So, we nurses don’t want towels or party favors for Nurses Week. The best present of all would be hospital floors that always have enough nurses. A serious effort to reduce the amount of required documentation, giving us more time with patients in exchange for less time in front of the computer, would also be a welcome Nurses Week change.
Or how about lunch? Research by Dr. Ann Rogers and colleagues in the Journal of Nursing Administration in 2005 showed that nurses routinely work through their allotted lunch breaks in order to provide patient care. Indeed, on my floor, “lunch” often means eating in front of the computer while we chart, shoveling down food before running off to give pain medication to a patient who needs it, or putting aside all thoughts of food while helping a patient who’s “having trouble breathing.”
Actually, I think we could make a list of what nurses really want, starting with lunch, and it ain’t lanyards, pen lights, or managerial warm fuzzies. My list would start off with Respect and Empowerment. But yeah, lunch occasionally would be nice too.