In this challenging time, compassionate nurses and all healthcare workers are putting themselves on the line to care for others' well-being, especially the most vulnerable. Their lifesaving work in the battle against this pandemic means risking their own health and facing exhausting hours, not to mention heightened stress from a shortage of personal protective equipment.
Nurses make up the largest percentage of healthcare professionals, with over 3 million registered in the U.S. They play a vital role in protecting our communities and caring for our collective health. The past 2 months have made this more apparent than ever, which is why we see so many people expressing their gratitude. From sidewalk chalk messages to donated meals to clapping for neighbors as they return home from a long shift... it's heartfelt and wonderful to see.
As the rest of us do our best to stay home and physically distance, it's important to keep in mind that nurses are human too. The work they do is truly heroic and selfless on many measures, and at times like this comes with a heavy burden of responsibility, stress, grief and hardship that takes a toll on one's mental, physical and emotional health.
National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and this year we're asking you to join us in helping to care for the nurses and healthcare workers who are caring for all of us. With small acts of compassion, each of us can make a difference. Below we've put together a list of 8 ways to show your appreciation and support their well-being. Here at Prosperity Candle, we have donated over 2,000 protective gloves from our studio to the local ER.
And during National Nurses Week, with every candle and gift purchased, we will give a handmade candle to the visiting nurses of Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice - local frontline healthcare workers who are often overlooked. These compassionate individuals are continuing to meet the needs of homebound patients no matter the risk to themselves and their own families.
Here's how to join us to help make a difference:
1. Donate PPE (personal protective equipment)
As we've heard, the increased demand and resulting shortages in gloves, surgical masks, disinfectant wipes, gowns and hand sanitizer have put many healthcare workers at risk. Thankfully, organizations and individuals are stepping up to provide supplies to nurses and doctors nationwide. Two organizations, Project N95 and Masks for Docs, track the need for PPE across hospitals and facilities and offer ways for individuals to help. If you have extra supplies to give from home or would like to donate financially, both are appreciated and bring much needed support to nurses.
2. Show gratitude
We all want to feel appreciated for the things we do. And right now as nurses face countless battles every day, every act of recognition counts more than ever. Acknowledging their contributions, saying thank you and showing genuine appreciation can make a difference in their day. While these gestures are small, personalized thank you letters and notes offer a way to uplift their spirits after a challenging shift full of stresses and hardships.
3. Donate food to local staff
As nurses are working around the clock to care for others, they do not have time to prep a healthy meal or plan ahead to nourish themselves. With many small restaurants offering delivery and catering options, one way to help lift a little weight off of healthcare workers' shoulders is by ordering contact-less delivery for hospital staff or by gifting a gift certificate for food delivery. Remember to always be sure to call ahead of time to check with each facility's policies and needs to see how you can best help.
4. Give stress-soothing gifts
While nurses spend most of their days caring for others, they need nurturing and relaxation as much as any of us do. Their daily work is incredibly demanding on the body and mind, sometimes with a heavy emotional toll. Show them you're grateful for all they do with a self care package to help them find a moment of calm to decompress. Soothing bath salts, calming aromatherapy, or perhaps a skin-nourishing massage candle may be just the thing to help soothe stress.
We'll ship your gift and personal message with care, plus give a candle to a local visiting nurse during National Nurses Week.
5. Check in on family and friends
Taking time to check in with your friends, family members and neighbors who are healthcare workers is a small but invaluable gesture. Each of us needs support at the end of the day, especially medical professionals in these challenging times. You can ask how they are doing, let them decompress or simply listen to anything they may want to share. As long difficult shifts keep them busy and likely overwhelmed, don't hesitate to be proactive about offering help. Picking up groceries, delivering meals or caring for a pet are ways to give them extra support.
6. Offer help with childcare
Caring and cooking for children can already be a challenge on its own, but particularly when we are low on energy or fuel ourselves. If you know healthcare workers or nurses personally, they may love a day or two to decompress while you watch over their children. It's likely they are taking extra precautionary steps after a long shift to shower and distance from loved ones to limit any possible exposure. Pitching in to help where you can, even if just cooking food or entertaining kids, can create less burden for them in this challenging time.
7. Donate blood when able to
With fewer blood drives, nurses are coming up against a shortage of blood donations that are crucial for patients. If you are healthy or fully recovered, you can schedule a time to donate blood with American Red Cross to support others in need. This small act can help save the lives of those who are most vulnerable and contribute to possible treatments. American Red Cross has taken steps to make sure the process to donate in this time is safe and follows strict sanitation guidelines.
8. Stay home, wear a mask!
We've all heard it endlessly, and after many weeks and with warmer weather it gets harder and harder. Plus in some places around the country the restrictions are being lifted. But the reality remains that physical distancing is still the surest way to slow the spread of coronavirus while researchers race to develop a vaccine and cure.
It's not easy, and for some people impossible given any number of reasons. Yet it's still the best way each of us can make a difference in our communities. By doing our part to not accidentally expose others, we help "flatten the curve" and keep healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed. The less we venture out, the better for everyone in the long run.
And wear a mask! They aren't comfortable and certainly not fashionable, but by wearing one whenever you must venture out in public you are helping to protect others, especially the vulnerable. It's not about preventing you from becoming ill... it's about making sure you aren't unknowingly infecting someone else.
We are incredibly grateful to all the nurses, doctors and healthcare workers who are protecting our communities and fighting this battle every day. While words can only express so much, we hope these acts of compassion and giving can offer support during National Nurses Week 2020 and in the weeks to come.
Comments will be approved before showing up.