This National Nurses Week, Show Your Appreciation

– by Qui Tam attorney James Young

This week is National Nurses Week.

This honorary week ends right before Mother’s Day, which is fitting, as nurses effectively replace the role of our mothers as we grow older. When we were young and scraped our knees or had a cold, our mothers took care of us. As we get older, and certainly as we approach the end of life, it is nurses who tend to our needs. Anyone who has received any type of medical care or treatment has been cared for by a nurse. But, how many of us take the time to think about the job nurses do and truly appreciate them?

Before you arrive for a healthcare appointment, a nurse is the ones who prepares the room, reviews your chart, and makes sure the physician has everything they might need. When you get there, it is the nurse who greets you, seats you, and helps treat you. When you leave the examination or treatment room, the nurse enters notes into your chart, escorts you out, returns to clean up, and begins the process again for the next patient.

Some people complain when they schedule an appointment at their doctor’s office and are seen by a nurse or nurse practitioner (APRN). I welcome those opportunities because I appreciate the fact that a nurse or NP likely has as much experience as the physician, but has more time and attention to give me.

Almost universally, I have found that nurses are the ones least likely to go along with these scams.

As a fraud lawyer with a focus on healthcare fraud, I often get to witness schemes unfold in physician practices or hospital settings. Almost universally, I have found that nurses are the ones least likely to go along with these scams. In fact, many of our clients are nurses who simply want to stop these bad practices and get back to helping people get better.

Nurses don’t have cushy jobs. They don’t make a lot of money. They are surrounded by sick and infirm people, and quite often care for those whose families can’t or won’t care for them. It is easy to lose perspective in life, especially after waiting a long time to be seen in your doctor’s office, or dealing with an ill family member. Consider, even if just for next week, taking a moment to simply say thank you, and tell the nurses in your life you truly appreciate all they do.