1. Hader, Richard RN, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, PhD, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

Article Content

Whether you're acting in your role as a spouse, parent, sibling, friend, subordinate, or leader, there are two words in the English language that can never be said enough: "Thank you." When you speak it with enthusiasm and sincerity, you'll have a profound impact upon successfully building and sustaining relationships, and infusing a sense of commitment and passion into others while simultaneously feeling good about yourself.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

One of the first early childhood lessons we're taught by our parents is to say thank you. Children quickly learn that when they show appreciation to others, they're likely to be rewarded for their good manners and pleasing demeanor. From an early age, we're introduced to the fact that if we show gratitude by giving recognition for acts of kindness and courtesy, we'll likely benefit. Why is it then in our adult years that we sometimes forget the basic act of saying thanks?


Success in the role of a leader depends on the achievements of our colleagues. Often as leaders, we inadvertently forget to take a few minutes to reflect on who has helped us along the path of success. Showing appreciation by giving a simple verbal thank-you or a note of appreciation goes a long way in building trust and loyalty that will yield far-reaching benefits.


Staff members can be just as guilty as their leaders in neglecting to say thanks. For leaders, it's just as important to be the receiver of a thank-you as it is sending it. Showing appreciation needs to be a reciprocal process between staff and leader. Recently, a daughter of one of the nurses who works in my organization became critically ill and was admitted to the intensive care unit. Hearing this, I went to visit the nurse to offer my assistance to her and her family. I only spent a short time with her, simply to let her know that I was there for her if she needed anything. The following day, I once again went to visit her and she passionately thanked me, explaining that it meant so much to her that I took the time to come to visit. Although she was the one in need, she was kind and considerate enough to say thank you to me. Unknowingly, her selfless act of gratitude while I was trying to comfort her gave me a wonderful sense of fulfillment.


As we approach the cusp of the season of giving thanks, we all need to be reminded of how important it is to give and receive special acts and words of appreciation. We've elected to be members of a demanding and challenging profession in which we're expected to give selflessly of ourselves to others. It's important, however, for each of us to take the time to graciously appreciate each other for our dedication and commitment to the profession.


On behalf of all of us at Nursing Management, I'd like to thank you, our 80,000 readers, for allowing us the opportunity to provide you with practical information each month that will help you better meet the needs of your staff, organization, and the patients for whom you're responsible.


Richard Hader, RN, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, PhD, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief