May 12 is International Nurses Day, and with everything that’s happening, this year more than ever, these essential frontline healthcare workers deserve our appreciation, admiration, and our help.
Here are concrete ways you can help make nurses’ lives a little better in this difficult time.
Send words of thanks
Hand write a personal thank-you note, make a drawing, or get your kids to colour the excellent colouring page Brianna H. from Munster branch made specifically to thank healthcare workers during the pandemic. Once you’re done, post the picture on social media using the hashtags #ThankYouNurses, #YearoftheNurseandMidwife, and #FlattenTheCurve, and/or put it up in your window to brighten the day of any worker who might see it. Then, you may want to also send it to the Canadian Nurses Association, who has been actively collecting these words of thanks and sending them to their membership.
A lot of neighbourhoods are standing outside on their porches and balconies, clapping at specific hours, to thank their healthcare workers. Listen out to see if your neighbourhood is doing that; or keep an eye out to see if you spot someone in scrubs walking to or from work, stand outside and applaud them (from a safe distance).
Do you have a nurse in your social circles? Offer to cook them dinner! Ask first, of course, but if they like the idea, you could drop off a home-cooked meal on their doorstep they would only have to reheat. After working 16-hour shifts, they will appreciate not having to cook.
Make a donation
Healthcare systems are overwhelmed, and hospitals and healthcare charities are doing all they can to ensure they can care for all COVID-19 patients as the virus continues to spread. Many are in desperate need of funds to aid their responses, purchase necessary equipment, personal protective equipment, support frontline health care staff, and more. CanadaHelps.org has compiled a list of them by province, so you can donate directly to the hospital or charity which means the most to you.
There is a shortage of critical personal protective equipment in hospitals throughout the country, and there are many ways you can help. First, if you are in the veterinarian, dentistry, construction, cosmetic industry, or if you recently renovated and you have access to unused, unopened masks and gloves, please consider donating your supplies to your local hospital, especially if your work is on hold right now.
If you sew, knit or crochet, there are also many supplies you can send to hospitals, such as headbands with buttons to take the stress off the ears and make wearing masks for several hours easier. Some hospitals are also accepting homemade mask donations, and a Canadian Facebook group called Canada Sews is leading and concentrating the efforts, responding directly to requests from frontline workers with donated homemade masks. They are currently looking to fill nearly 60,000 more requests at this time, and offer support, and free patterns for headbands, surgical caps, and masks.
One of the things that matters most to nurses is saving lives. Make that work easier by signing up to donate blood today, if you can! Donating blood is safe, and it’s especially needed right now. Contact Canadian Blood Services for more information.
The best thing you can currently do for your nurses and other frontline healthcare workers is to stay home and take physical distancing seriously. The more we do to make sure our hospitals don’t get overwhelmed, the safer and easier the nurses’ work becomes.
Blog post contributed by Nathan F. of the North Gloucester branch. Colouring page made by Brianna from our Munster branch.