What is a good gift for hospital staff?
November 19, 2008 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for a thank you gift for NICU staff?

Our new baby has been in the NICU for 5 days. He's getting discharged today (yay). We want to give a gift to the awesome staff, especially the nurses. What's a good gift for a group, 12 hour shifts, busy and in a sterile environment (although they have a break room)? Fruit basket? And do we cite specific extra helpful nurses or just leave it to the group?
posted by k8t to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would write a letter to the nurse supervisor commending them (mentioning specific names, if you have them, and dates).
posted by mattbucher at 9:15 AM on November 19, 2008

Doh. Saw this (on phone and tired) ask.metafilter.com/41411/Good-gifts-for-pediatric-nurses - will send whatever to day and night shifts. Will write a letter to supervisor w. names of those that were especially helpful.
posted by k8t at 9:20 AM on November 19, 2008

Ask if there are any exit reviews that the hospital offers and fill it out and include very specific examples and full names. Aside from that, I know that my mom loves it when parents of the kids that are visiting her wing leave a fruit basket or fresh flowers so that everyone can enjoy it, on all shifts.
posted by banannafish at 9:21 AM on November 19, 2008

To accompany the letter, perhaps a box of chocolates or basket of cookies - just not homemade. Nurses are gun shy about eating homemade items brought in by parents.
posted by TorontoSandy at 9:24 AM on November 19, 2008

Nurses are gun shy about eating homemade items brought in by parents.

That is emphatically not true at the hospital where I work; but yeah, food and a letter to the administration are both pretty standard thank-you gifts in hospitals.
posted by TedW at 9:31 AM on November 19, 2008

When we had our baby, I walked by the NICU time and time again. One thing I saw lots of were thank-you plaques sent by the parents, usually showing photos of the baby when he/she was born, and a later photo of the child looking, well... a little more full and healthy. I imagine it must be very nice for them to see the kids all plump and healthy.

That, and a muffin basket.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 10:07 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

My brother the PA has said repeatedly that you can never go wrong by bringing in food.

When my father exited the ICU we brought in doughnuts and fruit - just so the nurses who might not appreciate temptation via sweets would have something to eat as well.
posted by oreonax at 1:17 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

My first child spent a month in NICU. My wife and I commuted every day, at least twice a day, to see our son at the hospital. So we really got to know the nurses there. They are generally some of the most amazing people I've ever met.

They taught us everything, from how to hold a baby to how to change a diaper. They comforted us and reassured us. We were so grateful to them, but we were also so relieved to get him home and away from all the pinging machines that the last thing we wanted to do was go back to the NICU for a while.

When our son turned one we decided that enough time had passed and it was time to say thanks. So my wife and I brought our infant son and a plate of brownies to the NICU. One of the nurses came in to work early so she could be there.

The NICU nurses we met were incredible people, and they do their best for patients who quite frequently get dealt a bad hand, often by their parents. There are a lot of crack babies in the NICU. And the nurses must feel some apprehension letting their little patients out into the big, bad world.

So, I thought it would nice to see what good their work does: A thriving child, a happy family. I think that matters more than any flowers, cards, notes or what have you.
posted by up in the old hotel at 1:28 PM on November 19, 2008

Please, no flowers. While they are pretty, they have absolutely no place in an ICU. Even if you have seen them there before, it's best not to encourage the behavior.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a note from my patients (or their family). Sometimes, during a long shift, it is hard to remember that patients do get better, and a note always cheers me up.

Thanks for being so considerate to my fellow ICU nurses, and I wish you and yours a happy homecoming.
posted by nursegracer at 10:21 PM on November 19, 2008

I would like Krispy Kremes, a big thank you card that names everyone individually, a letter to the chief executive of the hospital, and a nomination for some kind of national "patient choice award".

Really, yesterday at the end of a long shift an ex-patient dropped off 24 Krispy Kremes and a big card, and it was great.
posted by roofus at 3:30 AM on November 20, 2008

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