We had a nice, long weekend with a Family Member in the hospital. I always hate getting one of "those" phone calls, then jumping in the car and driving 4 hours to the hospital.
This family member was in the ICU, then moved to a room on "the floor".
During the 3 days we were there, I noticed the usual - room after room of patients and family members. And staff literally running from one room to the next.
How do they do it? Work 12 hour shifts and take care of one patient, run to the next room and are pleasant and helpful in that room?
When the nurse, aide or respiratory therapist would come in to Family Member's room. They were friendly, answered questions, and asked if WE needed anything (not just the family member.)
I wouldn't ask them if I needed something, they are way too busy! Since I was there with the Hubby, one of us could stay in the room and the other could walk down to the cafeteria.
After we left to pick up something for Family Member, we decided to stop by a popular sandwich and bakery shop. We bought all of the cookies in the display, had them boxed up and left them at the nurse's desk with a note thanking them for all of their hard work.
The nurse popped in the hospital room a few minutes later, and while wiping crumbs from her cheek, thanked us for the cookies. She said she was so surprised that we would do something like that.
I was surprised that she was surprised. Don't they ever get families that thank them?
I told her that we see you. We see you run from room to room. We see you patiently answer questions for Family Member (even if you just explained it 5 minutes ago.) We see you being friendly when we know your feet hurt and your back is sore.
We see you and appreciate you.
We were surprised to see how quickly the cookies were eaten (and how excited the staff was), so we did the same thing the next day, with a new shift of hospital staff (that's the cookie photo above.)
Hospitals can bring out the worst in some people, and I'm sure they are not treated kindly in each room. But, I would like to spread a little joy and love.
And if I can do that with a big box of cookies, sign me up!