Celebrating healthcare heroes this Nurse’s Week

May 5th 2020

If there was ever a week to celebrate nurses worldwide, this year’s National Nurse’s Week during COVID-19 is it. Nurses have been called to task throughout history, gaining renown from Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. This year in 2020 is the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, and in her honor the WHO has declared 2020 the “Year of the Nurses.”

We at Illuminate HC have been celebrating our SKLD nurses throughout these trying weeks for their dedication, selflessness and courage. They’ve been serving on the frontlines of the world’s battle against COVID-19, taking care of seniors throughout Michigan and Ohio as if they were their own family. We, our residents, our resident families and our communities owe these nurses our debt of gratitude.

In their honor, Wendy Jeppson, Chief Nursing Officer, offers the following words and video tribute.

2020 has certainly challenged us, it has brought us to our knees in tears (more times than I care to count in a day) and in prayer. For some of us we have dealt with many losses, but we have also seen victories against this terrible pandemic. I think the most amazing thing I have seen come out of this is the incredible kindness and humanity of so many. I am so grateful to work with people that in some cases could have given up, but instead they have showed up despite their own fears. Talk about heroes and true inspiration!

This poem below by Melodie Chenevert is framed on my wall. I have read it many times, but in the past few months, this has helped me get through a day or sometimes a minute. 

Being a Nurse Means
You will never be bored
You will always be frustrated
You will be surrounded by challenges
So much to do and so little time
You will carry immense responsibility
and very little authority
You will step into people’s lives
and you will make a difference
Some will bless you
Some will curse you
You will see people at their worst
and at their best
You will never cease to be amazed
at people’s capacity for
love, courage and endurance
You will see life begin
and end
You will experience resounding triumphs
and devastating failures
You will cry a lot
You will laugh a lot
You will know what it is to be human
and to be humane

Here are 5 suggestions from Wendy to say “thank you” to a nurse who has touched you or a loved one this year

  1. Say it with caffeine: Nurses work long and late hours. A gift card to a coffee shop is a practical and much appreciated token of thanks. Diet coke and chocolate works too!
  2. Say it out loud: Consider a big social media shout-out on your Facebook or other social media pages. Tag your nurse friends but make it public to all.
  3. Say it with soles: Nurses are on their feet for long shifts. Ease their quest for the perfect pair of nursing shoes with a gift certificate to a local or online nursing supply store. Pedicures also work!
  4. Say it with a letter: Handwritten thank you notes are always an excellent way to share your feelings and boost the recipient’s day. This is my personal favorite!
  5. Say it with food: Every workplace enjoys food!

Truth be told doesn’t matter how you say it – just make sure you thank them!