Compassion And Recognition to The Nurses Who Care For Us All
by Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified
Nursing is one of those professions that we, the general public, think we know. Sure, many of us are “squeamish,” so we could never do the job, however, because we or a loved one has received care from a nurse, we think it’s given us a window into their worlds.
Well, observing a nurse is not the same as walking a mile in their well-worn shoes.
When I worked in hospitals, sometimes for special weeks – National Nursing Week, Respiratory Therapy Week, Social Work Week – we’d ask the providers, “What are three things you wished your patients and the public knew about your work?” The answers were fascinating! When we made these facts public, there was an immediate surge in specific words of acknowledgement by the public, patients, families and other providers for those very aspects.
Sometimes we need a little help with what to look for that deserves some appreciation.
So, we thought we’d try a little mini-experiment from home for Nurses’ Week this year. With the help of AI modelling, we have 50 things that we should all know and appreciate about what is on the shoulders of nurses.
Reading this list, please think of one thing you can share some appreciation to a nurse for. Maybe write a card, send a DM, post on your FB wall, make a donation, or host a get-together for all the nurses in your neighbourhood! Whatever it is, use this list for inspiration to share some much-deserved thanks.
It’s not an exhaustive list, nor does it represent the uniqueness of the hundreds of nuisances in nursing, but it’s a start!
50 things the public and patients should know about nurses. They:
- Provide compassionate and expert care to patients.
- Save lives.
- Stay focused and calm in high-pressure situations.
- Ensure patient safety.
- Maintain non-traditional work hours.
- Sacrifice personal time.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest medical advancements and treatments.
- Expeditiously gain the trust of patients and families.
- Manage challenging interactions with empathy.
- Face difficult ethical dilemmas.
- Face exposure to contagious illnesses.
- Provide peer-to-peer appreciation.
- Provide emotional support and comfort.
- Juggle multiple priorities (yet often feel they’re not doing enough).
- Perform physically demanding tasks.
- Work with limited resources and equipment.
- Spend a significant amount of time documenting.
- Constantly monitor signs of compassion fatigue.
- Collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
- Deal with vicarious trauma.
- Have diverse specialties and areas of expertise.
- Face physical and verbal abuse and violence.
- Work in different nursing specialties and care environments across their career.
- Provide education and resources.
- Precept students.
- Support end-of-life.
- Advocate for patient rights and needs.
- Work in high-stress environments.
- Fill in for unfilled shifts in our labour shortage.
- Manage emotional reactions.
- Initiate difficult conversations in the interdisciplinary team.
- Participate in quality reviews and root cause analyses.
- Report health and safety issues.
- Ensure patient privacy and confidentiality.
- Manage competing demands to provide the best care possible.
- Volunteer for their associations on the board of directors, in conference planning, and other roles.
- Mentor new staff and help onboard them.
- Adapt to the varying preferences of physicians.
- Manage complex medication regimes.
- Notice subtle signs in patients’ changing health status.
- Balance patient needs with institutional requirements.
- Maintain current licensure and certification.
- Support their Foundation’s fundraising efforts (e.g., letting grateful patients know they can donate essential equipment).
- Attempt to mitigate systemic health disparities and inequalities.
- Learn new technologies in a rapidly changing field.
- Troubleshoot supply shortages from procurement issues and financial constraints.
- Create social and connective experiences to build a sense of team.
- Engage in or initiate debriefs after traumatic emergencies and crises.
- Communicate safety at handoff.
- Continuously learn and grow professionally.
This list doesn’t begin to describe all the things that nurses do and who they are for patients, families, their healthcare partners, and the public. What is missing?
Most importantly, thank a nurse this week, National Nursing Week, and tell him, her or them exactly why you or someone you love has benefited from their love, care and compassion.
My gifts to nurses for National Nursing Week 2023 are the Self-Care in a Busy World course. Anyone in a healthcare and support services role in any sector that provides care and support to others is welcome to have this as our gift – from Greatness Magnified to you. You may also wish to download the Compassion Satisfaction to Compassion Fatigue Chart to help you monitor how well you cope with daily challenges.
In gratitude to all the nurses out there, here are more blog posts where they are featured, and they do deserve our recognition all of the time:
Burnout: Why We Still Need to Talk About COVID (Even If We’re Sick of It)
P.S. Our great friend Dr. Renee Thompson also has a very special offer for our much deserving nurses out there: Purchase Dr. Renee’s book, Enough! for $24.99, and you’ll get a FREE e-book: 52 Tactical Tips to Create a Respectful Work Culture in Healthcare.
Leave a Reply
Chief Recognition Officer & Founder
I’m a recognition expert, professional speaker, coach, author, recovering perfectionist, and movement maker of F.R.O.G. Forever Recognize Others’ GreatnessTM. With 25+ years of experience, I invigorate companies to see their people as exceptional so that, together, they can create a scrumptious, thriving culture where everyone belongs.
Share This Post