The vast majority of the public think nurses are under-appreciated for the work they do, with nearly 60% ranking the profession as the most under-valued in Britain, according to a new poll.
The survey of 2,000 adults coincides with the launch of a campaign this week by the Cavell Nurses’ Trust to encourage people to recognise the contribution of nursing staff and say thank you.
“It’s about celebrating those precious moments of connection that can make all the difference to a hospital experience such as a reassuring hand on the shoulder or a well-timed chat”
In the snapshot poll in September, 90% of people said they felt nurses were under-valued in some way, with 41% saying nurses were “extremely” or “very” under-appreciated.
The Moment of Thanks campaign aims to gather at least 1,000 “thank yous” from people who have benefitted from the care and support of nurses.
People are being encouraged to share a photo, video or a few words at the campaign’s website or via the social media site Twitter using #momentofthanks
Charity chief executive Steve Charlton said: “Our nurses are there for us from childbirth to caring for us at the end of our lives. They offer support and comfort through some of the most challenging times, but all too often we don’t get the chance to say thank you.
“This isn’t about celebrating clinical excellence, it’s about celebrating those precious moments of connection that can make all the difference to a hospital experience such as a reassuring hand on the shoulder or a well-timed chat,” he said.
The charity was set up in the memory of British nurse Edith Cavell who was shot for helping Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I.
The launch of the campaign marks 100 year since her execution. It is a part of a wider remembrance event including a wreath-laying ceremony at St-Martin-in-the-Fields church in London.