Emergency nurses are trained to recognize and to treat life-threatening traumas on the spot. They work in emergency rooms, ambulances, urgent care, air medical helicopters, and stadiums. They face stressful medical situations every day; yet return to work the next day to provide vital assistance to the sick, dying, and injured again and again. With such an important, stressful job it’s paramount to thank and recognize these emergency life-savers during Emergency Nurses Week for all the hard work they do.

Emergency Nurses Week is designed to celebrate the nursing professionals that do an extraordinary job of bringing care, comfort, and compassion to their patients’ lives every year. Emergency Nurse Day originated in Australia in 1989. The Emergency Nurses Association sponsored it and brought it stateside for a full week so we could all celebrate it. Now during every second week in October, we take the time to honor the dedication and commitment of these kind-hearted individuals, who do so much for us and our loved ones.

Emergency Nurses Week is a great way to increase the visibility of the profession and shine a spotlight on the hard-working people who don’t always get enough credit for the work they do. Follow our guide on activities and gifts you could incorporate into your weeklong celebration.

Teddy Bear Clinic

A popular Emergency Nurse Week activity is hosting a Teddy Bear Clinic. Nurses go to schools to help ease any fears children have about health emergencies. The children act as the parent, their teddy bear is the patient, and a nurse treats the teddy bear’s emergency with routine exams. This type of role playing helps to educate children on ER visits and ease any fears they may have. It’s a fun activity within the community for the nurses while kids get to learn while they’re playing.

Give Them The Recognition They Deserve

Be sure to give your nurses recognition all week long. Here are a few ideas that will make them feel special during the weeklong celebration.

  • Post separate pictures of your nurses around the department with a caption that describe their best quality. They’ll be touched that you noticed special elements about them that set them apart and make them all great nurses.
  • Ask members from other departments to give them thank you cards as a way to express gratitude for what they do.
  • Add special screensavers onto the department’s computers to celebrate all they do.
  • Create a bulletin board where they can thank each other for all the great teamwork they provide one another.

Gifts for Emergency Nurse Week

Gifts make everyone feel special. Be sure to make your emergency nurses feel appreciated by giving them something a little extra during their week. Gifts that fit the theme of the holiday make it fun and unique, such as candy filled syringes or pill boxes with different candies for each day of the week. Personalized scrubs or scrub hats are always a hit. Make sure your nurses are never disconnected for an emergency by giving them a backup power bank for their phone battery. Even gift certificates to a local restaurant or their favorite after-hours hangout will come in handy after a long work day.

Bring a Politician to Work Day

Healthcare is an important issue in any election year. Let a politician shadow your nurse(s) to see first hand the challenges the medical profession faces. This will also give your nurses a chance to voice their concerns to someone who has the power to make changes on a larger scale to benefit both patients and staff.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Everyone enjoys laughing about the odd things they’ve seen or heard at work. Have some fun with your nurses about their occupation and ask them to share some of their best stories. It will build team camaraderie and rally support among peers. Consider giving out awards for the best answers to questions like:

  • What was their most embarrassing moment at work?
  • What’s the funniest thing they’ve seen written in a patient’s chart?
  • What’s their favorite joke to say to patients to cheer them up?
  • What’s the funniest thing a patient’s said to them?
  • What’s the most humorous reason they had to write a doctor’s note for missing school or work that they gave to a patient?

We hope these unique ideas bring some fun into your hospital’s Emergency Nurse Week. For these and other medical, hospital, or healthcare-themed products, shop here!