The current pandemic suffered by all has taken a devastating toll on the world with over 128 million cases of infection and counting. The loss of life and long-lasting effects of the disease are going to be felt for generations and the tragedy suffered is comparable to that of a major war or terrible disaster.
However, through it all and operating on the frontlines of the crisis has been the army of brave medical professionals that have gone above and beyond their duty in effectively responding to and managing the worst humanitarian issue since the Second World War. As it stands, over 7,000 doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have succumbed to Covid-19 and paid the ultimate price.
While there are many other key workers such as supermarket staff, emergency responders, and couriers that have also risked their lives and health by continuing to perform their duties, it is hospital staff that has risked the most, some even providing care to infected patients when PPE wasn’t available.
Many countries and individuals all over the world have shown their appreciation for medical staff in numerous ways, not least the daily clap for the NHS in the UK or the late Sir Captian Tom Moore’s inspirational garden walks using his aid frame. But these seem to have died out as the realities of the pandemic began to sink in, and the world’s population became a little deflated in spirit.
However, even 12 months later, the war on Covid-19 rages on, and medical staff still need to feel appreciated as even though Covid management, vaccines, and testing have improved, the fact remains that they are still taking on a huge burden, the likes of which most of us will never face. Appreciation comes in many forms, and medical professionals all over the world need some encouragement to continue to care for us as we still aren’t near the end of this global issue.
Some of the things you can do to show appreciation include:
- Nurses Week
- Donate to medical charities
- Send gifts
- Post on message boards
- Follow advice
Nurses Week is happening soon and is a global effort to show support for medical staff while donating to various medical charities will always be appreciated by many of the underfunded good causes and even much-needed gifts can be purchased for doctors and nurses. You don’t have to send money so even posting a message on a board of gratitude on a hospital’s website is a great way to show that you care but I think we can all agree that most medical staff would rather that we plainly follow their advice and take care of ourselves.
Running from May 6 to May 12, Nurses Week is a worldwide appreciation event for the millions of nurses dedicating their lives to the help and care of others. Coinciding with Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the week-long annual event aims to “recognize, appreciate and invest” in the nursing industry. The event doesn’t only appreciate nurses who are actively working, but also those nurses who are the future of the industry currently as college students in addition to school nurses and midwives.
While you cannot actively get involved in Nurses Week as such, there is a lot of material available about the event, its history, and the great work that nurses perform. You could, however, talk about nurses in a positive light, spread the word about nurse appreciation, and post inspirational messages of hope and appreciation on your favorite social media profiles while encouraging others to do the same.
Some people organize their own special events, such as the NHS Big Tea party in England, where locals gather to celebrate and appreciate nurses with their local officials, MPs, and medical professionals. The American Nurses Association also holds webinars that can be accessed by anyone for free and aims to promote nursing as a practice while keeping everyone informed as to the importance of nurses in the community.
Donate to Medical Charities
A time-honored tradition of appreciation is donating to charities either directly or on behalf of somebody else. There are many medical charities that specialize in a specific field such as cancer research, children’s care, and recently, Covid-19 charities that accept donations for medical staff which was a great way to see how Uniform Advantage Gives Back following their $200,000 donation in scrubs and gift cards to support frontline workers during Covid-19.
There are numerous medical organizations that are actually run on donations and require them in order to continue their good work as they aren’t an official part of a hospital’s operations. Charities such as Ronald McDonald House that specializes in the treatment of sick children is one such charity that you can donate to. Donation boxes can be found in all McDonalds’ restaurants or you can contribute by using their easy-to-use website.
Of course, there are countless other medical charities, too many to name here, but giving as much as you can is always appreciated and the nurses and doctors that work for these organizations rely solely on the generosity of others, whether by personal donation, fundraising events or corporate sponsorship. Even a minimal donation contributes to the larger whole and is always appreciated.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, gifting items to medical staff has become something of a phenomenon with anonymous donors offering such things as new shoes for nurses to wear while in long shifts, scrubs donations such as those by Uniform Advantage, and even spa treatments gift vouchers so medical staff can take a well-deserved load off and get some rest. Many spas and restaurants are even offering discounted packages if you can prove that a voucher is intended for use as a donation to medical staff.
Because of the hard and long hours that nurses and doctors regularly undertake, most people are opting to send useful gifts that can be reused or kept for a while as a vital part of their working day. Reusable cold water bottles, for example, to keep staff hydrated during long shifts are popular as are compression socks to alleviate the issues that come with being on your feet all day such as cramps and pains as well as things to use outside of work as well.
Convenience items such as air fryers, coffee machines, and smartwatches are commonly being donated that can help medical staff make the most of their time, and luxury items such as a Netflix subscription or a TV to watch it on are also making their way to nurses homes so they can relax following a long, hard shift which is sure to please anyone.
Post on Message Boards
It goes without saying that not every act of appreciation needs to involve an expensive monetary or physical gift donation and sometimes all a person needs is to feel appreciated with a message of gratitude or thanks. Whether you have the money to donate or not, you could always post a message of thanks on one of the many hospital message boards or even on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. A good idea might be to encourage people to add to the message, repost it or share it in the hopes that it will go viral, therefore adding to its relevancy and recognizing its importance.
Message boards and social media posting are strongly encouraged during Nurses Week when they have been shown to have the most impact. Pinterest often sees thousands of different messages of appreciation during Nurses Week from all kinds of creative people who have shared such things as poems, sketches, crafty creations, and inspirational images that get shared and pinned in their hundreds.
The great thing about making such things as this or posting to message boards is that the children can get involved and it appears more personal and appreciative than say, an anonymous cash donation which as great as that might be has no real connection value.
As excellent as all of the generous gifts of people have been in order to show appreciation for medical staff, the best way in which to honor them, their families, and those unfortunate enough to have given their lives while on the job is to take their advice and do what we can to look after ourselves and each other.
All medical staff, including doctors, nurses, care home nurses, school nurses, military medics, senior care staff, government advisors, and global organizations just want everyone to be as safe as they possibly can be. Medical professionals from all walks of life have dedicated their own lives in the service of others and have shown what they are made of over the past year as Covid-19 took millions of lives.
From the humble school nurse to White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and healthcare professionals in between, all have continued to stress the importance of following government advice on Covid-19 because it saves lives. Stay at home, save lives. Refrain from mass gathering and always wear face masks and practice advised social distancing measures.