Do nurses get the recognition we deserve?

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When I was asked about this, my first thought was “of course not.” We don’t get respect from physicians.  We don’t get respect from administration.  And worst of all, we don’t get respect from each other.

When it comes to patients and families it is hit or miss.  Some go out of their way to show appreciation for all the hard work and compassion we exhibit.  While others give praise and thanks to their physician that they only saw for a handful of minutes during their stay, while we were at the bedside the entire time.

I really feel that the recognition needs to come from within.  We need to celebrate each others accomplishments.  When a fellow nurse does something above and beyond, take the time to tell them that they did a great job.

I have started a new thing on my unit to help with this.  Each staff meeting or huddle is started with a “kudos” time.  It is an agenda item every time.  At this time we can take the time to call out a fellow employee that is doing a great job.  It is not only time for me to talk about their accomplishments individually or unit wide, but time for a RN to tell a CNA or clerk what a great job they did.

Initially, the staff didn’t know how to take this, but now they have been taking advantage of the time to praise each other.  The staff has now been sending out emails to each other for doing a good job.

I also have a board on the unit where anyone; families, patients, staff, physician can a post little kudos card.  These stay up for a month or two so everyone can seem them, then I have a drawing at the staff meeting for those that received them and one of them receive movie tickets.

Recognition is a part of teamwork.  Recognizing the accomplishments of others helps to build trust and creates a positive work environment for the entire team.

So, take the time today to recognize one of your coworkers, its contagious and others will begin to follow your lead.

[Editor’s note: You can recognize a special nurse in your life by nominating them for an Inspired Comfort Award!]

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