Nurses' Week - Upended.

  1. I have worked for a large hospital system for about nine years now. My initial Catholic hospital was acquired by a larger hospital system in the same area more or less because of a failure to thrive. My "old hospital", even when in it's imminent demise, still provided a Nurses' Week gift to all of its employees. The gift was equivalent to a burlap sack, but it still represented the respect that upper management had for its nurses at the time.

    Fast forward to 2018 - this year the Nurses Week committee voted to not hand out individual gifts to nurses but instead offer them "plenty of events" to participate in throughout the week. These being the same events that we've had every week for the last 5-6 years since rebranding/acquisition. These events include chair massages that run primarily on day shift, ice cream socials that simply will not work for those of us trying to improve our health, and CE credits that are generally unavailable to staff who work the off shift. The individual gift was the one part of the week that united all of us as nurses. It made us feel good. It was the one giant "thank you," that we received from those who do not work the front-lines everyday. That thanks is now gone, due to what seems like whatever budgeting crisis the system is currently experiencing.

    2017-2018 has been another average year. Another year with poor RN staffing, little show in improving employee satisfaction (IMO), and what seems like little thanks for again earning Magnet designation, proving HRO accountability, and meeting/exceeding other metric performance measures.

    Forgive my selfish-sounding rant, but I find it difficult to believe that unit clerks are entitled to a gift, and the nurses are not. A $5 coffee mug or tumbler for each nurse surely cannot surpass a CEO/CIO's bonus each year.

    Shame on my system. Shame.

    Thank you for listening.
    Last edit by Brian S. on May 8
  2. Visit evilolive07 profile page

    About evilolive07, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 30; Likes: 66

    85 Comments

  3. by   beekee
    Yeah, I hear ya. It's disheartening when you are ignored/forgotten. Your patients will remember you, however.
  4. by   klone
    Does a burlap bag REALLY make that big a difference? It sounds like they are doing all the same things that they did before, sans bag.
  5. by   evilolive07
    The nurses week activities, beside for ice cream, started the year of the acquisition. The only change this year is lack of a gift. Not even a generic printed thank you card.

    I used the burlap sack as a reference to compare the old system to the new system re:thoughtfulness. When the old Catholic hospital was on its last legs with little to offer, they still made a conscious offer to try to reward its staff for a job well done. To me, that speaks volumes.

    I'm expected to make a conscious effort to provide excellent care nightly to all my patients. Am I selfish to expect a little reciprocation from my leadership once a year? If so I own it.
  6. by   OldDude
    I'm not sure if anyone else can relate to this...and without going into my rationale...but Nurse's Week, to me, has evolved into a negative event, that I could easily live without.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    I don't understand feeling good or united over a coffee mug. Obligatory gifts have absolutely no meaning to me, at all.
  8. by   ILoveHorses67
    I think it's wrong to not give the nurses anything. However, what I don't like is my employer always gives us something with company logo on it. Can't we just get a $10-$20 Starbucks giftcard??
  9. by   ILoveHorses67
    A Burlap/canvas bag is exactly what my employer gave us with the company logo on it. No thanks. Plus it smelled so strong, some nurses had an allergic reaction to it and had to go home with allergy issues. can't they just give us a starbucks gift card??
  10. by   klone
    Most nurses I know are resentful of the token once-a-year gift.
  11. by   Wheels28
    Just a patient--I'm disabled due to cerebral palsy and in a wheelchair. It's so sad to me that a profession that does so much for others and makes a difference in the lives of others can't get any recognition not even one day. Anytime I have been in the hospital, I would say how much I appreciated them. I would sometimes bring food and such for the nurses on the unit shortly after I got discharged, it felt nice to do something for someone who helped me through some rough times in my life. Its a shame employers don't feel the some way. Just remember you have patients who don't what they would do without you, and are very grateful for the work you do. You all rock!!! Happy Nurses Week!!
  12. by   OldDude
    Quote from Wheels28
    Just a patient--I'm disabled due to cerebral palsy and in a wheelchair. It's so sad to me that a profession that does so much for others and makes a difference in the lives of others can't get any recognition not even one day. Anytime I have been in the hospital, I would say how much I appreciated them. I would sometimes bring food and such for the nurses on the unit shortly after I got discharged, it felt nice to do something for someone who helped me through some rough times in my life. Its a shame employers don't feel the some way. Just remember you have patients who don't what they would do without you, and are very grateful for the work you do. You all rock!!! Happy Nurses Week!!
    Thank you Wheels! That's mighty kind of you to say that! That means so much more to nurses all over the world than a keychain flashlight!
  13. by   OldDude
    Quote from Ninjanurse51
    I think it's wrong to not give the nurses anything. However, what I don't like is my employer always gives us something with company logo on it. Can't we just get a $10-$20 Starbucks giftcard??
    Quote from Ninjanurse51
    A Burlap/canvas bag is exactly what my employer gave us with the company logo on it. No thanks. Plus it smelled so strong, some nurses had an allergic reaction to it and had to go home with allergy issues. can't they just give us a starbucks gift card??
    I keep saying gift cards to a local liquor store would REALLY be appreciated...

    Hey, Ninjanurse...I know it's not funny, but that's pretty funny about the burlap! Conjures up all levels of "appreciation!"
  14. by   meanmaryjean
    A personal, in-person 'thank you' from one's administrative team to each and every nurse DURING THEIR SHIFT (yes, administration would have to come in at night) would go a long, long way.

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