There’s never been a more needed time for Nurses Week, which is celebrated every year from May 6th to May 12th. All across the country, our nurses are working harder than ever to save lives in the middle of a global pandemic. If they were underappreciated before, they certainly can’t get enough praise now. So this May is the time to go all out for Nurses Week. Morale needs a boost, and there are so many simple, but fun and meaningful ways to celebrate this week. Here are a few ideas.
Bring in Therapy Dogs
A lot of facilities have therapy dogs to comfort patients in hours of need. But nurses need comfort too! If your hospital or a hospital nearby already has a therapy dog program, you can inquire about bringing in pups for the nursing staff. There’s nothing like some puppy love to lighten the mood during a stressful time.
Some hospitals celebrate their staff by bringing in masseuses to give free 10-minute shoulder massages. It’s a great way to say, “we know you’re working hard, and you deserve some time for yourself.” In fact, it’s likely that there are several massage therapists who would be willing to donate their time, free of charge, during the coronavirus.
Donuts and cookies might taste good, but they are impersonal. The best way to show you care is just to write it out. Nurses can write sweet letters of appreciation to each other, or staff leadership could also write individual notes to the staffers that help them each day. Nurses could craft some cute letterboxes to put on their desk and encourage their coworkers to drop in a few kind words. You could also make a “snap cup” like Elle Woods did in Legally Blonde 2. Throughout the week, everyone can drop in praises for nurses across the floor.
Sometimes, you have to give your hardworking staff permission to let loose on their lunch hour. Installing games like ping pong or giant Jenga, is a good way to encourage some fun staff bonding throughout the week. You could even have a ping pong championship with winners getting bonuses or gift cards to local businesses.
Ice Cream Social
Go all out with the ice cream bar this year. Deck it out like a frozen yogurt shop with all kinds of toppings to choose from. Maybe even offer different kinds of cones. Nothing says “I love and appreciate you” more than mint chocolate chip ice cream with fudge and whipped cream topping.
“We don’t want to do our own potluck!”
One nurse told us that her offices in the past have planned potlucks for nursing week, but this often asks the nurses themselves to do unnecessary preparation on a week that’s supposed to be celebrating them! Instead, plan for a local restaurant to cater lunch. You’re supporting a local business during COVID-19 and you’re treating your nurses to food they love! And “provide a whole meal, not just pastries and snacks” our nurses say. There’s no shortage of sweets in the breakroom of any given clinic or hospital. If you really want to show them you care, do the full lunch. Also, giving out gift cards to local businesses is always a good idea too.