Creative Ways to Celebrate Home Healthcare Nurses

Posted: 5/8/2018 9:40 AM by Interim HealthCare

Nurses work hard. Showing your appreciation can be easy.

Written by Deborah Skolnik

You value the home healthcare nurses on your team. But do they know just how much you appreciate them? National Nurses Week is a perfect time to show them the love.  
Expressing your gratitude isn’t just nice, it’s good for your business. In a study by staffing firm OfficeTeam, 66 percent of employees said they would quit their jobs if they felt unappreciated. For millennials, that figure jumped to 76 percent.
On the other hand, employees who feel valued are far more likely to stay put, according to a survey by British company P&MM Employee Benefits. It found that employees who had been formally recognized for their work by peers or managers stayed, on average, almost four years longer than those who hadn’t.
What’s just the right way to go about recognizing the nurses who go above and beyond to give your clients the quality care they need? The more thoughtful the gesture, the better. Here are some easy, affordable ideas.
Host an early breakfast. For nurses who might stop into the office before work, offer a delicious breakfast buffet that includes healthy dishes, gourmet coffee and grab-and-go options. “We would do breakfast in the office so people could just swing by, even if it was 6 a.m.,” says Andrea Devoti, executive vice president for the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, who ran a home care and hospice company for 18 years.
Treat them to healing hands. Hire a masseuse for the day and invite your nurses to drop by the office for a tension-relieving neck or back massage, suggests Mary Narayan, leader of clinical applications at the International Home Care Nurses Organization.
Deliver small delights. If your nurses can’t get to HQ, have a supervisor run a small gift out to them. “We would often deliver a small box of candy or a prepaid coupon so they could enjoy an ice cream cone at a local ice cream parlor after work,” Devoti noted.
Give thoughtful gear. Home healthcare nurses spend a lot of their time on the move. Help them keep it all together with gifts such as a waist pack (fill it with useful goodies like nice-smelling hand sanitizer and hand cream), a Bento lunch box or an insulated lunch tote (tuck in favorite treats, such as spiced nuts and dried fruit). Tote bags are another go-to gift.
Roll out the red car-pet. Help them stock their office-on-wheels with car-friendly provisions such as an insulated tumbler or trash bag designed for the car. Do you know their favorite author or band? A hand-selected audio book or CD would likely go a long way.
Light up their nights. Home healthcare nursing is rarely a 9-to-5 job. A keychain with a built-in flashlight will come in handy during after-dark comings and goings.
Turn to tech. A cell phone is a home healthcare nurse’s lifeline. A portable charger will help ensure the phone never runs out of juice. Many of the chargers work with most USB-enabled devices. A stylus pen for your nurses’ smartphones or tablets can ease the headache of “fat finger syndrome.”
Put it in (hand)writing. Gallup data revealed that the most effective employee recognition is honest, authentic and individualized. A thank you note fits the bill. Think a hand-written note is nothing? Quite the contrary. In fact, 76 percent of people save them according to one survey. You can send it in the mail or better yet, slip into one of the gifts above, or deliver it in person with a heartfelt hug. Have a newsletter? Thank your nurses there, too.
Take care of your nurses, and they’ll help keep your company in good health for years to come.
Deborah Skolnik has written about health, parenting, business and other topics for publications including The New York Times, The New York Daily News and Reader's Digest.