Nurses are often the first people patients see when visiting hospitals. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources Services Administration, there were 2.8 million registered nurses, including advanced practice RNs, and 690,000 licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, in the United States between the years of 2008 and 2010.
Nurses fill many roles in the medical community, assisting doctors and helping to make in-patient stays more comfortable for men and women who are ill or injured. Specialized nurses, such as nurse practitioners, may even serve as the primary healthcare provider, offering diagnoses and writing prescriptions.
While there is a specific week set aside to show appreciation to nurses, many people agree that they deserve recognition throughout the year. Any instance is a good time to give back to nurses, and the following are a few ways to honor the nurses in your life.
• Play caretaker to him or her. Nurses tend to the needs of others all the time, but some nurses do not get the respite they deserve. Those who want to show appreciation to a nurse who has helped them in their lives can present the nurse with a gift card for a massage and soothing spa treatment.
• Cater a meal. Offer to cater a meal at the hospital or medical office so that all nurses on staff can benefit. If there is one nurse in particular you want to treat, give that nurse a gift card to a nearby restaurant.
• Provide foot relief. Nurses spend hours on their feet, and that can cause pain or stiffness throughout the body. Present a gift card to a store that specializes in comfort shoes or custom orthotics. A certificate for a pedicure or foot massage would no doubt be appreciated as well.
• Create a charmed existence. Charm bracelets are the rage right now, and nurses may appreciate a bracelet that highlights their career path with specific charms. For something they can wear on the job, treat nurses to a Steth-o-Charm™, which is a charm that slides securely onto stethoscopes. These charms come in many designs and can make for a memorable gift.
• Give a decorative badge reel. Nurses must wear identification or have swipe cards on their person to gain access to areas of hospitals. Many badges are standard items without any flare or style. A colorful or decorative badge reel can be a nice way to brighten up a nurse’s day.
• Give verbal or handwritten thanks. One of the easiest and most heartfelt ways to show your appreciation to nurses is to simply tell them how you feel. Offer a handwritten note or speak with a nurse in person. Such a simple gesture does not take much effort, but it is bound to make an impact.