Comment: Daylight saving is a time to thank health care staff

While you get an extra hour of sleep, night shift nurses are getting some treats from WGU-Washington.

By Tonya Drake / For The Herald

The idea of one 23-hour day in the late winter and one 25-hour day in the fall started with the suggestion that the practice might save candles.

The year was 1784. Inventor Benjamin Franklin’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion estimated the likely savings. As with many other ideas, Franklin wasn’t wrong.

Today, 48 out of 50 of the states (Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe the practice) will “fall back” this coming Sunday.

This weekend, as you luxuriate in the extra hour of sleep, don’t forget that the 25-hour day means a more arduous shift for those who work through the night. The electric light bulb has made night work routine. Factories. Shipping. Security.

And hospitals.

Caregiving is a job that is truly around-the-clock, even when the day balloons by an hour to adjust the clocks for energy-saving reasons. (Ironic, isn’t it, that the night shift workers caught in these situations have to dig deep for extra energy to work harder through the night.)

At Western Governors University, one of the leading education providers for nurses and other health care professionals, we are acutely aware of the demands on the nursing profession. This weekend, to honor their service and dedication, WGU is delivering Night Shift Nurse Appreciation Kits to nurses at hospitals and other health care facilities in the Seattle area.

Each kit includes a handwritten note of thanks from WGU faculty and staff along with snacks, sleep masks, coffee (yes!) and pens. This is becoming an annual rite for us at WGU. And we will likely run into our own WGU Night Owl students; not a bad thing! WGU’s flexible, personalized, online approach to higher education allows for nurses to pursue degrees around both work and family obligations. In fact, WGU offers a $4,000 Night Shift Scholarship for night shift workers.

Caregivers at all levels deserve extra thanks this year. There’s a widespread nursing shortage, meaning there’s plenty of stress among those who are holding down jobs. And all these health care providers continue to treat those with covid-19. In Washington, the virus numbers are still troublesome to say the least.

So even if you can’t join us in delivering the appreciation kits, you can take a minute and offer your silent thanks for all their hard work before you hit the pillow for that extra hour of rest.

Or, light a candle, we’ve likely saved enough since 1784 to light one in their honor.

By Dr. Tonya Drake is Northwest Region chancellor for WGU, Western Governors Unviversity.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Happy Independence Days, America

Linked by history and promise, Juneteenth and the Fourth of July should be celebrated together.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, July 5

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, a man fishes for salmon in the Snake River above the Lower Granite Dam in Washington state. Three Republican U.S. House members from Washington state are criticizing Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., for opposing their legislation that would prevent the breaching of four dams on the Snake River to help improve endangered salmon runs. (Jesse Tinsley /The Spokesman-Review via AP, File)
Editorial: Waiting could force bad choice on dams, salmon

Work should begin now to begin replacing what four dams on the Snake River provide.

Joe Kennedy, a former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash., poses for a photo March 9, 2022, at the school's football field. After losing his coaching job for refusing to stop kneeling in prayer with players and spectators on the field immediately after football games, Kennedy will take his arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 25, 2022, saying the Bremerton School District violated his First Amendment rights by refusing to let him continue praying at midfield after games. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Editorial: Court majority weakens church, state separation

The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision does more to hurt religious liberty than protect a coach’s prayer.

A pregnant protester is pictured with a message on her shirt in support of abortion rights during a march, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Seattle. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to end constitutional protections for abortion has cleared the way for states to impose bans and restrictions on abortion — and will set off a series of legal battles. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Editorial: Court’s decision a subtraction from our rights

Using a cherry-picked history, it limits the rights of women and will extend the reach of poverty.

Burke: With many fires to fight, where to aim extinguisher?

For most, our political donations to support candidates are limited. How do we direct our dollars?

Will Nate Nehring’s pro-life policies extend past womb?

I am so glad to hear that Councilmember Nate Nehring is hoping… Continue reading

Why is FDA only banning Juul’s vaping products?

As many may know, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned… Continue reading

Denying our problems won’t resolve issues

It seems that no matter what happens these days, the elephant in… Continue reading

Most Read