By Christine Moffa, AJN clinical editor

I had surgery 12/28 and spent four days on med-surg afterwards. I literally spent 3/4 of my time sleeping (bliss! oh rapture unforseen!), but *every single time* anyone came into my room for any reason (meds, IV change, turn off the freaking IV alarm, phlebotomist, housekeeping, whatever), I said “thank you.” I got the feeling I was abnormal. . . . So. How often do your pts say thank you, and does it come as a surprise when they do?

It’s been a few years since I’ve worked directly with patients, but in the past when I had a particularly tough day I would tell people that “nursing is a thankless job.” I’m talking about the kind of day when you barely had time to use the bathroom, never mind eat something, and the only feedback you heard from patients and administration was about what you didn’t get done. So when I saw a post (excerpted above) called “How often do your pts thank you?” at, it hit a nerve.

by Orin Zebest/via Flickr

The responses to the post were mixed, with some saying it’s common to be thanked by patients and others arguing the opposite. Maybe it’s regional—I’ve only worked on the East Coast, and in my experience complaints seem to get more air time than gratitude. Or maybe it’s just the times we’re living in. Either way, I’m sure most nurses would say they didn’t choose this career in the hope of being thanked all day long. I just think it could make the day a little more enjoyable if you were.

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