Nurses do so much more than what you see on TV or ads. Nurses are the majority of the reason we make it out of the hospital bed. They care for us, wipe some butts, and do it all with a smile (fake one, but still). They need appreciation, because let's face it... the doctors won't always give them a standing ovation. A 12 hour shift can turn nasty in two seconds. They walk around a hospital at impeccable speeds, carry everything in their pockets, and chart every respiration at a drop of a hat. The nurse life isn't always the easy life. So here's a few tips to help out your fellow nurses who work harder than anyone.
They may seem for only the X-generations, but they're not. Nothing makes a shitty day better than laughing at a dramatic picture of events that ACTUALLY take place (You can't always tell a patient to jump on the Ativan, but it's funny to think about it). Send them a text, and let them chuckle. More than half will share them with their fellow coworkers, and it gives them a reason to smile.
Having healthy but easy snacks are hard to come by. Nurses don't always get lunch breaks, so it's nice to have snacks available that are easy to grab (vending machines can be limited). Fill their work bag or car with some of their favorites, or that are hearty. No nurse denies food due to growing starvation past eight hours. And as food goes, caffeine will not be rejected either.
3. Clean Scrubs
This may sound so simple, but nurses run out of scrubs or clothes fast. Laundry isn't that hard... but time can be limited. Pulling multiple sixteen-hour shifts are brutal on the body and mind. Sometimes laundry can pile up due to exhaustion and forgetfulness. So toss a load in, and make it available in the closet. Coming home to fresh clothes or even sheets can release some stress (that lavender scent relaxes the body).
Pens are the second most important tool that a nurse carries. Everybody is trying to steal them, and it's highly irritating. Nothing like doing some charting with a crappy pen that barely writes. Have a stash in their car or in their bag for easy grabs. A good pen like the Uni Power Tank ballpoint pen in 0.7 mm can change a nurse into a bad bitch (I'm not kidding).
And the last tip is to remind them. Remind them that they're loved, and that they do enough. Nurses see the good and ugly in people. Some events are great such as discharging a beloved grandmother back home. But sometimes it's the cries of a daughter as she just lost her mom. Or it's the parents hovered over their teenager who coded on the bed. Those cries are painful to the ear. Who can imagine going 12 hours through that? So just remind them either in person, or on a sticky note on their dashboard. It will be nice for them to feel love at the hardest part of their jobs.
Nurses are the key to survival at a hospital. They are screamed at, cussed out, and even have objects thrown at them. They are constantly moving to make everybody safe and cared for. Their importance goes unnoticed at work too many times to count. So share some love to the nurse that you love in your life.
Thank you nurses for all that you do!