Where's my thank-you card? - page 4

I feel a little silly writing this, but I want to hear from other nurses and maybe you can shed some light on this. Ok..I feel a little stupid but here goes...I work in a small hospital as a labor... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I do not like solicitous, smarmy people. Nurses are no exception. Either the patients feel the need to thank me or not. Either way, I know I did my job and did it well.
  2. by   33-weeker
    Quote from Jessica 392
    Former gift receiver here...
    I think sometimes what it comes down to is a "customer service" thing. This patient's mother got to know me and we made this personal connection.
    Just one person's thoughts, but... I was thinking this same thing as I read the posts. Personal connection may very well have a lot to do with it.

    I happen to be a very task-oriented person, for whom things like pausing to greet, making eye contact with and tell the pt. what I am about to do don't come easy. I had to really work to make this a habit. The 'social stuff' has never come easily to me - it has always been an effort. Add to that the task of gaining skills -- the time it takes to mature as a nurse, gain experience and learn to organize one's time to get all the work done without having to think about it -- and the 'social stuff' easily takes a back seat, at least temporarily.

    Anyhow, my point is... I have noticed that some nurses really take time to get to know their patients and talk to them in such a way that the patients feel like they've made a new friend -- one they think about contacting again or bringing a gift to. Not to say that these nurses can't remain professional, but that they just take more time to get to know the patient and their family.

    Even if I give good care and I am polite to my patients, there may not be as much of a connection when they are discharged.

    As to the cards handed to patients...
    At our hospital, we get recognized at a quarterly breakfast if our names are mentioned in the surveys. The times I have been a patient, I have wanted to thank my nurses by name, but couldn't always remember them. Sooo...

    I printed small cards on my computer (about 2" x 3 ") that had my name and the nursery extension. On the reverse, there was info on how to get breastfeeding help during and after hours. I would hand these to mothers on initial rounds, introducing myself and telling them that I would be their baby's nurse, explain the contact info... yada yada yada. I got a very positive response from the majority of patients, but have not been able to continue it long enough to see if it really helps with getting named in the surveys. (I'm not put in newborn much anymore due to skill issues - usually level II or in charge - oh well... so much for that idea! )

    The hospital now provides cards for this purpose (getting named in the survey) that we sign for the moms and babies & give to them at discharge, but I usually forget to sign them.
  3. by   Gompers
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Not trying to hijack the thread or anything, BUT, do any of you ever get a bit of a sour taste in your mouth when you help a patient labor for hours, hold their hand, coach them, bring them ice chips, blankets, or what ever else they request - all the while monitoring them and trying to make them, as well as their 150000 family members who are in and out the locked doors all night when you have to buzz them in and are alone with other patients, feel special, and when it is all over and that beautiful, long awaited baby is out, they look at the Dr. and say, "May I take your picture with the baby? I couldn't have made it through this without you!!!!" while you are being ignored?!! (Is that the longest run-on sentence you've ever read, or what? LOL)
    This reminds me of when I did my OB clinicals. I spent my whole day with a young mom, helping her through her labor and delivery. Finally, the baby is born and the dad was all excited, saying "we did it!" over and over again. Mom just looked at him and said, "WE? This little nursing student held my hand for the past five hours while YOU slept on the couch..."
  4. by   preemieRNkate
    I'm a NICU nurse, and a few months ago took care of this one baby that got NEC, perf'd, went into DIC, etc. Real sick kiddo. I took care of him 3 nights, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and got him from death's door to stable over that weekend basically. I work nights, the day shift nurse who followed me those days got a gift from the family when the baby went home. I got nothing. Now, I do my job because I love it, not for the gifts. But I wondered, what made her so special that the family chose to give her a gift and not me too? (And of course, this is a nurse that calls out sick around holidays, is always snatching up OT but calls out sick for her regular shifts, etc. but families love her for some reason.)
  5. by   sister--*
    I don't have cards to give or names to drop. I only have my pt. care and advocacy speak for me. Personally, I hate to be named in Pt. Satisfaction Surveys. It gives my co-workers someone to aim at.
  6. by   psalm
    ...but it is so nice after a long hectic shift with very ill, demanding pts and/or families for a "thank you" from a co-worker you helped or a pt. you helped. I know I have done a good job and my best for pt. advocacy...
  7. by   NurseCard
    At my old hospital, they handed out pt. satisfaction surveys to ALL of the patients that got discharged from our floor; then at the end of every month the results would be taped to the wall in a couple of places on the unit. My name **RARELY** ever got mentioned, but there were always nurses on the unit whose names got mentioned a bunch. Used to really make me feel bad, but I think I learned not to let it. I don't have that super outgoing personality; I'm a total introvert. Plus I work nights. Taking those two things into account... I just learned not to let it bother me or make me think that I wasn't doing a good job.

    As an aside: after I had my little girl, I made cookies and took a plate to the OB unit, and addressed the little card to the WHOLE unit. And come to think of it, most patients in the hospital that I worked at did that; would send gifts for the entire units, not just one nurse. Now, individual nurses and techs would often get *cards*, but I very rarely saw individual workers get gifts. Unless I just didn't know about it. Maybe what the OP described is more common in the VERY rural hospitals?
  8. by   pbrown921
    You may want to observe these nurses who get so many thank-you's in action. Identify what it is that they are doing that you are not. Then incorporate that into your practice. Patients don't always recognize excellence in quality care. What they pick up on are those other little things that the caregiver does. Continue with the excellent quality care that you provide while adding these other little things and you will "knock their socks off"! Also make sure that you take care of yourself. We can't meet others needs if our own are not met.
  9. by   smarter
    It is against our policy to accept gifts of any kind. Well, maybe a cookie of which is to be shared by all. And a thank you is always nice.
  10. by   flytern
    I know we all didn't go into nursing for thank you cards, I think it started when patients became clients and hospitals became "hotels".
    I go home knowing I did the best job I could do, kept my patients safe...
    But it is nice to be recognized for it once in awhile.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have learned my coworkers appreciate thankyou's from me. I thank everyone at the end of the shift, and at the end of a particularly-trying shift, I hug those coworkers who are comfortable with it. You would be surprised what saying "it was so nice to work with you today" and a hug or a cookie/treat can do for your coworkers. We are so slow to recognize EACH OTHER and that should not be! We should bolster each other, too.
  12. by   mvsnurse2b
    I have read many of the posts and find value in all. I am an "older" new nurse and have received many letters during my time in the ER-I have also had former patients track me down to give me goodies which I share with the entire staff. I have had negative comments from old time staff which started when I was still being precepted that "sure I had time to be nice" to now "she is still slow and spends too much time with her patients" I IGNORE THEM ALL....I try to be attentive to all patient's equally-I was in business for years and can spot the potential "trouble families" a mile away. Spending 5 extra minutes with them in the beginning-saves so much time in the end! That's my secret-the same patients who can make your life a living hell-are usually my letter writers. They are motivated! The other thing is I find people usually don't want to wait-I keep them notified, they know where the pantry, linen cart, water is and are usually happy. To me-having a patient come back and hug me and tell me I made a difference when they were having an MI or any other illness is why I am in this business. I feel great everyday! It's my patient's who make it that way. Also, some of the cranky old timers (not necessarily old in age) have been coming around-saying hello to their peers and smiling more. We have to be at work-we don't have to be miserable. We are in charge of our environment and our patients definately can feel our vibes-maybe the nurses who get more mail smile more.
  13. by   jeffrey_rn
    A veteran nurse on our unit gets a relatively large amount of positive feedback from her patients. It perplexed us all for a long time; that is, until one shift when a coworker overheard her (for what can only be called) coaching her patient on how to give positive feedback. She was providing phone numbers and addresses and who knows what else to the patient. Now, with all due fairness, if the patient felt this nurse was doing a poor job, I don't think this tactic would succeed. But it sure wasn't hurting this (in my opinion, mediocre at best) nurse from receiving a large portion of the unit's positive feedback.

    For me, doing a good, even excellent job, is THE job. I try to do my very best and be as kind and caring as I am able. I believe this is what nursing is about. I have had patients profess their gratitude. I have seen sad and sick patients smile. I have watched them get better. To encourage them to make phone calls or write letters goes against the spirit that drives me. I do it because I want to do it. And I do it well because that's the only way it should be done. I am motivated internally by excellence. That is the reward.

    To be recognized is certainly gravy. But never the main course. So I don't need a thank you card. I appreciate it but I don't expect it. My patient's return to health or even having a moment of "better-ness" is my dessert.