A year ago, I asked our club to partner with me to appreciate nurses at Sarasota Memorial Hospital Intensive Care Unit. Many of our members have spent time in SMH and during the last 2 years the nursing staff has been overworked and under appreciated. Together we sponsored 75 nurses but due to COVID we were not allowed to be in the hospital to hand out the gifts.
This year our own President, Loyola, spent several days in I.C.U and then under the care of the nurses on floor 7, Courtyard side, the cardiac unit, in room 711. I think getting room 711 was a highlight for our fun loving President. He loves telling the story. With that in mind, I had my husband, who works at SMH, contact the administrative nurse at SMH for 7 Courtyard, to get permission to honor the nurses and techs for that unit both day and night shift. We also requested permission to hand out the packages personally.
Each package contained over $50 in skincare products, a thank you note, and a $5 gift card for the hospital 1700 Restaurant. There were appropriate products for men and women. The card, made by Loyola, is amazing and includes the four way test.
On Friday morning, July 15, Loyola and Thea joined Scott, my husband, and I at SMH to bless the cardiac unit at 7 Courtyard. Well, they actually blessed us immensely. Our first nurse was four months pregnant and looked exhausted already and it was only 11 am. She almost cried she was so happy to get the gift. She was looking forward to pampering herself. She had not attended to Loyola when he was in the cardiac unit but it turned out that her husband attended to Loyola when he was in ICU. Many of the nurses who came in recognized Loyola and were happy to see him looking so well.
We stayed for a hour giving out joy packages to everyone who could come into the break room before the noontime/lunchtime rush with patients. There were so many smiles and hugs. The administrative nurse, Christine Worthley, took our photo and is submitting an article to the hospital newsletter.
Friday evening Scott and I joined Joe Pace to bless the night shift. Once again, the nurses displayed surprise and excitement in receiving gifts from Rotary. Due to the incredibly busy pace that evening, our ability to greet everyone was limited, however, each nurse thank us greatly for thinking of them. Several nurses wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anyone who was busy with patients. Since we had a list of all the staff, we were able to mark off those who did receive their gift and leave the extras with Christine for distribution.