Holiday Giving: Firelands Nursing Staff Donate Items to Local Veterans Home
There are many qualities that make a great nurse. Day to day we see many acts of patience, kindness, andcompassion. From helping an elderly person to the bathroom to comforting worried family members experiencing a tough time, they go above and beyond to care for patients. The holiday season is no different.
While many of us are lucky enough to spend the holidays surrounded by family and friends, there are a few who experience how lonely this time of year can be when family and friends have moved on.
“It can be really disheartening when you’ve been taking care of a patient several days in a row and they haven’t had a single visitor,” said Lindsay Berger, RN. “So it makes you wonder if people aren’t here to see them, do they go to the facility they are normally at to see them or not.”
“You might take care of someone that has family there 24-7 or have multiple family members bringing in different things for them such as hygiene items, personal blankets from home so they feel comfortable. But then you go into the next person’s room and they’ve been here for ten days and not a single person has come to see them. It just gets you.”
The nursing staff of 4 Tower decided to take action, challenging the nursing staff of 3 Tower to a donation challenge to see who could bring in the most items for patients in local nursing homes.
“As nurses, we can provide equal care to patients,” said Berger. “But also as nurses, we figured we could take it a step beyond and do something for them not when they are at the hospital, but when they go back.”
While only the first year for this act of giving, 4 Tower has a history of charitable acts throughout the year.
“We did the shoeboxes for Victory Kitchen last year,” said Susan Behrens MSN, RN, PCCN, nurse director of critical care/progressive care. “And we did the walk (Walk A Mile in Her Shoes)— stuff to bring the team together, but also to help the community.”
The nursing staff on 4 Tower’s goal is to be able to distribute essential items to people who aren’t getting them from their own families and still give them a sense of feeling important during the holiday season.
"It's pretty amazing what the nurses can accomplish together," said Behrens. "The charity and the thoughtfulness to the community is just phenomenal."
On Monday, December 23, nursing staff from 3 and 4 Tower, delivered close to 800 items to the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky.
“Staff from the Ohio Veterans Home said even the smallest things like cheese puffs make their day because they can’t get those snacks,” said Behrens. “Like a bag of candy or even Old Spice— they like to smell nice!”
“It’s just something we felt like we could do. Something to make a difference for them, even if it’s small.”