Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

Grateful Pumpkins. No this isn’t a new alternative rock band, but it is a challenge. As we move to the month of November and plan for Thanksgiving at our personal homes and facilities, I have a challenge for you.  

Go out and buy a pumpkin the day after Halloween; you can get the big ones on sale. Now, here’s the challenge: If you’re going to do this at your facility, which I highly recommend you do, assign a staff member to go around each day and get a resident and a staff member to say what they are thankful for in a word or a few.  (If you’re doing this at home, too, everyone gets to say “Thankful for.”) 

Then write that at the top of the pumpkin. Each day, add your words so that they circle down from top to bottom until your pumpkin is filled up and it’s Thanksgiving Day.

Then at your Thanksgiving dinner, read your “thankful fors” out loud. I dare you not to smile! And when during your week you stop and have that moment of gratitude, remembering things you are thankful for. It changes your day. 

Maybe we should keep the pumpkin challenge going all year long!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.