Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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Recognizing Healthcare Workers: This Month And All Year Long

Written by  Rich Ellis

Caring for people is a never-ending commitment. Illness and accidents never take a day off, they don’t recognize national holidays or weekends, they occur around the clock, and they affect everyone at some time or another.  

And even as these individual healthcare crises unfold and are managed, attention and work elsewhere is focused simultaneously on promoting and protecting patients’ good health through education and prevention, and on medical research. 

Simply put – healthcare never stops, because it can’t. Delivering it is a heavy responsibility, and one that falls squarely on the shoulders of a select group of people – healthcare professionals. These committed individuals – knowing full well the challenges, risks, hours, sacrifices, highs and lows inherent in caring for others – still choose to perform this work so that others have a chance to live a better life through improved health.

To try and begin to thank and recognize these professionals for their dedication, sacrifices and commitment, many national recognition days have been established over the years to honor specific healthcare professions – from National IV Nurse Day to National Dental Assistants Recognition Week to National Doctors’ Day.

While one day isn’t enough to say “thank you,” it’s a start. So to help you keep track of all the various healthcare-related recognition days and weeks that occur throughout the year so you can recognize the professionals in your life, we put together this healthcare appreciation calendar listing all the various observances.

Use it well, and thank a healthcare professional every day.


Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month 
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), along with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), honors critical care professionals this month for their speedy and dedicated work. For more information, visit the Society of Critical Care Medicine at

Oncology Nursing Month
Oncology nurses throughout the country are honored this month for not only their clinical and technical expertise, but for helping people through some of the most trying times of their lives. For more information, visit the Oncology Nursing Society at

6–12 Nurses Week 
Held annually since 1820, National Nurses Week celebrates the role nurses play in delivering high quality care to patients around the world. For more information, visit the American Nurses Association at

8–14 Hospital Week 
National Hospital Week, the nation’s largest healthcare event, celebrates hospitals and health systems and the men and women who support the health of their communities. For more information, visit the American Hospital Association at

8–14 Nursing Home Week 
Skilled nursing, post-acute, and other care settings use National Nursing Home Week as a time to recognize staff for their dedication to caring for seniors and persons with disabilities. For more information, visit the American Health Care Association at

11 School Nurse Day 
On National School Nurse Day we celebrate our local school nurses! The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) applauds the contributions school nurses make every day to improve the safety, health, and academic success of our students. For more information, visit NASN at

15–21 Medical Transcriptionist Week 
National Medical Transcriptionist Week is a week-long event to recognize the contributions healthcare documentation specialists make in helping to ensure complete and accurate patient health records. For more information, visit the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity at

15–21 Neuroscience Nurses Week
Neuroscience Nurses Week celebrates the work of neuroscience nurses everywhere. For more information, visit the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) at


7 Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day 
National Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day, which always falls on the first Tuesday in June celebrates the contribution healthcare recruiters make to their organizations every day. For more information visit the National Associations for Health Care Recruitment at

9-16 Nursing Assistants Week 
Nursing Assistants Week begins on Career Nursing Assistants Day, June 9, to recognize nursing assistants and other direct-care workers who provide daily care in nursing homes, home care, and other long-term care settings. For more information visit the Career Nursing Assistants website at


UV Safety Awareness Month
In support of UV Safety Month this July, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds the public of the importance of shielding eyes from the sun's harmful rays with 100% UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats. Make a point to recognize your eye care provider this month. For more information, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology at


14–20 Health Center Week 
This week in August, we recognize the service and contributions of community, migrant, homeless, and public housing health centers in providing access to affordable, high-quality, cost effective healthcare to medically vulnerable and underserved people. For more information, visit the National Association of Community Health Centers at

23 Health Unit Coordinator Day
August 23 we celebrate health unit coordinators who serve as the hub of activity in critical care units, emergency departments, inpatient units and outpatient services. For more information, visit the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) at


11–17 Healthcare Environmental Services and Housekeeping Week
This week is designed to recognize and elevate healthcare environmental services staff for the critical and often unrecognized role of environmental services in quality outcomes. For more information, visit the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) at

11–17 Nephrology Nurses Week
Nephrology Nurses Week honors the dedicated nephrology nurses who care for patients with kidney disease. For more information, visit the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association at

11–17 Vascular Nurses Week
Vascular Nursing Week celebrates vascular nurses who focus on the care of persons living with vascular disease. For more information, visit the Society for Vascular Nursing at

15 Neonatal Nurses Day 
National Neonatal Nurses Day is celebrated every September 15 by honoring the members of the neonatal community and their care for the littlest of patients. For more information, visit the National Association of Neonatal Nurses at

18–24 Nursing Professional Development Week
Nursing Professional Development Week celebrates nursing professional development specialists and their profession of engaging nurses in the lifelong learning and development of their healthcare career goals. For more information, the Association for Nursing Professional Development at

18–24 Surgical Technologist Week 
The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) offers national recognition through National Surgical Technologist Week, a week that has been designated to celebrate and honor the professions. For more information, visit AST at


Medical Librarians Month 
The Medical Library Association (MLA) created the National Medical Librarians Month observance to raise awareness of the important role of the health sciences information professional. For more information, visit the MLA at

Pharmacists Month 
American Pharmacists Month is a time to recognize pharmacists for the vital contributions they make as medication experts and as an integral part of the healthcare team.  For more information, visit the American Pharmacists Association at

Physical Therapy Month 
National Physical Therapy Month is hosted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) each October to recognize how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can transform people’s lives by restoring and improving motion. For more information, visit APTA at

2–8 Gerontological Nursing Week
This week honors the specialty practice of gerontological nursing dedicated to the clinical care of older adults across diverse care settings. For more information, visit the National Gerontological Nursing Association at

2–8 Healthcare Foodservice Workers Week
This week, we recognize the integral role of foodservice staff in helping employees and patients of healthcare facilities stay well-nourished and healthy. This week is an excellent opportunity to recognize and thank the dedicated individuals who provide food and nutrition services in healthcare. For more information, visit the Association for Healthcare Foodservice at

2–8 Midwifery Week 
National Midwifery Week is a time to celebrate midwives’ contributions to women’s healthcare, including pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. For more information, visit the American College of Nurse-Midwives at

2–8 Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Week
Celebrated during the first full week of October, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Week encourages recognition of those members of the nuclear medicine specialty for their hard work. For more information, visit the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at

6–12 Physician Assistants Week 
National Physician Assistants Week is intended to celebrate and recognize over 100,000 certified physician assistants in the United States. For more information, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants at

9–15 Case Management Week
National Case Management Week, held annually during the second full week of October, is an opportunity to recognize the contributions and value of case management within the healthcare delivery system. For more information, visit the American Case Management Association at

9–15 Central Service Week
With the dedication of central service professionals, healthcare customers can count on clean and sterile instruments being delivered consistently and on time. For more information, visit the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management at

9–15 Emergency Nurses Week
Emergency Nurses Week is a national celebration of the dedicated nursing professionals who stand ready to care for those people most in need. For more information, visit the Emergency Nurses Association at

9–15 Healthcare Security and Safety Week
In conjunction with Healthcare Security and Safety Officer Appreciation Day on October 12th, this week celebrate the role of security and safety professionals that provide healthcare facilities, personnel, patients, and visitors a secure environment. For more information, visit the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety at

10–15 Dialysis Technician Recognition Week
This week-long event is celebrated to increase awareness of nephrology professionals involved in patient care, dialyzer reuse, equipment maintenance, kidney transplantation, and administrative areas. The celebration recognizes the contributions dialysis professionals make to the healthcare field and to their patients’ quality of life. For more information, visit the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists at

17–21 Medical Assistants Recognition Week 
Medical Assistants Recognition Day falls on October 19th, but celebrate these professionals and their vital role, contributions, and efforts in healthcare all week long. For more information, visit the American Association of Medical Assistants at

23–29 Healthcare Facility and Engineering Week 
This week recognize the important role that the healthcare facility team plays in ensuring safe and functional environments for patients, visitors, and staff. For more information, visit the American Society for Healthcare Engineering at

23–29 Pastoral Care Week
Pastoral Care Week gives us the opportunity to recognize the pastoral and spiritual care given through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling. Regardless of spiritual, religious, or cultural background, Pastoral Care Week celebrates those who provide spiritual support to others. For more information, visit Pastoral Care Week at


Family Caregivers Month 
Caregiver Action Network (CAN) formerly known as National Family Caregivers Association, set aside a week of the year to promote appreciation for family caregivers. Because of the massive interest in family caregivers, National Family Caregivers Week turned into a month-long event celebrated every November. For more information, visit the Caregiver Action Network at

Home Care and Hospice Month 
During November the home care and hospice community honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a difference for the patients and families they serve. For more information, visit the National Association for Home Care & Hospice at

1–7 Medical-Surgical Nurses Week
This week honors the medical-surgical nurses who make a difference in the lives of patients every day. Take time during this week to recognize the amazing nurses who practice in this specialty. For more information, visit the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses at

1–7 Patient Transportation Week 
The National Association of Healthcare Transportation Management (NAHTM) members recognize that the key to timely and caring patient transportation is the staff that provides patient transportation. For more information, visit NAHTM at

1–7 Urology Nurses and Associates Week
Urology Nurses and Associates Week celebrates urologic healthcare professionals and their care for patients through guidance and treatment for a variety of urologic diseases and concerns.  For more information, visit the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates at

6–12 Allied Health Professions Week
Allied Health Professions Week honors the three million healthcare providers working in more than 80 allied health professions. Allied health practitioners greatly influence healthcare delivery by supporting, facilitating, and complementing the roles of physicians and other healthcare specialists. For more information, visit the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions at

6–12 Medical Staff Services Awareness Week 
The National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) has partnered with hospitals, managed care organizations, doctors’ offices, university health systems, and government agencies to honor medical services professionals. For more information, visit the NAMSS at

6–12 Radiologic Technology Week 
National Radiologic Technology Week is celebrated annually to recognize the vital work of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals across the nation. The celebration takes place each November to commemorate the anniversary of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’s discovery of the x-ray on November 8, 1895. For more information, visit the American Society of Radiologic Technologists at


4-10 Flu Vaccination Week
This week we recognize all of our flu vaccination partners and highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at

January - 2017

25 IV Nurse Day
Every year since 1981, National IV Nurse Day has honored the commitment shown and the outstanding patient care practiced by infusion nurse professionals. For more information, visit the Infusion Nurses Society at

February - 2017

6-12 PeriAnesthesia Nurse Awareness Week
This week recognizes and celebrates our nation’s 60,000+ perianesthesia nurses who work in preanesthesia and postanesthesia care, outpatient surgery, and pain management settings, and care for patients before and after surgery. For more information, visit the American Society for PeriAnesthesia Nurses at

12-18 Cardiovascular Professionals Week
This week celebrates the work of cardiovascular professionals and the support they provide to improve patient care. For more information, visit the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals at

March - 2017

Athletic Training Month 
Recognizing all athletic trainers— healthcare professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. For more information, visit the National Athletic Trainers’ Association at

Professional Social Work Month 
This month celebrates medical and public health social workers who provide psychosocial support.They also advise caregivers and help plan for patients’ needs after discharge from hospitals. Social workers may work for hospitals, nursing and personal care facilities, individual and family services agencies, or local governments. For more information, visit the National Association of Social Workers at

5-11 Dental Assistants Recognition Week
Dental Assistants Recognition Week recognizes this versatile, multitalented member of the dental team, who contributes to quality dental care. For more information, visit the American Dental Assistants Association at

8 Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day recognizes registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives. For more information, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at

11–18 Health Care HR Week
Health Care HR Week recognizes human resources professionals in hospitals and other organizations across the nation for their efforts in workforce compensation and benefits, employee relations, healthcare reform, and wellness. For more information, visit the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration at

19 Certified Nurses Day
Certified Nurses Day honors nurses who contribute to better patient outcomes through national board certification. Today we recognize nurses who earn and maintain the highest credentials in their specialty. For more information, visit the American Nurses Credentialing Center at

30 Doctors’ Day 
On this national day of celebration, we recognize the essential role that physicians serve in all of our daily lives and thank them for their contribution to our public health. For more information, visit the American Board of Physician Specialties at

April 2017

Humor Month 
Throughout the month of April, we honor those who make us laugh. Therapeutic humor promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life’s situations. For more information, visit Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor at or National Humor Month at

10–16 Volunteer Week 
Established by President Richard Nixon, National Volunteer Week recognizes and celebrates the efforts of volunteers. Every April, charities, hospitals, and communities recognize volunteers and foster a culture of service. For more information, visit the Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resources Professionals at

11–15 Cancer Registrars Week
National Cancer Registrars Week was established as an annual celebration to promote the work of cancer registry professionals. Founded by the (NCRA), it is celebrated the second week in April. For more information, visit the National Cancer Registrars Association at

12 Radiologic and Imaging Nurses Day
This day recognizes the work of those working in the specialty practice of radiologic and imaging nursing. For more information, visit the Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing at

17–23 Neurodiagnostic Week
Neurodiagnostic Week, honors and celebrates the contributions of neurodiagnostic professionals throughout the country. For more information, visit ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society at

20 Transplant Nurses Day
The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) is committed to creating opportunities to celebrate the thoughtful and compassionate care of transplant nurses and the ways they impact patients’ lives. For more information, visit ITNS at

24–30 Medical Laboratory Professionals Week 
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week celebrates medical laboratory professionals and pathologists working behind the scenes. This week we honor these medical laboratory professionals around the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the United States each year. For more information, visit the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science at