In celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, we asked about what kinds of sweet things that either you could do for other nurses or that others could do for you.
Nurses have had a rough couple of years on the front lines of this pandemic, so take a moment to show the nurse(s) in your life that you care with one of the suggestions below.
Babysit for a nurse: A lot of nurses are mothers, and finding childcare is a huge stressor for so many. One way you could show love to the mom nurses in your life is to reach out and offer your availability to babysit.
Help getting to work: Nurses are essential workers and have to be at work, but many of them don’t have the vehicle needed to safely get to and from when the weather gets bad. Using your social media, you can set a ‘Drive Nurses to Work on Bad Weather Days’ community.
Provide a meal to a nurse: Nurses often work 12-hour, rotating shifts that make it really difficult to not only find time to get to the grocery store but to even make a home-cooked meal for their families. A homemade, nutritious meal goes such a long way for nurses—it will not only warm their stomachs but their hearts as well.
Shovel their driveway in the winter, mow the lawn in the summer: A simple, but kind act like shoveling snow or cutting the grass can make a world of difference for a nurse.
Make a Card for a Nurse: If you don’t have a nurse in your life, one way you could show love to nurses is to have you or your kids make some homemade cards for the nurses at your local nursing homes and hospitals.
—Rebecca Love, Chief Clinical Officer of IntelyCare
Nurses work long hours—sometimes on very little sleep—so a great random act of kindness for nurses is to buy a stack of Starbucks gift cards and drop them off at the hospital. That way, the nurses can treat themselves before their shift and start it off with plenty of liquid energy. Gift cards for local restaurants, like Chipotle, are also a great choice as well—it beats cafeteria food and who doesn’t love a burrito the size of your head at the end of a long shift?
—James Green, Owner, Build A Head
The end of a nurse’s shift is often one of their lowest points. While it’s true that they’re finally done and can go get some rest, they’ve also likely been through 12+ hours of messy, emotionally demanding work in which they saw people at their very worst. If you can find an entrance at your local hospital where staff come and go, it can make their day to be waiting out there with a small gift like a flower or some chocolates. That small gesture of human kindness, right at the point when they’re at their lowest, can go a long way.
—Devon Fata, CEO, Pixoul
Regarding everybody you interact with, regardless of whether you do as such with a comforting smile, true embrace, blossoms, a thank you, or treats. Supporting a chance to do basic things that cause others to feel significant and unique is priceless. Research has demonstrated these acts are great for your state of mind and by and large wellbeing. Leave a note or a goody for the nurse who treated you.
—Brent Hale, Chief Content Strategist, Tech Guided
Random acts of kindness can be one way to recognize a colleague in a meaningful way. During such trying times, meaningful recognition — one of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ six Healthy Work Environment standards — takes on even greater relevance and importance. Meaningful recognition takes shape in countless ways. The key is to learn what is meaningful for each person we wish to recognize. We have many opportunities to recognize others and share moments of gratitude and recognition. Listen. Let them know we see, hear and understand them. Adopt a daily practice of sharing moments of gratitude with others. And studies continue to show that, after recognition from patients and families, nurses find recognition from their peers as most meaningful. Seemingly small actions may be just what a colleague needs to be uplifted in the moment.
—Beth Wathen, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
A great act of kindness for nurses is to send a note of thanks. You can send these to specific nurses in your life, or simply drop some off at a hospital or doctor’s office. Either way, there’s nothing better than being told that others appreciate you and what you do. It’s a simple way to show you care.
—David Angotti, CEO, HawaiianIslands.com