Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, countless lives were saved thanks to nurses, who sacrificed their time, health and even the joys of family to serve others and protect their loved ones.
“All healthcare workers, but especially nurses, carried this country through a historic period in modern medicine and there are no words to describe the depth of gratitude we owe them,” says Jennifer Sheets, president and CEO of Interim HealthCare Inc., the nation’s leading franchise network of home healthcare, personal care, healthcare staffing and hospice services. “As a healthcare leader and fellow nurse, I believe the most meaningful way to express our appreciation is to advocate for nurses on issues that reward their efforts, protect their safety and health, and elevate their profession.”
Sheets is offering the following ideas for tangible ways that individuals, communities and the healthcare ecosystem can show gratitude to and advocate for nurses:
• Healthcare companies can advocate for the essential worker status of all home healthcare providers and assure access to necessary protective equipment for themselves and their patients.
• Federal and state-level payors can increase reimbursement rates for nurses, which remain low. They can also provide proper compensation and other creative solutions, such as staff bonuses and hazard pay, so that healthcare professionals can continue their tireless, frontline high-impact care our communities deserve.
“Our goal as an industry should remain steadfastly focused on trying to find budget-balanced ways to ensure pay is reflective of patient outcomes,” says Sheets.
• Whether you’re a patient or client served by nurses, a nurse who would like to extend gratitude to past or current mentors, a healthcare leader wishing to thank their team, or simply a member of the community, you can visit Interim HealthCare’s digital Wall of Gratitude at ihcnursesweek2021.com/message-wall to post a note of appreciation and to celebrate nurses.
• As more complex care is enabled in the home due to advanced clinical training and technology, school boards, community colleges and universities can increase knowledge among nursing students about careers in the home health industry. They can also make nursing students aware of the many professional benefits home-based positions provide, including flexible and predictable schedules, and the opportunity to foster a deeper connection with patients while having fuller visibility into their health through one-on-one care.
• To inspire future generations of nurses, teachers and parents are encouraged to leverage Interim HealthCare’s history of nursing lesson plans featuring nursing pioneer, Florence Nightingale who helped shape the profession into what it is today. These are available at ihcnursesweek2021.com.
“Many nursing programs don’t even offer a home health rotation, which prevents students from exploring the wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities home-based care offers,” says Sheets.
As the nation’s first home care company, Interim HealthCare continues to innovate the care delivery process. For more information on careers, visit ihcmadeforthis.com. To see current openings, visit, interimhealthcare.com/careers.
“This last year has been unyielding in its demand on nurses, impacting every facet of their lives,” says Sheets. “As thanks, we invite the community at large to join us in doing our part to provide nurses with the tangible support and advocacy they need to thrive in their jobs.” (StatePoint)