Jane Bates: Recognition

Shout out about good care, writes Jane Bates.

Shout out about good care, writes Jane Bates

What value would you put on good nursing care? A great deal, according to a friend and her family.

Their relative had been on the receiving end of exemplary treatment – the clinical staff, they said, could not have done more for them, over what became a protracted period of gruelling anxiety and heartbreak. They went the extra mile and the comfort they gave was beyond price.

What could the family do to say thank you? ‘People always give them chocolates, but it seems so inadequate,’ my friend said. The nurses in the room assured her that chocolates are never inadequate, but yes, there is something else you could do.

Write to them, we suggested, and tell them what you have told us and how much their care and support meant to you. Write to their bosses, and inform them what their employees are really worth, because you can bet these nurses and doctors had received few thanks and little recognition over the years.

As with so many NHS staff, they may well have gone through periods of job insecurity, reorganisation, had their minds boggled by bureaucracy, maybe been demoted and certainly will have been demoralised. They may be exhausted from 12-hour shifts.

These factors, along with the intricacies of revalidation and its implications may be prompting them to reconsider their career choice. But an appreciative word or two means so much, and could tip them over the edge – in a good way.

Another thing, we said, warming to the subject, write to the chief executive of their hospital, to the secretary of state for health, to the papers… And although it was time to get off my soapbox, I had just one more thing to say. Still get them the chocolates.

About the author

Jane Bates

Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire

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