National Hospital Day was first observed on May 12, 1921, on what would have been Florence Nightingale’s 101st birthday. In 1953, it was expanded into National Hospital Week, and it is now celebrated during the first full week in May. Hospital Week is an opportunity to thank all employees in the field of healthcare: nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, radiologists, culinary employees, housekeeping and more. At Arkansas Heart Hospital, we recognize that our staff is what makes us one of the best hospitals in Arkansas.
“We appreciate our employees every day,“ Andrea Nelson, Chief Operating Officer at Arkansas Heart Hospital, said. “During National Hospital Week, all members of leadership try to make it fun by putting a lot of energy behind it to give back to our employees.”
Each year Arkansas Heart Hospital sets a theme for the week, and this year’s theme is “Keys to Success.” During this week, we will show our appreciation for our employees with several events, all with the key message of thanks and appreciation.
“We picked ‘Keys to Success’ because our employees are the keys to our success,” Nelson said. “And employees for me are all of us, including providers. We all have to work together to be successful. Everything that happens every day here is all from what our employees give, and that is very much a key to our success and that’s why we made that our individual theme.”
Arkansas Heart Hospital was recently awarded the prestigious Five-Star hospital rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — one of just two hospitals in Arkansas and one of 293 nationwide to receive such an honor.
“We couldn’t do it without the team,” Nelson said. “That doesn’t come from the administration of the hospital; it comes from every member of our team. Teamwork with results is one of our core values for our employees, so we want to give back and tell them how much we appreciate their dedication to the extraordinary care they provide to our patients and our families every single day.”
Patients and families are also invited to be a part of the week-long celebration.
“We couldn’t be where we are without (patients and families). Last year a token of appreciation was included on the patient’s meal trays – letting them know we are not only celebrating our employees, but also them as they are just as much a part of our success,” Nelson said. This year, patients and families were encouraged to leave notes of appreciation for a specific hospital employee who has had a positive impact on their time at Arkansas Heart Hospital. Notes will be put on display for employees, patients and visitors to read and see why our staff elevates us above other hospitals in Arkansas.
“Sometimes taking two seconds to say thank you truly makes all the difference,” Nelson said.
While we take National Hospital Week to emphasize our thankfulness and appreciation for our hospital employees, they are feelings that are present year-round.
“We are one big family here. I feel if you were to ask any employee, they would feel that same culture every day. We just emphasize it on hospital week even more,” Nelson said.
For Nelson, this special week not only allows her to serve but also allows her to genuinely connect with employees.
“During Hospital Week, it’s not just an event during the day – we run 24/7. I have employees to say thank you to 24/7, so it gives me an opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with them,” Nelson said. “It’s very rewarding to have that time to connect with our employees in friendly, family- oriented conversation.”