Patient satisfaction, appreciation as important as salary

As a nurse you receive a salary, raises, promotion opportunities, bonuses, healthcare coverage and maybe a 401K plan as part of your total compensation package. These are the organization’s way of recognizing you for what you do. They are important. They satisfy to different degrees and motivate for various reasons. Employers have other nonmonetary types of recognition including award programs to recognize excellence in care, special nursing celebrations, quality achievement and patient satisfaction awards, service award programs. But words of gratitude and thanks from patients and their families are important to us in a very different way; they are constant reminders of why we wanted to be part of healthcare in the first place.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the exceptional care my son received during the days and weeks he spent in ICU. Your care made all the difference in his recovery.”
“My mother’s death was one of the worst moments of my life, but the way you were there for me during her last days somehow made it all more bearable. I can’t thank you enough.” “You and your staff are simply amazing. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the way you coordinated my wife’s care over the long illness.” Sound familiar? As nurses, you and your colleagues often receive letters of recognition and thanks with words like these. Each time you do, I’m sure they touch you and motivate you to keep giving excellent care. Then, there’s the unwritten expressions of gratitude from patients and their families. Remember a quick thank-you hug from the mother of a scared little girl in the emergency room? Or the grateful smile from a son of an elderly patient who wouldn’t take her meds from anyone but you?

Maybe you don’t think of them as such, but each of them is a unique, special kind of “pay” you can’t take to the bank or use to pay your bills.
CO_ThinkstockPhotos-504855650_Final
The intangible benefits
quote-mark
Read more articles on our blog
Read more
IL_ThinkstockPhotos-78156560
BACK TO TOP
TOP-ARROW
More inside this guide
bottom-arro
EDITOR'S NOTE: Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, is the former senior vice president and chief nurse executive at OnCourse Learning. Williamson continues to write for Nurse.com and serve in an advisory role.
editors-note
A letter of appreciation to an ICU care team perfectly exemplifies how part of our payment comes to us from grateful families. The letter, which appeared in the New York Times last October, is what prompted me to share these thoughts with you. Written by a young husband in Boston who is also a writer, the letter was sent to staff at Cambridge Hospital. It was a beautiful, honest and personal note of gratitude meant to recognize and thank the staff for the care they provided to his young, dying wife. His words were picked up by news outlets and social media and are likely written in the hearts of staff at Cambridge forever.

Nursing compensation is never complete if we don’t stop to consider the nonmonetary elements it includes. These elements are earned in different ways and can’t be computed or printed on our W2 forms or tax returns. Often, we’ve heard our profession called a vocation or calling, and we know it is. Somehow we learn from our early days of practice there is another special kind of compensation in our work that doesn’t come in our pay checks. It is the kind that comes in the grateful words of patients and their families who say things like “job well done” or “you made something terrible a little better” or “I will never forget what you did for my grandchild” or simply, “thank you.” I hope these thoughts resonate with you and remind you that although salary and benefits are important, our pay is not always green. As nurses, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
But words of gratitude and thanks from patients and their families are important to us in a very different way; they are constant reminders of why we wanted to be part of healthcare in the first place.”
- Eileen Williamson, RN

Thanks from patients, families is a special kind of “pay”

article-down-arrow
By Eileen P. Williamson
MSN, RN
E_Williamson_2016
share-dots-shadowleft-arrowright-arrow-3right-arrow
© 2017 OnCourse Learning Corp. All rights reserved
facebooktwitterLinkedinyoutube
Contact Nurse.com
20225 Water Tower Blvd. Brookfield, WI 53045
Advertise with Nurse.com
google-pluspinterest
MENU
toc-imageX
Contents
HOME
arrow-TOC
arrow-TOC
Take charge in negotiations
LP-ThinkstockPhotos-465510597_2
Negotiating your salary can have a huge impact on lifetime earnings.
ThinkstockPhotos-611086620
Market, culture influence pay
Find out what drives pay rates in the healthcare market.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-648659120
Look beyond pay rates
Cost of living can make a huge impact on your take-home pay.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-80608276
CE COURSE: Interview like a pro
Ace a job interview with this comprehensive CE module.
arrow-TOC
LP_ThinkstockPhotos-101355048
A special kind of compensation
Never underestimate the value of thanks from patients, families.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-506752188_TOC_RZ
CE catalog
Learn how to switch specialties, build your network and more.
arrow-TOC
LP_ThinkstockPhotos-125990635
Travel nursing's special perks
Find out what attracts nurses to this specialty.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-92239145
Nurse staffing's future course
Nurse shines light on how what specialties will be in high demand.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-478831570__1_
RN salaries always a hot topic
Learn more about issues that can help you increase your salary.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-511472442__1_
Revisit the Equal Pay Act
There's still work to be done in reaching equal pay across genders.
arrow-TOC
hamburguer-icon-shadow
MENU
toc-imageX
Contents
HOME
arrow-TOC
arrow-TOC
Take charge in negotiations
LP-ThinkstockPhotos-465510597_2
Negotiating your salary can have a huge impact on lifetime earnings.
ThinkstockPhotos-611086620
Market, culture influence pay
Find out what drives pay rates in the healthcare market.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-648659120
Look beyond pay rates
Cost of living can make a huge impact on your take-home pay.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-80608276
CE COURSE: Interview like a pro
Ace a job interview with this comprehensive CE module.
arrow-TOC
LP_ThinkstockPhotos-101355048
A special kind of compensation
Never underestimate the value of thanks from patients, families.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-506752188_TOC_RZ
CE catalog
Learn how to switch specialties, build your network and more.
arrow-TOC
LP_ThinkstockPhotos-125990635
Travel nursing's special perks
Find out what attracts nurses to this specialty.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-92239145
Nurse staffing's future course
Nurse shines light on how what specialties will be in high demand.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-478831570__1_
RN salaries always a hot topic
Learn more about issues that can help you increase your salary.
arrow-TOC
ThinkstockPhotos-511472442__1_
Revisit the Equal Pay Act
There's still work to be done in reaching equal pay across genders.
arrow-TOC
Nurse-logo
How to Navigate
© 2017 OnCourse Learning Corp. All rights reserved
Contact Nurse.com
20225 Water Tower Blvd. Brookfield, WI 53045
Advertise with Nurse.com
X
How to Navigate
BROWSE
FIND
right-arrowleft-arrow
hamburguer-icon-shadow
MENU
Move forward or backward between articles by clicking the arrows.
Click or tap to bring up the Table of Contents.
READ
share-dots-shadow
facebooktwitterLinkedingoogle-pluspinterest
SHARE
scroll
Share articles by clicking on one of the social media icons in the upper right corner of the page.
Use your mouse wheel, keyboard arrow keys, or scroll bar to move up and down in an article.