Sunday, May 13, 2007

Work Appreciation Gifts

A couple of friends and I were having lunch the other day. During the conversation one friend mentioned she'd started a war among the PTO parents for her local school. The board members wanted to give "Teacher Appreciation" gifts to the teachers consisting of gift certificates to a place where they could buy supplies for their classes for next year.

Seems a rather self-serving gift to me.

That got me thinking about the Nurse Week appreciation gifts I usually receive. First let me point out a fact that most patients, visitors and hospital administrators don't actually understand. Nurses are the backbone of a hospital. Those core people you can't dispense with and still run a safe hospital.

So what have I received lately as a nurse appreciation gift? A sweatshirt...with my hospital's logo on it, a long sleeve tee-shirt (which isn't cut to fit women right)...with my hospital's logo on it, and this year? A scrub jacket guessed it...the hospital's logo on it.

Now, this might not seem too bad to you, but think about it. Nurses's spend weekends and holidays away from their families. Sometimes they miss soccer games or ballet recitals. They reschedule holiday dinners to eat real early or real late because of thier jobs.

Nurses spend their days taking care of strangers. Putting people on and off bedpans, wiping bottoms, giving shots, starting IV's, giving medicines and listening to complaints of people who don't feel well. Duh, I know that's part of the job. And we realize this, plaster our most compasionate smile on our faces and deal with it.....all.

Nurses train long and hard every year to recognize subtle changes in patients' conditions that mark a turn for the worse. We act on those changes to keep the pt. alive and the doctor well informed so he/she can make appropriate decisions regarding the care of the patient. We're under tremendous stress by our administrators to do all this in the most efficient manner, with the least amount of supplies necessary and to document everything to a lawyer's standards.

NOW...which do you think shows a nurse you appreciate her more...a self-serving gift that makes her/him feel like a marketing tool? Or perhaps a gift card for a free foot massage? Or a gift certificate for a whole day at the spa?

So what's your best appreciation gift? Your worst?

1 comment:

Gillian Layne said...

Suzanne, that's so true!

Hubby is a radiation therapist, a traveling one now, but when he worked in the hospitals, boy do I remember those "gifts". The coffee mugs drove me crazy. And you are SO right about the T's not fitting. ;)

But the biggest thing you're right about is the value of nurses. I rarely cared about which doctor I had, as long as it wasn't one I hated. What mattered was the nurses assigned to me or my babies. Good grief, the nurses practically delivered my second daughter! I remember the doctor flying through the door and saying, "Don't push, wait," and I just gave him my best hateful look and said, "The nurse can catch him!" *g*