According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are almost 4 million registered nurses working throughout the country at this time. They work at hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing home facilities, and more.
If you’ve had a nurse take care of you or a loved one at one of these places in recent days or weeks, you should make it a point to find a way to say “thank you!” to them. It’s so important for society as a whole to start celebrating nurses more than we do now.
Recognizing nurses is imperative because they play such a key role in our country’s healthcare system. Without nurses, there would be a whole lot of people who wouldn’t be getting the medical treatment that they need on a regular basis.
Want to know why else you and others should begin honoring nurses? We’ve compiled a long list of reasons why everyone should start to show a little bit more appreciation for nurses.
Run through this list of reasons below and then find your own special way to begin celebrating nurses for all that they do.
Nurses Work Long Hours
Most nurses “only” work for three or four days each week. They tend to work for between 10 and 12 hours on these days as opposed to just the normal 8 hours like other people.
In your mind, that might sound like a pretty sweet setup. It must be nice to work for three or four days and then have three or four days off, right?
In some sense, yes, it is most definitely nice for nurses to get a bunch of days off in a row. But make no mistake about it: Nurses work hard while they’re putting in their time at work.
Additionally, it’s not out of the norm at all for nurses to work a bunch of overtime hours when their employer needs them to. It’s the No. 1 reason why people should begin celebrating nurses. Nurses work harder than most other medical professionals day in and day out.
They’re Almost Always Up On Their Feet
While nurses are at work for 10 to 12 hours at a time, they’re usually not sitting behind a desk pushing a bunch of papers around. The majority of nurses spend their shifts up on their feet walking around and tending to sick patients.
It’s why so many nurses take the time to invest in special shoes for their feet. Their feet have to be prepared to put up with plenty of punishment throughout the course of a normal day.
Since nurses are up on their feet for long stretches of time, they typically go home very tired and worn-out. Some nurses will actually be exhausted to the point where they walk right into their homes and fall asleep almost instantly.
This is another reason why people should be celebrating nurses. They literally go the extra mile to do their jobs on a daily basis.
They’re Constantly Dealing With Sick Patients
There are, of course, some nurses who don’t have to deal with sick patients while they’re at work. Some of the nurses at doctors’ offices, for example, spend a lot of their time examining patients who are perfectly healthy and just in need of check-ups.
But at the same time, there are tons of nurses out there who specialize in helping sick patients to get better every day. And this can take a big toll on them over time, especially if they’re nurses who are responsible for caring for those suffering from a condition like COVID-19.
Dealing with sick patients all the time can wreak havoc on a person’s body and mind. Nurses need to be celebrated for choosing to help these people without offering up any complaints while they’re doing it.
They’re Not Always Able to Get the Breaks They Need
If you work in most professions, you’re going to be able to take a break whenever you need to. If you work as, say, a construction worker, you can step away from a job at almost any point to take a breather as long as your boss allows it.
Nurses don’t always have this same luxury. Because they’re in charge of trying to make sure that sick patients are comfortable and healing, they might not get an opportunity to take a break for hours at a time.
For this reason, you should try to ease up on nurses the next time you find yourself in a hospital or a doctors’ office. The less that they have to tend to you, the more they’ll be able to tend to themselves.
You should try not to bother nurses for every little thing. They’ll appreciate this and will sometimes see it as a sign of you celebrating nurses.
They’re Putting Others Above Themselves at All Times
When a nurse walks into a hospital room to check on a sick patient, they might put a big smile on their face and look happy on the outside. But oftentimes, nurses are covering up how they truly feel on any given day.
Nurses do this because they’re selfless people who aim to put others above themselves at all times. They’ll always do what is best for a patient, even if it means skipping lunch, not taking a break, or staying at work a little later than they might want to.
The sacrifices that nurses make deserve to be celebrated early and often. Honoring nurses is only right when you consider how hard that they work on the behalf of others without giving a second thought to their own needs.
They’re Always Looking to Learn More
Prior to working as nurses, nurses attend nursing school to learn all of the things that they’ll need to know while working in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or another facility. They study hard in school and do their best to demonstrate excellence in their field and to earn a spot in the nursing honor society. Continue reading here to find out more about this.
But nurses can’t afford to stop learning once nursing school is over. They have to keep on learning throughout their careers so that they can stay on top of the latest medical trends.
This is why nurses will usually spend more time in school after nursing school is over and done with. They’ll periodically go back to school to stay current in their chosen profession.
This should be celebrated since it’s not something that most people have to do in their chosen professions. Nurses willingly make education a top priority in their lives and vow to never stop learning until their careers are complete.
They’re Serving as the Bridges Between Doctors and Patients
Although nurses spend the bulk of their time interacting with their patients, they also obviously maintain close working relationships with the doctors who are above them on the totem pole. One of their main jobs is to act as the bridges between doctors and patients.
There are lots of times when patients will complain to their nurses about something that their doctors said or did. It’s in these times that nurses have to stand strong and advocate for patients while also trying to understand what doctors are attempting to do as they treat patients.
As you can probably imagine, it can be challenging beyond belief to toe this line. But celebrating nurses will help to make it all worth it for them.
They’re Making Big Sacrifices Both At Work and At Home
We’ve talked a whole bunch about the many sacrifices that nurses make while they’re on the job. From sacrificing their breaks to sacrificing meals, all they do is sacrifice, sacrifice, and sacrifice some more at work.
But the sacrificing doesn’t stop once they go home. It’s not uncommon at all for nurses to sacrifice their home lives for the sake of their jobs.
For instance, there are some nurses who will go days and sometimes even weeks without a day off if their employer needs them to. This can make it impossible for them to spend enough time with their family and friends.
There are also some nurses who will work their regular shifts and then devote a lot of their personal time to studying. As a result, they end up feeling like they’re working 24/7.
The sacrifices that nurses make time and time again should not go unnoticed. They should be recognized when people celebrate nurses for all that they do.
They’re Not Calling Out Sick When They Should
In theory, it might not seem like nurses should be going to work when they’re feeling under the weather. And in a perfect world, they wouldn’t be required to do this.
But there has been a big nursing shortage in this country in recent years. It has forced some nurses to go to work even when they might not necessarily be feeling up to it.
These nurses don’t always have the option to just call out sick like you or I might. If they do this, it could make it difficult for their coworkers to provide patients with the best possible medical care.
So nurses are sometimes asked to “suck it up” and go to work when they’re not feeling their best in an effort to set people up with the medical care that they expect. It can lead to some nurses getting even sicker over time and struggling to put their best foot forward at work.
But that doesn’t stop these nurses from continuing to do the best that they can. They choose to sacrifice their own health and well-being for the good of the patients who have been entrusted in their care. It deserves celebration every single day.
They’re Literally Putting Their Lives at Risk in Many Cases
Nurses will take every possible precaution to keep themselves healthy while they’re caring for sick patients. But if we learned anything during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it’s not always possible for them to do this.
Thousands of nurses died throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the number of deaths involving nurses has gone down dramatically since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines, there are still some nurses dying simply because they’re showing up for work and putting their bodies at risk.
If this doesn’t make you want to start celebrating nurses more, what will? We can’t all thank nurses enough for the incredible work that they do.
Whether nurses work at hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing home facilities, or some other places, they should be recognized for the hard work that they put in 365 days each year. Our country would not be the same without their efforts.
Start Celebrating Nurses a Little More Often From Here on Out
Most people are good about celebrating nurses when they spend time in a hospital, doctor’s office, etc. They get to see how hard that nurses work first-hand, and they’re grateful for it afterward.
But you shouldn’t only thank nurses and offer them recognition after you’ve been hospitalized. You should also make it a point to honor nurses every time that you come across them.
If you spot a nurse or a group of nurses in the grocery store, don’t be afraid to say “thank you!” to them for all that they do. You might even want to go as far as to pick up the tab for them or to find another good way to show your eternal gratitude to them.