There comes a time in most people’s lives where they find themselves in a hospital, a rehabilitation centre, an extended care facility, or another area where nurses help them and their loved ones. Often, they feel a need to give thanks to their nurses, doctors and other medical professionals who have touched their lives in some way. They cannot accept a gift directly aimed at one individual member of the multidisciplinary team, even if one of them happens to be your favourite; the gift will be shared as our governing/licensing bodies do not allow individual gifts.
Often, family members of the patient will drop off a box of donuts or home baked goodies as thanks and it is always appreciated. The job is often thankless, but rest assured we don’t do it for praise, so when tokens of appreciation show up, we are always very thankful for it.
Here are some gift ideas that your medical team will truly love you for! Note that gifts are not necessary what-so-ever. Saying “thank you,” complimenting their work or even sending a message of gratitude to their supervisor goes miles.
- A hand-written Thank You card. We keep these for years and years and re-read them time and time again. Not only does it help us to remember your loved one and the time we spent with them, it’s a nice long-lasting reminder of your gratitude.
- Coffee or tea. I don’t think this needs much explanation, but coffee and tea are consumed by the gallons in these settings, so a gift of caffeine goes a long ways.
- Food platter. Roll-ups, mini sandwiches, vegetables, cheese, crackers, and so forth. Buy this from a store and bring it in to fuel the tummies of those working long hours. Although donuts are nice and easy to grab, they are often what staff will bring in themselves and is a common go-to. While they don’t go unappreciated, it is something that gets tiring quickly. I hope that doesn’t come off poorly. Working in health care makes it difficult to be healthy.
- A donation to the unit that you would like to send thanks to. These donations can go towards things like seating for the staff room, food catering, coffee runs, and other comfort items for the staff.
- Knitted, sewn, or other crafted gifts. This is especially amazing for long term care centres where we have patients that don’t have family members; we can tuck them in at night with a hand-made blanket that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Much more homey than the hospital blankets that we use, instead. Even a smaller blanket can be used over the lap of a patient whose bound in their wheelchair. Personally, it makes me feel really great when I can give a patient something comforting like this.
- If your loved one has passed away and you have items at home, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane, etc., it is always helpful to donate these to the smaller care homes so that we can clean them, fix them up, and lend them to patients who otherwise might not have the opportunity to have these walking or mobilization aides.
- Moisturizing lotion in a pump bottle. We wash our hands. A lot! Lotion helps protect our hands during our long shifts.
That is all I can think of for now. Do you have any go-to gifts for the medical professionals in your life? Are you a medical professional? Do you have a monumental gift you’ve received?
I once worked with a resident (patient in a long term care facility) who would buy bath products for each nurse and care aide working in the building. This was a bit of a loophole to the policy as he was gifting to everyone there and thus the total gift was shared amongst every staff member. It was a great gift and really made me feel like I was doing a good job, caring for these awesome people.