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Nursing Corner: Gifts from patients

January 15, 2013

The other day we had Telemetry and ICU nurses float down to the ER to help us out because we were short.  One of the nurses was saying that she loved it when patients brought her gifts.

“Gifts?  From patients?” I said with my mouth wide open in amazement.

I happen to love flowers!  Especially roses ;)

I happen to love flowers! Especially roses 😉

In my ER nursing career I have only been the recipient of 4 gifts in 4 years:

1. The largest sized starbucks caramel drink imaginable: One of my patient’s wives went out and bought a drink for each of  the 3 health care providers that were caring for her husband.   It was delicious for the 1 minute that it took me to down it. She didn’t even ask us if we wanted it, she just went out and bought it;  we were all pleasantly surprised.  Had she asked, I would have said no to be polite.

2. Box of chocolates: after helping to successfully resuscitate a man whose heart stopped and wasn’t breathing, he and his wife returned several weeks later with chocolates and a thank you card for the staff who cared for him.  The most amazing part of it was that he WALKED into the ER!  Amazing 😉

3. Cupcakes: It’s becoming more evident that the way to a nurses’ heart is through our stomach!  We were delighted when a couple who ran a bakery dropped off 2 dozen of their delicious cupcakes for us.  My favorite was the red velvet.

4. Persian food:  This was incredible.  It was about 1am and I was getting off of work in about 2 hours and the patient’s family members brought in trays of tasty persian food including pita bread, rice, chicken and meat for the entire night crew.

Back to my story, the telemetry nurse was saying that they regularly received gifts such as chocolates, food, flowers and starbucks drinks (gifts that can usually be shared by the staff)….as in a weekly basis.  I obviously don’t do this job to receive anything besides my pay, however, it does sting a little bit to feel that that the floor nurses are appreciated more.

Questions for you:  Have you ever received a gift from a patient, customer or client?  What was it?  If you are a floor or ER nurse, what has been your experiences with gifts?  Have you ever given a gift or card to a nurse that has taken care of you?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2013 8:42 am

    We’ve given our nurses gifts after the birth of all f our children. We had a great experience with all of them and they were simply just awesome servants to my wife. I think it takes a special type of person to be a nurse and I know that I am not one of them. 🙂

  2. January 15, 2013 9:53 am

    We had a long hospital stay with my son. One day we brought in a BIG HUGE BOX of pastries for everyone who worked in the NICU- nurses, doctors, resp therapists, everyone. And then that evening, we brought in a whole DIFFERENT box for the night shift- because those working the evening shouldn’t always have what’s leftover.

    For our primary nurses, we couldn’t thank them enough for the life saving care they provided my son and I went to Tiffany’s and bought them each a token of our gratitude.

  3. January 15, 2013 9:58 am

    I think that is a lovely way to say thank you. If you resuscitated my husband’s heart I would probably buy you cupcakes for life!!

  4. Little RN permalink
    January 15, 2013 11:08 am

    It is our hospital’s policy that we cannot accept gifts from patients individually, but if someone wants to bring something in for the whole unit they can do that. Usually, its a box of donuts, basket of fruit, plate of donuts, or something like that.

  5. January 15, 2013 5:09 pm

    I am not a nurse, but have received gifts from customers and our vendors (I work in Marketing/Nonprofit). We usually get gifts for the department during the holiday – chocolates, baked goods, and promotional items. It is nice to be appreciated 🙂 However, being in the medical field (something I physically could not do) is more admirable.
    -Cat

  6. January 15, 2013 5:48 pm

    I can see how you’d be in a profession where people give you gifts. I think they greatly appreciate what you do! I’ve only gotten on gift from my producer. A birthday gift certificate from athleta, because he knows I like to work out. Pretty exciting stuff huh? 🙂

  7. January 15, 2013 8:39 pm

    Technically we cannot receive personal gifts from patients. I have donated the gifts as a result. It is quite flattering to receive a thank you. A thank you card from a patient which is more touching to me

  8. January 15, 2013 9:01 pm

    Oh man! Yeah I would feel a little weirded out but at the same time I guess it comes with the job. Would you ever want to be a floor nurse? Look at it this way, at least you don’t have to work out as much to lose all of those calories from those goodies you would be getting if you were out there! Lol!

  9. January 18, 2013 11:28 am

    I’ll occasionally be given a food gift that pretty much immediately goes to the lounge for staff consumption. When I was an aide working at a nursing home, the patients gave me a going away party with gifts for my first medical school apartment.

  10. Sara permalink
    January 29, 2013 11:25 am

    Don’t feel slighted! I think it just comes with the territory, I worked ICU for years, and the only people who even thought to bring something were those families who’s loved one died, or who miraculously recovered. On the floor pts stay longer and have a chance to develop a relationship with their caregivers, ER RNs don’t ususally get that chance. Just think how lucky you are everytime you get to send a nasty cranky hot mess patient away! That alone is worth never getting a single thank you!

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