A health unit coordinator at work

How to Thank Your Health Unit Coordinator

When you work in the medical profession, it can be easy to overlook the impact of essential workers and to appreciate the hard work and value of those on our own team. From doctors to administrators, everyone plays an important role in the health care system and deserves to be recognized. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital and health care workers have been working tirelessly and haven’t had the time or ability to take care of themselves. 

Health unit coordinators are the backbone of our health care systems. They maintain and support your facility, ordering tests, setting up charts, and transcribing orders, amongst other key tasks. Health Unit Coordinators Day is just around the corner on August 23 and is the perfect opportunity to let them know how much you appreciate their work. Here are some ways to go the extra mile and thank your health unit coordinator.

History of Health Unit Coordinators Day

Lately, it seems like any given day can be a niche worker holiday. However, the history of Health Unit Coordinators Day extends back for several decades. After World War II, the United States hospital system modernized, and the role of health unit coordinator became more defined and essential to running a hospital or health care facility.

On August 23, 1980, Myrna LaFleur-Brooks, the future head of the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC), called a meeting to discuss forming a formal association for health unit coordinators. This meeting was the inception for what would become the NAHUC, and each year after, August 23 was known as Health Unit Coordinators Day. In 1982, they held their first official board meeting and established the code of ethics and standards of practices for health unit coordinators. Recognizing the on-going hard work of HUCs, in 2017, the NAHUC expanded Health Unit Coordinators Day to span an entire week, from August 23 through August 29.

7 Ways to Thank Your Health Unit Coordinator

Showing support and gratitude to your HUCs goes a long way in creating happy employees in a healthy work environment. Even the simplest gestures can touch someone and make them feel special. And with Health Unit Coordinators Day extended to a week of celebration, you can say thank you in multiple ways for multiple days of the week.

Here are seven suggestions on how to show your appreciation for your team’s health unit coordinators:

1. Chip in to Buy a Gift

Bring together your entire staff and have everyone chip in some money to buy your HUCs a meaningful gift. Get as many people involved as possible; people like to give to others, and more often than not, they’ll contribute in some way to show their appreciation. A small contribution goes a long way, and the more people you get involved, the larger a gift you can give.

2. Throw a Surprise Party With Your Staff

Nothing makes someone feel truly appreciated than an unexpected celebration of their hard work. Plan a surprise party with your team and ask coworkers to contribute by bringing a snack, drink, or decorations. Keep the get-together secret from your HUCs and make sure they are available during your planned party. Invite them to a fake meeting, and when they walk in to see a celebration in their honor, they’ll be ecstatic. Not only will your HUC feel valued, but your entire team will get to blow off steam and take some time to indulge.

3. Have Everyone Write Personal Thank-You Letters

An inexpensive gift that often holds more meaning than a material good is having everyone your health unit coordinator works with write the HUC a personalized hand-written note. Encourage your co-workers to write genuine, personal messages that share special memories and words of appreciation with your HUCs. They’ll cherish seeing their words handwritten and hold on to them as a keepsake.

4. Give Them the Day Off

If you are an administrator and have the means and staff to do so, giving your HUC the day off is the best way to thank them for all their hard work throughout the year. If you have more than one HUC, use the entire week to give each one a day off. Even allowing the HUC to leave early is a kind gesture. Just make sure you don’t overwork other members on your staff in the process. 

5. Bake a Dessert

Making a dessert for your staff is a fun way to bring in a treat for everyone while showing your appreciation for them. However, go beyond the standard chocolate chip cookies from a can or cake mix from a box. Make a unique desert that includes their favorite flavors that your coordinators aren’t going to be able to find anywhere. If you really want to go all out, decorate it lavishly too.

6. Share an Appreciation Post for Them on Social Media

Sometimes budgets, schedules, or workflow restrict our ability to throw a party or give a gift. It’s the nature of a career in health care and, while unfortunate, is the way of the industry and shouldn’t be something to get too upset over. A small gesture that doesn’t take much time, energy, or money is to write them a sincere appreciation post on social media. Write about how much they contribute to your facility, how they make your job and life easier, and why they mean so much to you as a person. Tag them so they can share your kind words with their friends and family who may not know them in their work capacity.

7. Get Personal

The best gifts and gestures are the ones that speak to someone on a personal level. Does your coordinator like to cook? Get them a basket of fresh ingredients and goods. Is your coordinator always saying a certain phrase? Put it on a mug or T-shirt. Gifts resonate more when they show you know who the person is and what they like.

If you’re a health unit coordinator or nurse looking to pick up per diem shifts, visit us at Clipboard Health.