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Limited Resources, Unlimited Gratitude: Celebrating Nurses on National Nurses Week

Recognition comes in many different forms. For this year’s national Nurses Week, during the International Year of the Nurse, in the face of the current pandemic, nurses and healthcare workers are being supported and recognized at unprecedented levels across society. Neighborhoods of people are cheering nightly, dozens of pizzas are being ordered to ICU wings at hospitals by the general public, and countless patient/nurse appreciation floods within social media. In addition to the waves of internal support that nurses are receiving from their employers, private sector companies are also stepping up.

Companies in the private sector are showing their support of essential healthcare workers—offering complimentary products, services, and other creative ideas to maximize positive impact for nurses – even during their own tough times. Recognition and giving thanks is important, so in addition to paying thanks and tribute to essential healthcare workers, we’d like to take time to recognize the recognizers who have gone above and beyond in supporting nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers.

Hilton, in partnership with American Express, is providing hotel rooms for medical workers through the rest of May. Rooms are complimentary for nurses and other health workers for sleep or medical isolation at any Hilton property.  With a similar show of support, JetBlue in New York City was (and is now nationally) hosting a program to Thank a Healthcare Hero by asking the public to submit a nomination to recognize nurses for their dutiful efforts. 90,000 healthcare workers and first responders nominated will receive complimentary airfare for two, for future travel.

Even small and medium sized businesses, who are often the most impacted when the status quo suddenly changes, are doing their share with the limited resources they have. A supplies store in Maine, which usually offers raffles, prizes, and discounts to medical workers during national Nurses Week, knew that they had to do more this year, especially with their usual grand prize having to be cancelled due to the current circumstances. The store engaged other local businesses and is rallying behind medical workers to the tune of several thousands of dollars in donations for the raffle, many even coming from businesses that are shut down, but still want to support.

In San Diego, owner of local marketing company OSO Digital wanted to do more after feeling inspired by “seeing restaurants that were already ‘stretched to the limit’ using the few resources they had to feed healthcare workers.” The company partnered with local print and manufacturing firm Daily’s Workshop to make limited edition “healthcare heroes” t-shirts, with proceeds going to buy food from small businesses in the area to feed workers in hospitals – supporting both local restaurant businesses and healthcare staffs in one valiant effort.

It isn’t hard to find numerous other examples of the private sector stepping up in this time of need, innovating creative ways to support their communities and health care workers in time of need. In some cases, hospitals are the largest employers in town. While the spotlight deserves to be put on the amazing medical workers and the selfless jobs they do, the behind the scenes heroes should also be recognized for their shows of support. Benevolent acts of kindness and support reminds those struggling on the front lines that everyone is cheering them on, while creatively trying to make their lives a bit easier. To all nurses, doctors, and other essential workers keeping us safe, as well as all of those supporting their efforts in their times of need — thank you!

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