Nurses spread Christmas joy with Show Me Your Stethoscope
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Earlier this year, the nursing world was rocked after some negative comments were made by the women on "The View" about Miss Colorado's monologue during the Miss America pageant. At the time, a small unsuspecting group was quickly gaining momentum on Facebook — Show Me Your Stethoscope.
Started on a whim by a nurse, the group soon had thousands of members within hours and more than 800,000 after a few short days. It quickly became a place to connect with like-minded healthcare providers and stand united for a common cause — unity in the healthcare industry.
As with any large, quickly-growing group, there have growing pains and an evolution toward a common purpose. But one thing has remained clear, the group's mission to promote a positive cultural change and unify healthcare workers for good remains at the forefront.
Toward the end of November, the creator of Show Me Your Stethoscope (SMYS), Janie Garner, thought of another way for nurses to do what they do best — help others. While shopping for a family she adopted for Christmas, she got an idea: "I figured maybe we could adopt a family or two, and that five would indicate it had been wildly successful."
Garner put up a post for nominations on SMYS. The only requests were that they were a member of SMYS, a member of healthcare or a student and really need the help. She got 127 requests. Clearly there was a need.
So wish lists were created on Amazon to facilitate the shipping of gifts without too much coordinating. The first few lists took a while to fill, but once the SMYS group caught on to what was happing, the family wishlists were being filled at lightning speed. As of this time, there are 26 family wishlists and growing. The team plans to keep trying to fill requests until the SMYS family says they can do no more.
"I am proud to say that we have helped CNA's, PCT's RN's, LPN's, a respiratory therapy student and the random patient of one of the nurses because I just had to do it, rules or not," Garner said. "We helped a unit clerk with four cases of diapers, wipes, creams and potty training tools because she was unable to buy diapers, and in trying to conserve them caused her baby the worst urine burn one of our nurses had ever seen.
"We are doing good and keeping people healthy, physically and emotionally. We are #NursesUnite."
One of the most touching recipients was a nurse who lost her license for drug diversion. With the help of this group and their generosity, her two children will get to enjoy Christmas.
"No judgment, no ridiculousness, just love," says Garner. This is really the story of every nurse — caring for everyone, no judgment, just good care."
Trying to manage a group with more than 700,000 members is no easy task. With 22 volunteer administrators, they are constantly monitoring the site for inappropriate content and "bots" that generate spam and cause havoc. But, most importantly, they work toward the greater good that will help unify and empower healthcare workers worldwide.
Some accomplishments in recent months include establishing a scholarship fund for students and organizing members from different states to discuss regional healthcare issues. They also recently raised $1,600 to buy nebulizers for a clinic in Bangladesh. Again, demonstrating that SMYS members are willing to unify for a great cause — they just needed the forum.
"We plan on doing good every chance we can, whenever we see a need, because SMYS members put their money where their mouths are," Garners says.
If you would like more information on their group, you can find them on Facebook at Show Me Your Stethoscope. More importantly, if you would like to help out a family in need this Christmas you can find the list on Amazon. They are also looking for a volunteer Web developer to assist them in reaching their message.
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