Written by: Infinity Scrubs
Nurses are healthcare workers who have incredibly stressful — and often thankless — jobs. And, right now, they need support more than ever before. Whether there is a nurse in your family or you are looking for ways to show your support and appreciation for healthcare workers as a whole, there are several things you can do. Here are a few suggestions.
Make a Donation
Even as more and more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, healthcare professionals will still be feeling the effects of the virus for a long time. While personal protective equipment has become more readily available, donating essential supplies is an excellent way to show your support for healthcare workers in your community.
Whether you stock up the healthcare worker in your life with antimicrobial laundry detergent, drop off some N95 masks at a local hospital, or even make a financial donation to a healthcare organization, your contribution will be greatly appreciated. You could even sponsor a lunch for the employees at your doctor’s office. If you aren’t sure what to donate, contact a facility or organization in your area to find out what they need or want.
Financially unable to donate cash or supplies? Consider donating blood instead. The Red Cross has an ongoing need for blood and platelets. If you are eligible to donate, your donation could save lives and help healthcare workers care for their patients.
Give a Thoughtful Gift
Healthcare providers don’t expect to be rewarded for their jobs, but thoughtful gifts are always appreciated. Consider buying some high-quality mens’ print scrub tops and giving them to a nurse or doctor you know. Or offer to cover the cost of a pair of new nursing shoes. This type of gift is thoughtful and practical and would be appreciated by anyone who works in the healthcare industry.
If you would rather give a gift that is not work-related, gift cards for local restaurants and entertainment venues are always appreciated. A spa day or an appointment with a massage therapist would make a great gift, too.
Remember that a great gift does not have to cost a lot of money. If you have kids, help them make cute gifts to pass out to local healthcare workers. Even a tiny token of your appreciation will mean a lot.
Help Them at Home
If you personally know a nurse or another healthcare professional, offer to help them out at home. You could lend a hand with childcare while at work, prepare a healthy meal, or offer to mow their lawn or tidy up their house. Even picking up their grocery order or running simple errands would be greatly appreciated.
Healthcare workers are exhausted. By offering to help them out at home, you give them the gift of having one less thing to worry about. When it comes to lending a hand, no gesture is too small.
Don’t Clear the Shelves in Stores
Hoarding is not as problematic now as it was in the early days of the pandemic, but there are still those who panic buy much more than they need. And, in doing so, they make it difficult for people like nurses to find supplies. Folks who work long hours don’t have time to run from store to store trying to find toilet paper or other essentials. Make their life easier by not clearing the shelves when you go shopping.
Also, this should go without saying but do not “stock up” on supplies by taking them from hospitals and doctors’ offices. Even if it seems like they have an abundance of face masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and gloves, etc., these supplies are not there for you to take and use at home. Medical facilities do not have unlimited supplies of personal protective equipment and other essentials. By taking what they have for your own use, you take it away from the healthcare workers who desperately need it and drive up healthcare costs.
Say “Thank You”
Showing your gratitude and support does not have to be complicated or cost a single cent. Remembering to say “thank you” when interacting with nurses, doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals is a simple gesture that could mean the world to someone with a rough day.
Working in healthcare can be a thankless job. And, during stressful times, feeling unappreciated is even more difficult. Anytime you interact with or see a healthcare worker, offer up a smile and a thank you. You might make someone’s entire week better.
Remember That They Are Human
Healthcare workers have been the superheroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to remember, though, that they are human at the end of the day. They face many of the same challenges as you are, and they have the added stress of having incredibly demanding jobs.
Recognize that nurses and other healthcare workers — especially those working on the frontlines — face unimaginable hardships. Let them know how much you appreciate them and cut them some slack if they don’t seem quite as cheerful as usual. They have had to show superhuman strength over the last several months, but don’t let that make you forget that they are human.
*This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more info.
While every day is a great day to show appreciation for the nurses in your life, the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) official National Nurses Appreciation Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th. Since 1896, the ANA has supported nurses and promoted the nursing profession through special events, continuing education opportunities, conferences, and much, much more.
If you are looking for heartfelt ways to celebrate a special nurse in your life, there are plenty of options. From giving them a new pair of supportive and comfortable nursing shoes to sponsoring a luncheon where they work, here are a few of our favorite ways to celebrate National Nurses Appreciation Week.
#1. Give the Gift of New Gear
Any nurse would be thrilled to receive new scrubs, nursing shoes, or compression socks as a token of your appreciation. Scrubs for women come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and patterns, and men’s scrubs are pretty stylish, too. This makes it simple to find something to suit virtually anyone’s taste.
Because nurses spend 12 or more hours on their feet each day, nursing shoes and compression socks make great gifts, as well. Ask the nurse in your life to give you a workwear wishlist (including sizes) and give them some new gear to celebrate National Nurses Appreciation Week.
#2. Treat Them to a Gift Certificate
Saying “thank you” with a gift certificate is always a good option and works especially well if you would like to show your gratitude for a nurse you do not know personally. Gift certificates for local restaurants and spas are popular options, but there are plenty of creative alternatives. Covering the cost of a fun activity — like ax throwing or wine tasting — is an awesome and unique way to help someone unwind.
#3. Sponsor a Workplace Luncheon
When you want to show your appreciation for more than one nurse, sponsoring a luncheon is the way to go. Whether you have pizzas delivered to your doctor’s office, coordinate with staff to buy lunch for the nursing staff at a hospital, or give a nearby clinic a large gift card from a local restaurant, sponsoring a meal is a great way to say thanks.
And if buying lunch for an entire nursing staff is a bit out of your budget, taking a nurse you personally know out for a meal or having dinner delivered to their home works, too. Whether you go big or go small, a free meal is something that everyone appreciates.
Nurses appreciation week
#4. Share a Thoughtful Gift
Being a nurse is a grueling and stressful job. Help the nurse in your life unwind by giving him or her a thoughtful gift. A set of cute wine glasses — and a bottle of wine, of course! — a cuddly bathrobe, a relaxing candle, or even a box filled with their favorite sweet treats would all be great gifts for helping someone special unwind.
If the nurse in your life loves tea, consider giving her an adorable teacup and a selection of tasty loose leaf teas. If the nurse you know enjoys gaming in his free time, present him with a popular new game or one from their wishlist. Think about the things that make the recipient happy, and give them a gift that matches their interests. When it comes to giving a gift to help someone unwind, a little bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way.
#5. Get Your Kids Involved
Gifts from adults are great and always appreciated. There is something extra special about a handmade surprise from a child, though. Have your little ones make cute “Thank You” cards for the nurses at a local doctor’s office, hospital, nursing home, or even veterinary office.
If you happen to be a teacher, daycare provider, etc., consider having everyone work together to make something special. Even an adorable video of your students or the kids in your care saying “thank you” would make any nurse feel special.
#6. Have Coffee Delivered
Most nurses power through their days with the help of copious amounts of caffeine. Give them a break from the usual hospital coffee by having the good stuff delivered from a local cafe or coffee shop. A tasty cup of coffee is a great way to put a big smile on just about any nurse’s face, so this is an awesome way to show your appreciation for the nurses at a clinic in your area.
#7. Give the Gift of a Helping Hand
If someone with whom you are close is a nurse, one of the best ways to show your appreciation is by helping them out. Show that you understand how hectic their life is and that you want to lend a hand by offering to clean their house, watch their kids while they are at work, or prepare a meal for them on a work night.
Lending a helping hand may not seem like a huge deal because it doesn’t require a major financial investment. For someone who is working 12+ hours a day, though, the gift of help is priceless. Offering your assistance is a true gift from the heart, too, and one that shows how much you care.
Closing Thoughts On Nurse’s Week
There is no wrong way to show a nurse how much they mean to you. Celebrating National Nurses Appreciation Week is an excellent way to make a kind gesture, but remember that nurses deserve our gratitude every day. They put their own needs aside and dedicate their lives to taking care of other people, and they are there for people on some of the worst days of their lives. The least you can do is treat them with kindness and respect and remember to say a heartfelt “thank you” from time to time.
The ideas above are just a few of the many ways you can show appreciation for the nurses in your life. Feel free to get creative, come up with another kind gesture, or ask the nurses you know for suggestions.
Additional recommended reading: