“This nurse my clients had – she was excellent. I am wondering if I can send her a card, thanking her?” This is a common question doulas ask other doulas. Even before the ease of gathering in Facebook groups, there were doula message boards and email lists, and for those of us fortunate enough, real-live gatherings of local doulas. This question has come up since the beginning: Can a doula who witnessed excellence on the part of a nurse, send a thank-you?
Many feel a nurse is just doing her job – why should she be thanked? She would be doing it for someone else if not your client. She did it yesterday, and she will do it again tomorrow. That’s what she does – it’s her job, nothing extra is required on a family, friend, or doula’s behalf.
I work as a doula in the Bakersfield, Visalia, Tulare, and Hanford areas of Central California. I was recently at a birth somewhere out there where I truly saw a nurse “just doing her job.” It was the bare minimum required of her. And it showed. Did the mother receive nursing care? Yes, arguably very good nursing care. Was there any empathy, kindness, or understanding with this care? Absolutely none. If left me feeling three things: either she is lazy, power-tripping, or she really hates being an L&D nurse. Whatever the reason, “just doing her job” shone through as her mission statement for that shift.
Fortunately in my experience, this is a rarity. I see nurses smiling, helping, giving emotional support, and scaffolding families as they welcome new babies. So I say it is not only okay and appropriate to send your thanks to a nurse, it is imperative! Even better, send a copy to her boss, and her boss’ boss! As doulas we see both sides of the coin, and there isn’t much we can do when a nurse is “just doing her job.” Let us, instead, send praise forward, and recognize nurses who provide excellent nursing care in conjunction with empathy, kindness, and dare I say, heart!
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)