You can ‘adopt’ a unit of Arkansas nurses to support them during the pandemic

There are difficult weeks ahead for health care workers and UAMS is asking the community to help make the holidays a little easier on them.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — At the beginning of this pandemic, nurses were shown a lot of support by people who donated items like food and treats as they battled COVID-19.

“I got to go out to the units and give things back to our staff, it’s a very rewarding experience,”  Susan Erickson, senior nurse recruiter at UAMS, said.

Erickson wants to pick this back up again as we head into the holidays. She is looking for people who can “adopt a unit,” helping to cover every nurse on the floor.

“You can provide individually wrapped baked goods, encouraging notes to the staff, donate snack items. If you are looking for something to do, here’s an opportunity for you to serve and give back,” Erickson said.

Marcia Dunbar, the volunteer coordinator at UAMS, said the hospital still needs to cover 12 units.

“It is no great secret that the numbers are rising and the staff is really tired,” she said.

They will start delivering the donations on Thanksgiving and through Christmas.

“We’ve got teams that some great companies and churches have already signed on that are going to be providing notes of encourage or snack goods or boxed lunches, or dinners for the night crews,” Dunbar said.

Donations are needed for patients, too. The greatest need is new blankets, which will be passed out on Christmas Eve.

“Nobody plans for a hospital stay over Christmas, and so on Christmas Eve our staff will be giving blankets to patients,” Dunbar said. “It means a lot to our patients and often times we hear they have held onto those for sentimental reasons.”

New blankets can be dropped off at the front entrance of UAMS, or you can have them sent directly to the hospital.

If you’d like to adopt a unit of nurses or donate items to UAMS patients, you can learn how here.