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.