Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
She was a particularly challenging patient to care for. She complained that her room was too cold, she could not get help fast enough to get to the bathroom, her room was dirty, people were rude to her, and a long litany of other complaints. When her call light blinked at the end of my shift, I almost left it for the next shift to answer, but I went in anyway, preparing myself for yet another grievance. It turned out that all she wanted was to say thank you. That simple phrase changed my day from frustrating to rewarding and reminded me of the value of saying thank you.
While some might say that expressing gratitude is simply what polite people do, the value of expressing gratitude is often overlooked, particularly in the workplace. Could it be that the reason nurses feel that nursing is sometimes a thankless job is because they do not hear thank you often enough? The value of saying this phrase goes well beyond good manners. It builds relationships, allows others to see that their actions or behaviors are appreciated, increases self‐esteem, enhances loyalty, and encourages repetition of positive behaviors. Feeling appreciated in the workplace may also decrease turnover and related costs and alleviate stress.
In spite of the positive effects of saying thank you, it is surprisingly lacking in contemporary social situations. Perhaps it is time for us to incorporate expressions of gratitude into our daily experiences. Look for simple opportunities to say thank you; acknowledge efforts in a timely way. Create opportunities to recognize contributions. Pass along compliments at least as often as you pass along complaints. Be sincere; insincerity is an empty expression of gratitude.
Speaking of saying thank you, as this is my final editorial, it is time for me to say thank you for the opportunity to have served as Editor. To the readers who have read JNN and shared comments, and to the authors who have made the effort to contribute to advancement of the nursing profession, I offer my sincere gratitude. To those who made the journal happen behind the scenes—the editorial board, manuscript review board, and all of the editorial staff—your efforts have been greatly appreciated. It has been an honor to serve as Editor for the past twenty years, and I am thankful for the trust that was placed in me. I hope you offer the new Editor the same support—look for her debut in the next issue!