clinical psychologist with the Allegheny Health Network’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Institute.
“Now more than ever, nurses need to feel appreciated; some of the care, empathy, and compassion they so willingly give, needs to be given back to them, allowing them to continue to do what they are passionate about.”
How to show appreciation for nurses
During National Nurses Week, let’s show nurses how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication. Here are some ways you can brighten their spirits.
Ask to see the manager
Most people only ask to see the manager when they have a complaint. Consider changing it up a bit and seek out the charge nurse or other supervisor to praise the care you received. Some facilities use comment cards to give a shout-out to a particular nurse.
Say thank you personally
Never underestimate the simple act of saying thank you to nurses. Expressing gratitude is good for the health and happiness of the giver, as well as the receiver. Be sure to say please and thank you when receiving care from a nurse.
Following a lengthy hospital or rehabilitation facility stay, return to say thank you for the excellent care received. If this isn’t possible, then consider writing a personal note of gratitude and having it delivered.
Thank you gifts for nurses
Everyone loves getting gifts. Why not consider giving one to a nurse? There are many options to consider like candles (always good for stress relief!), mugs, and gift cards. Gifts don’t have to be large or expensive. The gesture is what brightens a nurse’s day.
Volunteer in a hospital or medical facility
Hospitals are understaffed due to ongoing nursing shortages. They rely on volunteers to provide certain services. What better way to show your appreciation for nurses than to spend some time in a hospital or medical facility helping? There are plenty of ways for volunteers to assist.
Expert advice from nurses like you
Lack of appreciation on mental health
The results of work stress on nurse mental health are well documented. One of the unfortunate consequences of nurse burnout is the effect it can have on patient outcomes. When nurses become mentally exhausted, it can affect their capacity to show empathy to those in their care.
The most common mental symptoms include:
- Low job performance
Incredible Health offers wellness resources and a community forum in order to get support from other nurses.
Lack of appreciation on physical health
Nurses have been pushed to the max physically and mentally. This is due to chronic high stress, long hours, and short staffing. Among the most common physical symptoms of burnout include:
- Frequent illness
- Poor sleep
Appreciate a nurse today
Appreciation is vital to a nurse’s success. They work so hard to give every patient the best care possible. National Nurses Week is a great time to show them they matter. Use these suggestions to help a nurse feel loved and appreciated.
- “Appreciation Definition.” merriam-webster.com. Accessed April 20, 2022.
- “The impact of occupational stress on nurses’ caring behaviors and their health related quality of life.” bmcnurs.biomedcentral.com. Accessed April 20, 2022.
- “Work-related Mental Consequences: Implications of Burnout on Mental Health Status Among Health Care Providers.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 28, 2022.