Five Ways You Can Give Back To Your Nurses
Nurses are the backbone of the hospital setting; the cogs in the machine, and the soldiers on the frontline. While their role was originally to provide bedside comfort, today’s nurses have a much more complex job, functioning as caregivers, educators, advocates, leaders, managers, and researchers.
Medical-surgical nursing is the largest speciality in the nursing profession. They work with adults in vast areas of the hospital, performing duties such as undertaking physical exams, filling out patient history, administering medications, and providing emotional support to patients. The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses designates the first week of November to celebrate the great work of medical-surgical nurses.
Here are 5 ways you can give back to medical-surgical nurses this week in thanks for their role in keeping hospitals safe and comfortable for all.
Tell a nurse how much you appreciate them.
There’s no doubt that nursing is a demanding job. Yet studies have shown that feeling underappreciated and undervalued may be more stressful to nurses than their responsibilities.
An easy way to give back to your favourite nurse is simply by letting them know that their efforts aren’t overlooked. You may choose to tell them “thanks” in person, or you can write them a heartfelt note to read after a busy shift.
Provide treats for nurses on break.
The average medical-surgical nurse walks approximately 4–5 miles (6-8 km) during a 12-hour shift, which takes up a lot of energy.
You can organise some treats to be kept in the nurses’ break-room for when they catch some spare time on-the-go. Not only will the nurses appreciate the extra energy boost, but you’ll be a favourite in the ward too!
Speak up for nurses.
With the evolving nature of nurses’ work, the wider community sometimes doesn’t understand just what nurses do.
One way you can give back is by educating those around you. Talk to your friends and co-workers about the values of nurses in hospital care, or share a post on social media about how your favourite nurse/s have improved your hospital. You can even ask your elected representatives about their strategies to improve healthcare workspaces.
Remember, the greatest tool you always have is your voice.
Ask a nurse, “are you okay?”
Nurses are sometimes so busy thinking about others’ wellbeing, they forget to consider their own.
The burnout rate for nurses is approximately 34%. In female nurses, suicide rates are four times that of females other professions, and for males it’s 1.5 times higher than that of men in other professions.
You can give back to a nurse close to you by simply asking how they are doing, or offering a shoulder after a stressful day. It may not seem like much, but that nurse will remember that you care about their wellbeing too.
Think about nurse’s safety.
Nurses may risk injury every day in their profession. Ampoule injuries are the most common source of sharps injury in the healthcare setting, with 1 in 3 healthcare professionals suffering from at least one ampoule injury in their lifetime.
You can give back to a nurse by letting them know that these injuries can be easily prevented by using a safety-engineered ampoule opener like the Qlicksmart SnapIT ampoule opener. Saving your favourite nurse from a potential ampoule injury is a serious “thank you” to the person who so often saves others.
Most of all, remember that while nurses may seem like superheroes- they are people too. You can give back to your nurses this week by demonstrating your appreciation in these practical ways, and thinking about their needs and safety.