Health Tips from a Mother of Three

Is It Appropriate To Give Holiday Gifts To Private Nursing Agency Workers?

The holiday season is thought of as a time for giving. It's a time when people want to do something to thank those who help them throughout the year. Nurses, home health aides, and personal caregivers who work for private nursing agencies are no exception. But knowing what is considered the proper etiquette for holiday tipping and gift giving isn't always clear.

Ask the Agency

When you're not sure whether it's okay to give a home health care worker a gift, contact the nursing agency and ask about the organization's policy relating to employees accepting gifts and gratuities. Although agencies generally do not allow workers to accept gifts of cash, they may allow health care workers to accept non-monetary gifts of minimal value.

If you still want to show your gratitude with a cash gift, you may be able to make a monetary donation directly to the agency as a way to show your appreciation for the care and services you receive throughout the year.

Some agencies also have a holiday fund to which patients and their families can contribute. Giving is voluntary, and any money collected is then divided and distributed to all the agency's employees.

Instead of a monetary gift, you may choose to send a live blooming plant, a cookie tray, a fresh fruit basket, a box of chocolates, or a gourmet basket to the agency for the staff to share.

Check with the State Board of Nursing

While some private nursing agencies may consider it unethical for nurses and other home health workers to accept gifts and gratuities, others may allow the practice. Even if an agency permits it, accepting a non-monetary gift from a patient must not violate any state or federal laws.

Check with your state's board of nursing for its rules of conduct and policies defining professional boundaries. What constitutes professional boundaries can vary by state. Violating any term or condition established by the nursing board can lead to taking disciplinary action against a nurse's license.

Consider Giving a Non-Monetary Gift

A thoughtful, non-monetary gift is something you can give a private nurse as a token of your appreciation. Even if the home nursing agency has a policy that prohibits employees from accepting gifts from patients, a few simple words of thanks can go a long way in making a caregiver feel appreciated.

When you want to express special thanks to someone, it's the thought and not the actual gift that counts. A holiday card with a personal note from you can mean a lot. You can also send a letter to the agency's administrator recognizing the nurse or aide for a job well done.

For more information, contact a business like T L C Home Health Care & Nursing Inc.