The nation was sparked to outrage in late April 2019 when Washington state senator, Maureen Walsh, was arguing for an amendment that would exclude small hospitals from a bill requiring nurses to have breaks. Walsh stated nurses at these hospitals “…probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”
Nurses and their supporters took to social media to set the record straight. And with National Nurses Week approaching, May 6 – 12, we believe there’s no better time than the present to celebrate their hard work. The yearly, week-long event was created to elevate the nursing profession and celebrate, as of 2019, the four million registered nurses in the U.S.
Of course, as a medical sales rep, you’re not selling directly to nurses. However, they’re an integral part of your selling process. They’re often doctors’ gatekeepers and their hands-on help with patients means they’re likely showing them how to effectively use your products.
More importantly, these healthcare professionals deserve your appreciation. The take care of and advocate for the end-users of your products in spite of experiencing fatigue and burnout. In fact, a 2017 Kronos survey found 98 percent of nurses say their work is both physically and mentally demanding. Another 93 percent state at the end of a typical day, they are mentally and/or physically tired.
To offer a small break in the exhaustion and make them feel seen, medical sales reps should elevate nurses, especially during this special upcoming week. Here are a few tips to help you celebrate nurses from May 6 – 12, and beyond:
1. Send thoughtful, handwritten cards.
The custom of sending handwritten thank you cards has nearly vanished. Emails or text messages are faster and easier for senders.
However, these special notes of gratitude are something we see as timeless, especially for busy nursing professionals. They understand what it’s like to have a career where you’re constantly on the go. So, they’ll be impressed and grateful for the time you took to sit down and write a card specifically for them.
In addition to sharing your deep appreciation, a physical card will serve as a gentle but frequent reminder of you and your products.
Write with your favorite pen on a blank “thank you” card. Your message doesn’t have to be long, but should mention something specific to the recipient.
2. Deliver gift cards representing their favorite hobbies.
The point of Nurses Week is to elevate nurses. If they feel medical sales reps are walking right past them to simply get into a decision maker’s office, they’re more likely to feel downtrodden, not uplifted.
Let nurses know you’re paying attention — that chatting with them isn’t just a way to pass the time and you’re genuinely interested in what they’re saying. To do this, be sure you’re discussing non work-related topics throughout the year. What’s their favorite restaurant? Are they a die-hard sports fanatic? Do they have a family at home?
Use this information to help you choose gift cards that represent their favorite hobbies. Or consider buying them a gift card for something they don’t get to do frequently, like a day of relaxation.
3. Drop-off grab-and-go food.
We understand there are some situations where it’s impossible to know the nurses on a personal level. This is especially true when working in a busy hospital setting. It’s still important to show these nurses that you see them.
Let them know you understand how hard they’re working. You’re aware they’re selflessly working through breaks and aren’t sitting down for necessary nourishment. Bring grab-and-go food that goes beyond the traditional cookies and brownies. Add in a fruit, veggie, or deli-tray option to help keep their bodies moving.