Healthcare providers put their lives on the line every time they put on their cute scrubs or white coat and head to work. They provide compassionate care to other people regardless of the circumstances and always do whatever they can to ensure the health and safety of their patients. They do this with little regard for their own health and safety, and if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that healthcare workers are some of the world’s greatest heroes.
Even when the world isn’t gripped by a pandemic, doctors, nurses, aides and other healthcare professionals do difficult and often thankless jobs. They put themselves and their own needs on the back burner in order to help others, and we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
Considering just how much healthcare providers sacrifice and how much they do to help others, a simple “thank you” might not seem like enough. While words of gratitude are always appreciated, there are other things you can do to show your appreciation. Here are a few ways to show healthcare providers the appreciation they deserve.
Listen to Their Advice
Whether it’s your personal doctor or a healthcare expert, listening to what the pros have to say is one of the easiest things you can do to show your appreciation. Even though their advice may not be what you want to hear, listening and following their orders shows that you value their expertise.
Healthcare providers devote many, many years of their lives to obtain degrees and certifications. And once they have those, they still have to participate in on-going education to ensure their knowledge and skills are kept up-to-date. Refusing to follow a healthcare provider’s advice or disagreeing with their opinion based on “facts” you found by spending 20 minutes on the Internet comes off as a huge insult. Show healthcare providers the appreciation they deserve by listening, truly valuing what they have to say, following their advice and respecting the amount of work they’ve done to get where they are in the field.
Send a Thoughtful Gift
If you personally know someone who works in the healthcare industry or you have a close relationship with one of your own healthcare providers, sending a thoughtful gift is an excellent way to show your appreciation. Nice scrubs for men or women are always welcome gifts, as are other things they can use while at work, such as insulated travel mugs.
Another option is a gift that would help them enjoy their time away from work. Just about any healthcare provider would like to receive a gift certificate for a massage or a nice meal out at a local restaurant. Wine, coffee and tea are great options, too.
When shopping for a gift, put some thought into it. A $10 gift that is thoughtful and meaningful often shows appreciation more than a $100 gift that was purchased on a whim.
Help Them Out at Home
Because healthcare providers devote themselves to their professional lives, they often struggle to keep up with things at home. If there is a nurse, doctor or any other type of healthcare worker in your life, offer to help them out with their personal responsibilities. You could offer to watch their kids while they are at work, prepare dinner and drop it off at their house or even do their grocery shopping for them. Such gestures may not cost much, if anything, but they mean a lot. Even the smallest of favors can add up to make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Donate to Organizations that Support Healthcare Providers
Donations come in many different forms. You can make a monetary donation to a local healthcare facility or an organization that provides support for nurses, doctors, etc. If you are unable to donate cash, consider donating necessary supplies, such as gloves, masks and hand sanitizer. If you’re crafty, you could even make cute masks yourself to donate.
Food is another donation that is always appreciated. Keep in mind, though, that healthcare workers may not be able to enjoy the foods you bring from home as a part of their hospital’s rules and COVID-19 guidelines. Instead, contact a local restaurant to arrange to have meals delivered directly to a healthcare facility. Full meals not in your budget? Look into donating coffee and tea from a local coffee shop. You could even simply donate gift cards from local establishments so workers can order their own meals while on shift.
Show Empathy and Compassion
Being an empathetic and compassionate person costs you nothing, but goes a long way toward showing your appreciation for healthcare professionals. Understand that they are doing an incredibly difficult job and are likely exhausted. Show kindness when interacting with healthcare workers and always remember to say “thank you.”
When they are off the clock, don’t turn to the healthcare providers in your life as your personal source of information. After spending over eight hours working, the last thing they want to do is discuss the latest COVID-19 updates or take a look at your rash. If you ask them to, though, they likely will because they are that committed to helping others. Avoid putting your friend or loved one in that position by not treating them as your personal healthcare provider. If you have questions or concerns, schedule an appointment with your regular physician and let your friend or family member enjoy their limited time off.
The Bottom Line
Healthcare workers do grueling and often thankless jobs. They are there for us on our worst days, and they care for us without discrimination or exception. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all they do. To show your appreciation for the healthcare providers in your life, follow some of the suggestions listed above. Remember, though, that even if you don’t have a lot of money or time to spare, a simple heartfelt “thank you” goes a long way. Whether you say it in person or send a card, your gratitude will be felt and appreciated.