Dr. K.L. Allen: Let’s salute night shift health care workers on Nov. 7

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 1, 2021

Sometimes things go bump in the night and sometimes those things are us. When that happens, we’ve got one thing to say: “Thank you, health care workers.”

We all owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who works in health care right now, especially those who choose to work the night shifts in emergency rooms, urgent care centers and the hospital.

We can’t always plan when we’ll need their help but when we do, we’re lucky to have their professionalism and compassion to see us through.

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To honor the service and professionalism of nurses, patient care assistants, health care technicians and every other frontline health care worker who faces extra pressures from work on the night shift, let’s all make sure to come together on Nov. 7 and thank them for the work.

Why Nov. 7 you ask? Because on this night with the end of daylight saving time, night shift health care workers have an extra hour of work.

It’s the perfect time to reach out and say thanks for all they do.

To express our thanks, Western Governors University Ohio is delivering Night Shift Nurse Appreciation kits to nurses at hospitals and health care facilities throughout the state.

Each kit contains a handwritten note of thanks from WGU Ohio faculty and staff along with snacks, sleep masks, coffee and pens. This is the third straight year that WGU Ohio has delivered this special recognition because, frankly, nurses deserve it, especially now.

WGU is proud to be one of the state’s leading education providers for nurses and other health care professionals.
Many of the students in our nursing degree programs are also night shift nurses, in fact. They appreciate WGU’s flexible, online approach to higher education, which allows them to advance in their careers and study on their own schedules while also providing quality care to their patients at work and oftentimes caring for families at home.

WGU was established in 1997 by a partnership of state governors to offer students, particularly adult learners, the chance to go to college while working and caring for their families. In 2018, Ohio became the 27th state to join the WGU partnership, offering a new pathway for Ohioans to seek careers in such in-demand careers as health care and nursing, business, teaching and information technology.

As a state with major, world-class health care and medical research centers, Ohio has professional opportunities that make it an attractive place for nurses. Additionally, there is a shortage of nurses right now and every effort should be made to support those interested in pursuing this important career. We work carefully with the state’s health care providers to align what we teach with what nurses need to know to succeed and now more than ever than alignment is essential.

For all nurses and other health care workers do to keep us healthy and comfort us in times of pain or anxiety, it can certainly be a tough job at times. For the past year and a half, they have all worked on the frontlines of the pandemic to help us stay healthy, even at the risk of their own health and the health of their families. As COVID-19 surges have come and gone and come again, the volume of patients and stress has been extremely difficult.

Not only do we owe our health care workers a debt of thanks, we also owe them our utmost courtesy and patience as they go about very hard jobs caring for us.

In thanks for all they do, we are grateful.

Dr. K.L. Allen is chancellor of WGU Ohio, the state affiliate of online, nonprofit Western Governors University.