National Nurses Week at most hospitals is about honoring nurses for the wonderful things they do that often go unnoticed.
At Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Kathleen Falk, RN, BSN, CPN, thought of a different way to make nurses stand out, while at the same time doing something that helped others.
Falk, a member of the hospitals Rewards and Recognition Committee, organized a Locks of Love donation May 12 that generated more than 13 feet of hair. Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the U.S. and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss.
I feel like Nurses Week is focused so much on recognizing nurses which is important and fine, and of course nurses like to be recognized but I thought it was a good way to give back, said Falk, part of the Children’s nursing resource team. It was something we could do as nurses to give back in a small way during a week we normally get recognized.
Falk, who organized a similar donation when she was a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, teamed with committee member Jenny Kelly to run this years event at Children’s. Falk said she had no problem getting stylists from Johnathan Breitung Salon, where she is a customer, to come to Children’s for the event. There was room for 16 women, who included nurses, physicians and other employees, to each donate at least 10 inches of hair. The committee filled all 16 time slots, and Falk said she hoped this would become an annual event.
One of those who donated hair was committee member Holly Moore, RN, BSN, an ambulatory nurse at the Children’s Glenbrook facility in Glenview, Ill. Moore, who has donated hair in the past, has no doubt such donations make a difference to young patients.
I think it does [matter] quite a bit, especially for the little girls, Moore said. Theyre just up and coming as far as their body image and what they look like. Theyre chastised and teased at school. If they at least feel like theyre pretty, they go on with their normal life.
Tom Clegg is a freelance writer.