May 6th is National Nurse’s Day. It is also the first day of National Nurse’s Week, which wraps up on May 12th. May 12th, 2020, is a very special day, as it marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale. She is known as the founder of modern nursing and established the first secular nursing school in the world. Nurses worldwide take her pledge upon graduation and still honor her with the work they do today.
Nurse’s week is extra special this year. With the current pandemic we are facing, nurses deserve an extra pat on the back for what they are doing to help their patients. We all are seeing news stories every day about nurses working so hard, sometimes without the tools and protective equipment they need, to care for others. It is a tough job; they need us to lift them up and show our gratitude.
May 2020 is definitely a time to think about how special nurses are and remember why we need to thank them. Here are five reasons to thank a nurse in May.
- Nurses Are Patient Advocates
Nurses take the time to explain to you the things about your healthcare you might not understand. They take great pride in learning about their patients’ wants and needs, so they can advocate for what is best for each patient in every situation.
- Nurses Support the Patients’ Families, Too
For nurses, it’s not just about the patients; it’s about the families, too. When your loved one is sick, you need information and support. Nurses are the ones who take the time to give you that.
- Nurses Work Hard
Nurses work long shifts and are lucky if they get breaks to quickly eat or use the restroom. They are on their feet most of the time and do it all to make sure the patients get the care they need.
- Nurses Are Brave
To be a nurse is to be brave. They go to work every day not knowing what situation they may have to face. In our current healthcare crisis, we are seeing this bravery every day. They are putting themselves on the line to make sure that others are cared for. There is no greater sign of bravery.
- Nurses Have a Special Heart
It takes a special person to be a nurse. They need to have a heart big enough to share with the ones they love in their personal life, and to give to strangers at work. Not everyone can do that. At work, they hold patients’ hands, cry with them, hug them, and celebrate the sorrow and joy. And after all that, they go home to do the same with their families.
We all know that nurses are special, and we know they deserve our thanks, but now is the time to show it. Our community is amazing. Over the last few months, we have seen some moving examples of how to show nurses, and the healthcare community as a whole, how much they are appreciated. We have seen law enforcement parades going by the hospitals, community members sewing masks for healthcare workers, food donations from local restaurants, notes of thanks written on sidewalks in chalk, and so much more. We need to keep it going.
Nurse’s week is an important time to remember to say thank you to these special members of our healthcare system, but we can’t stop there. They never stop giving of themselves for us, and we should do the same. Say thank you, send a note, give a gift, whatever you can think of to share your appreciation for the nurses who have touched your life—do it. They need to know we care as much as they do.