Keep in mind that effusive labels feel awkward and uncomfortable to
many healthcare professionals. They’d rather be noticed and appreciated
as regular, everyday people working hard on behalf of those they care
“I enjoy personal feedback from patients, but I find the public
adulation of healthcare workers as ‘heroes’ or ‘angels’ extremely
uncomfortable. I don’t work with anyone who thinks of themselves that
way.” —Ryan S.
“I became a hospice nurse to care for people. It’s that simple.
Not a hero or angel—but if someone wants me to be an angel as they are
confused and near the end of life, I’ll be that for them. I’ll always
remember one of my patients waking up and looking at me wide-eyed and
saying very clearly, ‘Are you an angel?’ I said, ‘You bet.’” —Tracy R.
“I’m not crazy about the term ‘hero’ to describe healthcare
workers. I think what’s notable about nurses in particular is that we
are hired to look out for you…in the little ways and the big ways.
Nurses help you to the bathroom when you’re too weak, notice if you
haven’t eaten all day, hold your hand during scary procedures, consult
social work when they learn your housing situation is tenuous, speak up
for you, tell you about resources in your community that might help you.
I guess I’d prefer appreciation that recognizes that in order to be a
good nurse, you have to put your humanity into it. Which can be really
taxing sometimes.” —Carolyn P.