We recently had the honor of attending a surprise celebration honoring my son’s primary NICU nurse from his birth hospital NICU. The room was full of her family, friends, and children (and their families) she had cared for during her many years as a NICU nurse.
NICU nurses were a vital part of our NICU stay. Not only did they take care of our son, Joseph, but they took care of my husband and myself. Being in the hospital for seven and a half months, the NICU nurses were like family. We usually saw them more than we saw our own families. They knew all about my husband and me and our families. We knew all about their families.
Joseph’s NICU nurses knew him just as well as we did – if not better. They knew his idiosyncrasies. They knew when something just wasn’t quite right with him. They were in tune with him and could often see an infection coming on before the blood tests confirmed it. We were at peace when we were not with Joseph because we knew he was being well cared for.
If there is a special NICU nurse in your life, take a minute to recognize them. Here are a few suggestions:
- Write them a note of thanks. Tell them how much they mean to you and your family. Be specific about something they have done to make your NICU stay a little easier.
- Tell them in person. It is often tough to tell someone how much they mean to you. You may feel uncomfortable. They may feel uncomfortable. You never know when your words of kindness may be the exact pick me up they need that day.
- Let their supervisor know how special the NICU nurses are to you. If you feel a nurse has gone above and beyond their duty as a nurse, drop a note to their supervisor. I think many times we only go to the supervisor to complain. Let their supervisor know about something good! They want to know about the good work their employees are doing.
- Give them a gift card to grab dinner on their way home from the hospital. NICU nurses work long hours. I remember watching many nurses throughout their shifts and never seeing them sit down or wondering if they would even have time to grab a bite to eat. It doesn’t have to be much – even a $5 card to grab a cup of coffee would mean the world to a nurse.
- We spent many holidays in the NICU. I remember doing some baking during one holiday trying to make our life seem somewhat normal even though it was far from it. I took some goodies to the nurses who were on shift and they were incredibly thankful. They were spending the holiday away from their family to take care of our son. We wanted to show them a small token of thanks for being with us on the holiday.
NICU nurses can help make a stressful journey into parenthood just a little easier. To all NICU nurses, thank you for all you do.
What are some ways you have shown your appreciation to a NICU nurse?