What's the nicest compliment you've gotten as a nurse?

Nurses General Nursing


Just thought we could all use a warm and fuzzy topic. Nursing can seem like a thankless job at times, and when you do get that rare validation from a patient or another staff member it sticks with you. For me, I'll always remember how I felt when a CNA came up to me and said "We all feel safer with you around".

So how about you? What's something nice that a patient or another staff member said that stands out to you?

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

When I was a new nurse, I took care of a late-middle-aged patient over the course of several days. In so doing, I got to know her pretty well, and we exchanged more than airy pleasantries. During her bed bath one day, she asked me why I'd become a nurse relatively late in life, and I told her a little about how I was a former welfare mom with an unemployed husband and four young children. (This was obviously before I learned *not* to disclose personal information to patients.) On the morning of her discharge, she handed me a huge bouquet of flowers from her room and said, "You are an extraordinary woman. I'll never forget you" and gave me a hug. I've never forgotten that...it made me feel that I really was in the right place at that moment in time.

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).
During her bed bath one day, she asked me why I'd become a nurse

Part of your sweet story, Marla, reminded me of when I worked med surge and ER in a small rural community hospital. I had a patient who was an old, kind, gentlemanly farmer type.

You could look out his hospital room window and there were cornfields as far as the eye could see. And I'll never forget what he said to me during the nice conversation we were having on that late summer's day in 1992 while he lay in his bed and I sat by his side plucking out his nose hairs, one by one, just for the fun of it, with a straight Kelly.

He said, "I bet you became a nurse because you're not smart enough to be a doctor!"

I smiled and stuck the straight Kelly deep into his nasal passage to pluck out some soft, fine hairs and added, "Or ambitious enough, either!"

Okay. I made up the part about plucking his nose hairs out with a straight Kelly, but the rest is true. And that's just about the nicest thing a patient has ever said to me.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

Had a toddler (child and parents well-known to us) come back from.a huge complex open-heart procedure with multiple pressors and drips, vented, drains and all the accoutrements. My partner and I were getting her settled, detangling lines and as such were speaking our own shorthand to each other, while.updating Mom and Mom's sister.

After a while, Mom told her sister to come along and get some dinner since it was late into the evening and they had not eaten on some.time. She said they would then be going to bed. Sister was a little upset Mom was going to leave to tend to her own needs.

Mom said "First of all, I trust Nurse MMJ with my baby's life. All that secret code she was saying when we got here? That means she knows what's up - she's really smart. Second of all, the last time she had surgery, Nurse MMJ told.me how important it was to care for myself so I could tke care of mychild when the time came. She was right."

I had a patient tell me I had a soothing voice. It may not seem that nice, but I'd been working on 'fixing' my voice a bit, as its pretty squeaky and thick with the local, not-always-the-most-professional-sounding accent.

When I was brand new I had a co-worker tell me that I appeared to really respect my colleagues and share the dirty-work. That bit of reinforcement helped to shape the way I work.

I had a patient who was an opioid addict thank me for treating him like a human being.

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

In the ICU, after a pt who had gone to comfort care had died: her sister gave me a big hug and said "Thank you for your beautiful care. You made a horrible day easier for all of us."

Once around 8 pm, we were debating whether or not to attempt extubation. Nobody was extremely convinced it would go well. The resident on put her arm around my shoulders and said "I do feel better about it knowing you're here."

Another pt was a pre-op organ donor. His daughter had been somewhat estranged... he hadn't been abusive, but absent. That night she invited me to sit and see some pictures of him, and then she started to cry and thanked me for making this time possible -- because he was on the vent while organs were being tested and the OPO was working on allocation, instead of in the morgue... she got to talk to his friends and hear stories. Apparently not a day went by he didn't talk about his daughter. And then she knew he DID love her...just didn't know how to be a dad. Then she apologized to me for taking up my time and said that it's helpful for her to say all this out loud, and she felt like I really cared. We were BOTH crying by that point, and I assured her I did and was honored that she shared with me.

Last story was actually when I was a CNA/in nursing school. I was maybe 35 weeks pregnant with my first daughter, and I was caring for a retired RN following hip surgery. A few weeks later, my manager gave me a box that had been mailed to the unit. It was a hand-crocheted baby afghan with a note saying good luck with the baby and school, and that I was going to make a good nurse. I still have that blanket. :inlove:

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice.

Had a younger patient who abused opiates and alcohol, withdrawing, was in the hospital with SI, just admitted to my unit. I was trying to complete his admission when all hell broke loose on the other side of the floor - people yelling, confused patient wandering into other rooms and getting combative, IMs and restraints on the horizon. It sounded worse from where we were than it was, but I had to excuse myself to go handle some things. This patient, who was obviously feeling pretty miserable and I figured just wanted his meds so he could sleep, was so gracious and told me, "Be careful over there!" I came back a bit flustered from the excitement, and I had his meds but also had to do bloodwork, for which I discovered that the blood culture bottles were expired (noticed before sticking him, thank God). So I had to go and get new ones from another unit (they were alllll expired. We were kind of a mess that night). He called after me, "Don't worry, you're doing a great job!" I'm completely certain he wasn't being sarcastic, lol; we got along really well, he was so calm and appreciative, and he asked if I could be his nurse again the next night. It just really warmed my heart that he could see I was trying my best and recognized that, and it meant a lot that someone who felt so sick still expressed concern for my safety. I think it was another situation where he was just thankful I'd treated him like a human being, and he really responded in kind. (I wish it worked that way with everyone.)

My FAVORITE compliment ever was from a tiny little nonagenarian with a touch of dementia. One night he was having a particularly rough time, wandering and confused and had no idea what was going on. When he got in these moods, he often launched into different lectures with a variety of inspirational topics - pretty sure he'd been a professor at some point in his career. Anyway, he wandered up to me while I was documenting and told me, "You have a good heart." I started to thank him, but he cut me off abruptly with, "But that is not enough!" I'm not sure what I was missing, as his speech didn't end up covering the topic, but I guess I've still got that one thing going for me. ������

I had a very emotional terminal wean. After it was all over, the woman's son came up and grabbed me on the shoulders, told me I did a wonderful job, thanked me, and hugged me. It meant a lot as the woman's husband was absolutely devastated sand felt like he was killing his wife. It killed me to hear him say that.

I told the patients husband it was an honor to care for his wife during this time. He told me they had been married 67 years and their marriage was fun. It made me evaluate how I want to remember my marriage.

I also had an intubated patient one time give me the heart symbol with her hands and mouthed that she loved me. It touched my heart that I had that kind of an impact on someone.

Another staff member told me I am the most diligent nurse she knows on our floor :) It gave me all the feels :)

When I worked postpartum I had this one family, lovely couple, first-time parents. Breastfeeding was going pretty well but mom's milk wasn't in yet and the baby was cluster-feeding constantly and mom was just so exhausted she started to sob. I supported and validated and encouraged and offered options and just did my job the way I do with all my patients. I did feel like I had a nice rapport with them but other than that I really was just doing my job. The compliment came in the form of a letter the dad then wrote to my manager the next day, just basically saying what an amazing nurse I was and how much my support and care meant to them.

Those moments, as few and far between as they may be, make it all worth it.

Specializes in LTC.

I recently had one of the CNAs I work with on nights tell me that she likes working with me and that I'm easy to respect because I listen to the CNAs, I pitch in and help them when needed, and I have good ideas. That CNA is wonderful, and I really needed to hear that at the time.

+ Add a Comment