CNO Roundtable 2021

Nurse Appreciation

Q: In what ways have you been able to honor and reward your nursing staff for their hard work and sacrifice during this crisis?

Raye Burkhardt

Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center

If there is one thing nurses love, it is FOOD! While the pandemic prevents us from doing our traditional potlucks, we have been providing our frontline staff with appreciation meals. We’ve served a variety of foods, ranging from Mediterranean to Mexican cuisine. We also offer chocolates and other snacks from our community partners.

While these were only small tokens compared to the hard work and sacrifices of our staff, they were still much appreciated.

Lori Burnell

Valley Presbyterian Hospital

Throughout the pandemic, nurses and other healthcare workers were acknowledged as hospital heroes for their diligence and sacrifice. Monday mornings started with an email from our hospital’s president and CEO, recounting actual stories and naming specific heroes. These stories, which were sent out to all employees, physicians and board members, were powerful, and helped all of us remain connected to our greater purpose.

Ruby Gill

Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center

It really was the smallest gestures that ended up meaning the most. We received an outpouring of support from our community, including food and PPE donations. These acts of kindness were the best medicine in nurturing the spirit of our caregivers.

Evelyn Ku

Alhambra Hospital Medical Center

We recently experienced an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, which strained hospital staffing, space and resources. At times, the projections have been frightening. During this unfortunate emergency, we appreciate how all our staff continue to stand strong and care for our patients. We like to show appreciation for the staff’s hard work by saying a word of thanks, providing free meals and even offering complimentary acupuncture sessions as an alternative therapy to reduce stress.

Nursing Education

Glenda Luce

Foothill Regional Medical Center

Like most organizations, we offered bonuses, increased extra-shift pay and hazard pay for those caring for COVID-19 patients. We provided free food (with some wonderful local restaurants also donating meals), hotels and supplemental childcare. We continue to have snack cart rounds, and we opened a “Serenity Lounge,” offering aromatherapy, yoga, easy chairs, soft lighting and other amenities to help staff relax during breaks or after their shifts.

We also continue to place a gold star on our “Star” wall for each successful discharge home of a COVID-19 patient, giving the staff a visual reminder of the great work they’ve done.

Robyn Nelson

West Coast University

This is a difficult question, as there is probably nothing that would adequately convey the gratitude I have for my faculty, who went from on-campus classrooms to the online modality in 48 hours! Their students were displaced from clinical rotations and needed to use virtual simulations, webinars and Zoom to meet course objectives.

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Nursing educators’ reward is the success of their students, who are the future of healthcare, but all our faculty will get power banks that say “Excel, Lead, Innovate.” It seems appropriate — nurses are a power bank!

Jinhee Nguyen

Adventist Health Glendale

We are a faith-based organization, so we have spiritual services supporting our patients and staff. Our COVID Resiliency Committee focuses on showing appreciation by feeding the mind and body.

This committee works with the community to provide donated food for our associates and put together care packages with inspirational quotes, hand sanitizer and face masks. Recently, this team organized local churches and community members to write thank-you cards to all our associates. Even I received a card; that was quite special.

Sherry Nolfe

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital

One of my greatest passions is baking! Throughout this pandemic, I have taken joy in rounding with a basket of baked goods to share with frontline nurses and other disciplines. I have seen the difference a small gesture like a salted chocolate chip cookie has made to an exhausted team. Taking care of those that take care of our patients has remained my top priority.

Darlene Scafiddi

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

During the pandemic, our hospital adopted a “We’re all in this together” theme, and our recognition was geared towards the team effort. We provided food, snacks, scrubs, cards and items of appreciation we received from the community. We cannot thank our community enough for the overwhelming outpouring of support.

Patricia Vasquez

Adventist Health White Memorial

We had systems already in place to support our frontline staff’s wellbeing, including Schwartz Rounds, which provide a monthly outlet for healthcare providers to openly discuss their thoughts, feelings and struggles in a safe space monitored by a panel of experts. Lately, we’ve used this time to check in with our colleagues and encourage and support each other.


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