Assume that I am isolating/masking and encouraging others to do so.
November 26, 2020 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Is there anything I personally could do to help nurses in my area? Or even, like, one nurse?

I am seeing the stories about nurses who cry on the way to and from work, the nurses working 48-hour shifts, the nurses having to fight patients and their families on covid's-not-real conspiracy theories, etc. It makes me want to make things easier for them. Is that possible? What would be helpful and welcome?

(Also: what seems like it should be helpful but definitely would not be?)

Difficulty level: very little money, not on social media unless MeFi counts, not friends or neighbors with any government officials, nurses, doctors, or hospital administrators. I do have a lot of spare time, should that be relevant.
posted by Spathe Cadet to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Nurses and other workers who run our clinics and hospitals still appreciate food and heartfelt cards. Consider finding a community clinic or a skilled nursing facility nearby as most food donations go to hospitals and often end up in the ER. Skilled nursing facility nurses are bearing a huge burden here, and even before the crisis were an exploited, overworked and underpaid segment of the healthcare industry.

Note some places are not allowing homemade food unfortunately - but even a card means a lot.

You mentioned being short on funds, but in future if you do have financial means, I'd suggest something that may feel like a stretch, but goes toward the 'teach a man to fish' type intervention: There has been a rise in strikes and organizing among healthcare workers, and only when we stand up together and fight will we win any systemic improvements to our working conditions. Consider a donation to Labor Notes or another organization that helps workers build power together.

Thank you for thinking about this.

- A nurse
posted by latkes at 9:30 AM on November 26, 2020 [14 favorites]

Best answer: I know you're not on social media, but consider joining Nextdoor temporarily, and post on there that you'd be willing to volunteer for a nurse in your neighborhood (would you be willing to pick up groceries for someone? walk a dog? rake leaves?). Also, I would call your congressperson and tell them that healthcare workers need more funding for PPE.
posted by pinochiette at 3:35 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Call the Nursing Dept of a local hospital, explain that you deeply appreciate what nurses do and are doing in Pandemic. Offer time to do errands for a nurse, walk the dog, wrap their holiday gifts, or other contact-free tasks.

Once a week, make a poster of appreciation, tape it the staff entrance.

Nurses at nursing homes might be able to accept home made goodies.

great ask, nurses are fantastic.
posted by theora55 at 4:02 PM on November 26, 2020

Best answer: all ideas above are great. with little money and lots of time, handmade thank you cards would be appreciated, even if they are are on plain ol' boring printing paper. depending on the number of nurses wherever you are trying to show appreciation/assistance, you could do one (per clinic, hospital wing, whatever) and ask for it to be put in the break room.

definitely great ask.

(not a nurse, but work with them daily)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:31 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Spending time advocating for proper pay, staffing, and other things in your local area would be appreciated, if you are aware of the dynamics happening in those hospitals. If there are local unions calling them might be a fruitful way to support ongoing intitatives. Many HCW just don't have any energy to do anything other than work or sleep, and the policies from management have been nightmarish on top of the actual pandemic stuff.

But yes, adopting a nurse for small chores or tasks to help them out could really make the difference in someone life right now. I really want to know what you go with, if you'd be kind enough to post an update.

Thanks for the support!
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:06 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

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