Man Asks If He Should Tip His Nurses Upon Being Discharged From The Hospital & They Honestly Most Likely Deserve It

They wait on us hand and foot despite being overworked and exhausted.

nurse, patient, tip Nicola Katie / Shutterstock / CanvaPro 

If you’ve ever stayed in a hospital or even had an appointment at your doctor's office, you were most likely surprised when you realized that you only saw your doctor for a very short amount of time compared to your nurses, who seemed to be constantly cycling through your room to check on you and make sure you had everything you needed. 

One man was so impressed with the service provided to him by his nurses that he asked a friend if there was anything more he could do to express his gratitude toward them upon leaving the hospital. 


The man asked his friend if he should tip his nurses before he left the hospital. 

While some people found the man’s question to be comical, it sheds light on how underappreciated our nurses are and how they deserve much more than what they are given. While dining out at restaurants or after getting a manicure, it is customary to leave a tip behind for service workers. However, does the same apply to nurses at hospitals?

As one man was preparing to be discharged from the hospital, he texted a friend asking the million-dollar question. His friend shared a screenshot of their interaction to Reddit


tipping nurses reddit post text exchangePhoto: Reddit

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After the friend offers to pick up the man, he informs them that he is expected to be released around noon. “Is it typical to leave a tip for the nurses?” the man asks. 

Naturally, his friend is baffled by the question.


“You are hilarious,” his friend responds, adding that the answer to his question is no, he does not have to tip the nurses. However, the friend suggests that the man demonstrate his appreciation in a different way than leaving behind a cash tip. “You can ask for their name(s) and try to send some kind of formal commendation or something,” he wrote.

Other Redditors encouraged the man to tip in more effective ways that would help the nurses. Most of them were nurses themselves!

“Write a letter to the manager of the unit with names. Try not to forget night shift nurses. We're overlooked a lot,” one person commented. 

“There’s probably some kind of paper you can get from the main nurse's station or unit front desk you can fill out to nominate your nurse. We don’t get money from this but it feels nice to hear about how you positively impacted someone’s hospital stay,” another user suggested. 


Some nurses revealed that their patients have tried to give them cash tips before, although healthcare industry standards prohibit them from accepting them. 

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In the U.S., taking cash tips from patients is considered an unethical practice and nurses can lose their jobs from doing so. 

Ironically, nurses may be the workers who deserve to be tipped the most. Being a nurse is one of the most demanding and exhausting professions one could ever imagine, with it only growing more difficult in recent years in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They are too often overworked, overlooked, and underpaid, all while having to be on their feet for up to 13 hours straight with no food or restroom breaks. 

In 2021, more than 5,000 registered nurses responded to an Oregon Department survey detailing the struggles of their jobs. 83% of them reported feeling stressed by their job, and two-thirds claimed to have been burnt out, anxious, and exhausted. Additionally, many nurses reported being victims of harassment by their patients and patients’ families, most of whom disagreed with hospital restrictions and treatment options. 


“Right now, it is really tough to find enough of them that are willing to work within the hospital environment,” Jana Bitton, executive director of the Oregon Center for Nursing, told The Lund Report. 

Unfortunately, since healthcare will be a never-ending issue with patients' needs being a priority, there is little concern for the well-being of our nurses who are often treated like human punching bags. We often forget that they are the ones putting their own lives at risk just to save ours. 

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There are other ways we can convey our gratitude to our brave nurses. 

Some patients opt to make their nurses gift baskets that consist of snacks, energy drinks, jewelry, and gift cards to their favorite stores. 




Others write letters to their hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer expressing their appreciation and praising the efforts of their nurses, which earns them the recognition they deserve. 

While it is certainly not easy to be a patient in a hospital, it is even more difficult to be the nurse who has to deal with countless unruly and uncomfortable patients per shift despite their own aches and exhaustion.  So if you’ve ever had a helpful nurse who held your hand through medical treatments while waiting on you hand and foot, make sure to thank them for their service with a handwritten letter, gift basket, or an expression of gratitude to their higher-ups. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.