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TueSep 7

National Grateful Patient Day – September 7, 2021

National Grateful Patient Day is on September 7, and it serves as the best day to show our healthcare workers the appreciation they deserve. The day is also focused on the families and caregivers of anyone receiving life-giving medical care and, additionally, the courageous patients who are grateful to be alive. Healthcare professionals have been there as long as medicine has, and we can never truly thank them enough.

History of National Grateful Patient Day

Healthcare workers go above and beyond for our sake, and although we often overlook it, they are one of the most essential parts of our community at large. There really isn’t a lot we can say or do to reward the saved lives, care, and treatments they give us, however, a day like this gives us an opening to at least try. Life-giving care especially impacts the caregivers and patients in an irreplaceable way.

The Grateful Patient Project is a non-profit organization that was founded by former NFL kicker and Man of the Year Rolf Benirschke, in 2017. It provides a platform for patients to share their stories of gratitude for the healthcare providers, medicines, procedures, and institutions that supported them through illness and changed their lives.

Benirschke was in his third season with the San Diego Chargers in 1978 when he collapsed from ulcerative colitis. He required two emergency surgeries within six days and spent almost six weeks in the intensive care unit fighting for his life. He survived, returned to the NFL on September 7, 1980, to play seven more seasons with the San Diego Chargers, and became the first NFL player ever to wear an ostomy appliance.

Benirschke came through the ordeal committed to spending his life advocating on behalf of patients and was inspired to create the organization as an expression of gratitude to those who supported him through years of medical challenges. National Grateful Patient Day on September 7 celebrates the strong patients that overcome seemingly impossible challenges and the medical workers that are always willing to render a helping hand.

National Grateful Patient Day timeline

1978
Minor Setback

Rolf Benirschke’s third season with the San Diego Chargers is cut short when he collapses from ulcerative colitis.

1980
Major Comeback

Benirschke comes back to the NFL and plays seven more seasons

1986
Retirement

Benirschke retires from his career as a professional football player for the San Diego Chargers.

2017
The Grateful Patient

Benirschke creates the Grateful Patient Project.

National Grateful Patient Day FAQs

Who is a healthcare worker?

Healthcare workers include physicians, nurses, emergency medical personnel, dental professionals and students, medical and nursing students, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, hospital volunteers, and administrative staff.

What do you say to thank a healthcare worker?

“Thank you all so much for your courage, compassion, and determination during this time! Stay safe, we are so grateful for all that you do!” Basically, anything thoughtful, motivational, or encouraging.

What is National Grateful Patient Day?

National Grateful Patient Day on September 7 provides an opportunity to show appreciation for the hard-working professionals in the medical industry and gratitude toward the families and caregivers of anyone receiving life-giving medical care. It also honors the courageous patients who are grateful to be alive.

How to Observe National Grateful Patient Day

  1. Show appreciation for a healthcare worker

    Call, text, write a note to or visit any of the healthcare workers you know, and let them know how much they are valued. If you’re a patient, say some words of gratitude to your caretaker. Everyone likes to be appreciated so show your appreciation for a healthcare worker today.

  2. Donate to a healthcare organization

    There are several medical and healthcare organizations that are geared toward different causes. Find a cause that resonates with you and make a donation or volunteer.

  3. Share a post on social media

    Express yourself while educating others about National Grateful Patient Day by sharing appreciation posts or relevant information on your social media. Use the hashtag #GratefulPatient to spread the word.

5 Facts About Nurses You Should Know

  1. The nurse that caters to you is most likely foreign

    The “State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020” states that about one in eight of all nurses globally are practicing in a country different from where they were born.

  2. Most healthcare workers are nurses

    Registered nurses make up the largest occupation within hospital settings by a large majority.

  3. They can walk for miles

    A recent study found that nurses walk four to five miles in a 12-hour shift.

  4. They are everywhere

    Only approximately 60% of registered nurses work in hospitals.

  5. They are one of the highest-paid professions

    On average, registered nurses earn around $80,000 per year — in fact, some registered nurses specializing in a particular domain and/or working overtime earn six figures, with nurse anesthetics being the highest-paid nursing specialist field.

Why National Grateful Patient Day is Important

  1. Our healthcare workers’ lives matter too

    Although they are dedicated to serving and making sure everyone else is doing okay, we must remember that our healthcare workers are humans and their lives matter too. We also have to make time to appreciate their unrequited efforts, and this day provides that opportunity.

  2. It encourages the efforts of healthcare workers

    Healthcare workers can never be paid enough for all the work they do to ensure our health status is at its peak. However, a boost of gratitude is always the push in the right direction and lets them know that we see and acknowledge them.

  3. It boosts the patients’ morale

    There would be no healthcare workers without patients and although surrounding circumstances may be discouraging, National Grateful Patient Day is for the patients as well! It encourages the indomitable spirit of these courageous patients who are grateful to be alive.

National Grateful Patient Day dates

YearDateDay
2021September 7Tuesday
2022September 7Wednesday
2023September 7Thursday
2024September 7Saturday
2025September 7Sunday

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