Importance of Recognition: How to Recognize and show appreciation to healthcare teams during COVID-19

Importance of Recognition: How to Recognize and show appreciation to healthcare teams during COVID-19

As cases of COVID-19 increase, healthcare teams are overwhelmed with their workload, patient care, lack of supplies, and emotional stress as they fight to care for the alarming number of patients. Recognizing and appreciating the work that others do contribute increases morale and positively impacts productivity and self-esteem, especially during stressful situations; such as a pandemic. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize the work of all healthcare teams during this time.  

Here are things you can do to recognize, appreciate and help healthcare teams during COVID-19

Donating Supplies

What better way to show your appreciation than through donations (supplies): 

Companies such as Tide Cleaners and Barco are donating their services to healthcare workers. Tide Cleaners announced that they would show their thanks and appreciation to healthcare workers and first responders by offering free laundry and dry cleaning effective March 30, 2020, through April 30, 2020. Through their program “Tide Loads of Hope” which is available in Houston, Phoenix, and Indianapolis.  Apparel brand Barco is donating 10,000 scrubs each month to healthcare professionals During this time–you can also request Scrub Donations.

 Due to increase cases, lack of supplies and staffing, it may be difficult for workers to leave after their shift ends. To show their appreciation, AirBnB has developed a global initiative focused on providing health care professionals, relief workers and first responders with subsidized housing while they fight  COVID-19.  

Wondering what you can donate to show appreciation?

With the heightened risk of exposure because of limited supplies such as masks which means some facilities may be forced to reuse masks, make their own from available materials; this can be unsafe for both workers and patients. Donating supplies such as:

  • Gloves
  • N95 and Surgical masks 
  • Gowns
  • Goggles
  • Hand sanitizer 

Cities and facilities are creating dropoff centers, you can check your State’s Drop Off Center on the City and State website as well.

Three Places to Check Out and Donate

John Hopkins: COVID-19: Donate Now | Johns Hopkins Medicine (drop off map included)

Charity Navigator: COVID-19 Relief Supplies: Health & Medical Relief List

Donate critical medical supplies to support NYC healthcare workers.

Wondering how donating shows recognition and appreciation?

Donating supplies shows that, you not only value their work but the lives of these responders.  Thanking them by donating the supplies and equipment needed for them to save lives and continue their work allows them to feel at ease and work, knowing they have the tools to succeed.

Gestures of gratitude

By now, you’ve seen videos and articles with politicians, celebrities and individuals worldwide “clapping for healthcare workers.” Showing their appreciation and support for doctors, nurses, and first responders. Some tweeting “Thank you” and using tags such as #SolidarityAt8. Gestures like this can boost the morale of healthcare workers as they tirelessly work and care for the community. 

  • Thank you notes and shoutouts go a long way: Whether it’s commenting on the hospital or facility site board, sending letters to healthcare workers, or giving a shoutout via social media. Sending virtual notes and videos go a long way. You can tag the facility directly, using hashtags such as #youareremarkable or #ThankYouHealthCareWorkers, sharing your appreciation and recognizing their hard work could give them strength and a boost as they face another day of r night of work.
  • Think of  “thank you” notes as a check-in: Checking in on healthcare team members through social media and letters shows them that we care and are thinking about them.

Alternative: Whether you’re donating masks you’ve sown or called ahead for takeout, donating “care packages” i.e water, groceries, ventilators show workers you’re thinking of them.  Please call the unit/facility ahead of time if you plan to donate food. Remember to leave a thank you note.

Volunteering Your Time

Not only are healthcare teams dealing with an increase in workload and limited protective equipment, but there’s also the added information overload. Volunteering your time and skills can ease tension for healthcare workers.

There is a shortage of administrative and medical personnel. Hospitals and facilities are seeking volunteers to assist by delivering supplies for blood drives i.e Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help with blood drives, drive-throughs or virtual information.  NYC is looking for Medical Reserve Corps volunteers as well to help with response shortages.

Monetary Funds

How can you help healthcare workers who have to spend most of their days in hospitals and facilities? By donating monetary funds, whether for groceries, bills, or other important expenses. Many apps such as Venmo and GoFundMe are teaming up to help those in need. GoFundMe has created a page for COVID 19. You can search the page to send funds to individual workers,’ their families, and all hospital staffers.  There are multiple nurse associations such as Washington Nurse Fund which are funding groceries and deliveries for nurses.

Alternative: Paying for their parking permit especially since some facilities do not have free parking

Are you wondering what the best way to show your appreciation and recognize the work healthcare teams are doing during COVID-19? 

The best way to show your appreciation and recognition…… STAY HOME 

Practicing social distancing: Staying home decreases the likelihood of transmission. Although it may be difficult, the best way to help these workers is to limit contact so as to not spread the disease. This allows workers to concentrate on helping others in the community heal, reducing the number of cases, decreases the possibility of workers becoming exposed. 

If we do our part, we can help them do theirs because we are all in this together. Remember that all healthcare teams are working on the frontline to help us and they deserve to be appreciated during this troubling time.

By donating supplies, time, money and sharing gestures of gratitude we are able to show how much we appreciate them, but also caring about their wellbeing by social distancing shows them how much we value their lives and skills. 

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About the author

Joycelyn Ghansah

Joycelyn Ghansah is a former Healthcare Organizer with a background public health, include reproductive and sexual health. When she's not freelance writing, she's transcribing interviews and researching ways to strengthen healthcare labor laws.

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