Hospital staff work some of the most demanding jobs there are physically, emotionally and spiritually – and it takes its toll on all medical staff. That’s why it is especially fitting that we celebrate National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week every year – to take the time, to take care of the people who spend their careers taking care of us.

If you haven’t already started, it’s time to get busy ramping up and planning events to celebrate and show appreciation for nurses and hospital staff.

  • National Nurses Week: May 6-12, 2023
  • National Hospital Week: May 8-14, 2023

Recognition and appreciation are key to promoting employee engagement; and studies have shown that engagement leads to better patient care. Sure, it’s a win-win. But this is about the nurses and hospital staff, so let’s focus on them.

So, what types of events and other things can you plan to make this a special week of appreciation? Well, the more elaborate the better, but if a grandiose celebration is not in your organization’s budget, never fear – modest but thoughtful mementos and gestures also go a long way.

5 Healthcare Employee Appreciation Ideas

We suggest showing appreciation every day, culminating with something big on the last day of the week.

1. Swag Giveaways

Show appreciation to your nurses and hospital staff with swag giveaways. These items could include t-shirts, scrubs, or personalized coffee mugs. The sky's the limit with this one, so be creative! 

2. Special Events

Host special events, such as luncheons or breakfasts to recognize employees, a formal awards presentations, or fun receptions with music and snacks.

3. Activities

Make your employees feel relaxed by hiring  a massage therapist to do chair massages or foot massages. 

You can also host a game day in the break room.

Again, get creative and make it fun! 

4. You Can’t Go Wrong With Food

Chocolates, cupcakes, or better yet - healthy snacks like organic snacks, fruit or veggie trays are a great way to show appreciation.

5. Personalized Recognition

Send your staff a special note from leadership or management throughout the week. A note can be very meaningful, especially when done publicly.

Celebrate Your Employees During Nurses Week and Hospital Week

The key of Nurses Week and Hospital Week  is to celebrate the contributions of your employees and make them feel especially appreciated on every day of their special week. But don’t forget, people like to be appreciated throughout the year.

In fact, recognition and appreciation are most effective in driving engagement when it is done sincerely, frequently and consistently. It doesn’t always have to be on a grand scale – a simple thank you note or other small gestures from a manager or from leadership can make a big impression.

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Editor's Note: The blog post was originally published in 2017 and has been recently updated.

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