Know a fellow nurse who’s birthday is coming up? Want to butter up your precept with a nice surprise? Need to drop some hints to your significant other about what you might want for the holidays? Whether shopping for a colleague or searching for something special for yourself, we’ve got 5 great gift ideas for any nurse.
1) A GOOD WATCH
Smartphones may have taken a huge bite out of the watch market, but they’re not so miraculously modern when it comes to the day-to-day job of a nurse.
If you’re taking pulses, recording notes, or letting a doctor know what the T in a TOD is, having to constantly dig in your pocket, pull out your phone, push a button and enter a passcode is just not an option. Whether you wear it on your wrist or on a fob, a good, reliable watch is a must.
2) GREAT SHOES
Mail carriers like to point out they spend all day on their feet, but until they can claim they deliver mail for 8, 12, and sometimes 16 hours a day, nurses will still have them beat.
Fact is, our feet have a direct impact on the rest of our body. If they’re sore or injured, ankles, knees, hips, and all the rest have to pick up the slack. After awhile, nothing works the way it’s supposed to because everything is compensating for something down the line. Stop the problems before they start with a great pair of shoes.
3) A PROFESSIONAL STETHOSCOPE
While there are plenty of discount and bargain stethoscopes on the market, we believe a good stethoscope, like a good camera lens or a well made piece of furniture, is something that should hold its value for years. Spending an extra $30-$40 bucks on a reliable, high-quality piece of equipment that could easily last you (or a friend) an entire career is what we call a good investment. Plus, it’s one of the coolest accessories that only nurses and doctors can rock, might as well wear it in style.
4) QUALITY SCRUBS
Whether strict-dress-code white or roll-your-own Scooby-Doo prints, being a nurse is almost as hard on scrubs as it is on the people wearing them.
So help a fellow RN, LVN, LPN or nurse practitioner into some stylish, comfy 21st-century wonder garments. Moisture-wicking, pajama soft, sturdy as grandma’s fruit cake.
Life’s too short to wear cheap scrubs. As the Victorian poet and art critic John Ruskin once said, “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”
5) A NICE MASSAGE
Remember that part about nursing being a hard life? Scrubs can get tossed in a washing machine and all will be well, but if you try that with people it just makes a mess.
Carrying and restocking supplies, bending and twisting around all manner of medical machinery, lifting patients in and out of bed and wrestling with the occasional drug overdose victim are just a few of the regular and extraordinary challenges of life as a nurse. Not to mention that the marathon of these tasks can often run 40, 50, even 60 hours per week, month after month, year after year.
Finding a good massage therapist who understands the nursing life is crucial for long-term health. Give your new nurse a gift certificate or two they can use when needed (and maybe watch a YouTube video to learn a few tips and tricks yourself).
BONUS – 6) PATIENCE
Nurses see people when they’re at their lowest, weakest, and most vulnerable. They deal with people newly born into the world, and those who are not long for it. They care for people at a time when pain and fear claw to overwhelm their senses.
When the doctor or the surgeon or the administrator doesn’t have the best bedside manner, it’s the nurse who puts a human face on, and brings a human heart to, cutting-edge care.
It can feel like an underpaid, high-pressure, thankless job almost as often as it is incredibly rewarding, deeply meaningful, and of the utmost importance.
So, if your wife or husband, daughter or son, friend or lover comes home from a shift and needs a moment to themselves, or has to go for a run, or really needs you to listen, please do so. Not just for them, but also for the people they’ll see the next day who need their nurse to be the best they can be.