Is your employer planning anything special for Nurses Week? Do you typically get a small gift or token – perhaps a pen or water bottle? While we all can agree that adequate staffing and safe work environments would be much more valuable gifts, anytime someone notices and recognizes the hard work that nurses do is a win in my book. If we’d like to see those bigger “gifts” become a reality, we just might have to shoulder some of that responsibility ourselves.
What if we celebrated daily ‘wins’ – both our own and that of our colleagues? Wouldn’t that make our work environments a more pleasurable place to be? Small acts of kindness can have great impact, so this Nurses Week as we focus on the theme of “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate,” let’s do exactly that – celebrate each individual nurse and the day-to-day ‘wins’ that we achieve. Here are some daily wins from my own nursing life that I have celebrated and have celebrated for others:
- A genuine smile from a patient with chronic pain and depression who rarely feels or shows happiness
- A thank you from a colleague in another discipline
- Recognizing a subtle sign of a patient becoming fluid overloaded and collaborating with the prescriber to change treatment
- Noticing ST-elevation on telemetry, thereby getting MI workup and treatment started early
- Precepting a nursing student who then returns to your unit as an RN colleague
- Feeling valued as a member of the healthcare team
- A hug and thank you from a patient’s family member
- Holding the baby of a patient who has struggled with fertility issues
- The look on the face of a new nurse when he interprets an ABG and is correct in his thinking of what ventilator changes are likely to improve the results
- Transporting a critically ill patient to and from MRI
- The first words of an ARDS patient after being weaned from the ventilator
- Getting ALL charting done before giving report to the next shift
- That shift when you completed all tasks and got a jump on things for the oncoming nurse
- Sitting with a dying patient when loved ones couldn’t be there
- Successfully troubleshooting the IV pump that just won’t stop beeping
So, when similar daily wins occur during your day, don’t be afraid to celebrate them! Tell your colleagues about the patient with no veins who you got labs from with just one stick or the staffing issue that you just solved. Keep your tone humble but share it just the same. And when you see or hear about these simple successes from your colleagues, be sure to give them the kudos they deserve.
Nurses are under so much stress – physically and emotionally and sometimes it may feel as if the negative outweighs the positive – let’s turn that around. We do hard work and if we don’t support one another, how can we expect support and respect from others? Let’s make it a priority to lift each other up and celebrate the work that we do. A simple smile and word of encouragement can go a long way.
Please leave a comment and share some daily wins that you’ve experienced or seen!