Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The value of a greeting card July 11, 2018


I RECOGNIZED THE GREETING CARD as a marketing strategy. Yet, I appreciated the personal touch extended by District One Hospital, Faribault.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to care for you read the card signed with personal wishes from four of my caregivers. I remembered only two of them. Anesthesia erases memories. Like an Etch A Sketch.

Sixteen days ago I underwent surgery to repair my broken left wrist with a plate held in place by 10 screws. That would be six more screws than I expected. But my broken radius was a bit of a jumbled mess or “looked like gravel,” as my surgeon said. He assessed my overall bone health as good, which I consider good for a woman my age. When you fall as I did, you’re gonna break a bone no matter what.

Back to that gratitude card from the hospital. It’s a nice gesture. Thoughtful. And smart PR. In a time when not everyone values a local hospital, such personal connections matter. I value having a hospital right here in my community. They’ve gotten plenty of my business through the years with three children born there and other surgeries. I appreciate that I have access to good medical care locally. I want to stay in my community, where I’ve often received care from people I know. There’s something to be said for that, for the comfort of familiar faces.

The handwritten wishes of three RNs and a nurse intern impressed me. Enough to write about it here.


Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


30 Responses to “The value of a greeting card”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Just when I was thinking greeting cards were on the way out…..I know I send fewer cards these days, many people expressing themselves electronically instead of going with a stamp and an envelope. I have trouble throwing out cards from the past, especially when the sender is no longer with us. Wonder if it’s hard for the staff to send a card to a cantankerous patient? I know someone who received a personalized sympathy card from the vet’s office when they had to put their cat down.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    I agree that it is a nice feeling to get that card with the signatures of your care team. Very nice touch and has to make anyone feel a bit better about the whole experience. That was one of the things that I loved being able to do for hospice in Iowa–making those cards that the entire care team signed for families after the death of their loved one was such a blessing . Anytime we can reach out to someone to express our care is a good thing, don’t you think? Your hospital realizes the value of making the patient feel cared for and good for them.

  3. Claudette Says:

    In highschool I did a huge project on greeting cards. I collected them. I put a lot of effort into it. I got a C. ?

    I actually frame the ones I like especially these days and put them on the wall. Especially the kids’ cards. 🙂

    I’m not a greeting card giver, bit my mom is, she sends cards to everyone whenever there is a thing in their life. Brightens their day, like you say. 💟

  4. Bella Says:

    yes a lovely gesture and good pr and am happy to hear your recovery is coming along.
    When my daughter’s cat died she was such an emotional mess that the clinic she went to knew her well and sent a flowers to her- now I thought that was beyond beyond but she so appreciated their thoughtfulness.
    Happy Summer Day to you!

  5. Sweet 🙂 I am a big believer in being treated by someone that I can trust, makes me feel comfortable and cares about my health, wellness, healing, etc. Take It Easy ((((healing vibes))))

  6. Murphy's Law Says:

    I am truly impressed. All I’ve ever gotten is a survey they want me to fill out and the bill for my share of the cost of treatment!! It’s nice to learn that ‘the personal touch’ is alive and well in your neck of the woods. Hope it becomes a nationwide epidemic!!

    Wishing you continued spot-on healing and that the days of pain and discomfort are over.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    • oh, i’ve gotten the surveys, too, and i expect the bills to land in my mailbox any day. yesterday i got the insurance paperwork. i am only $8 from meeting my $3,600 deductible. wahoo. so if you take my deductible and add my yearly premiums of $12,000, this bone break is costing me $15,600. tell me that’s affordable, politicians.

      no pain, just some discomfort, ginger.

  7. Almost Iowa Says:

    Sure it is a marketing strategy – but a very thoughtful one.

  8. Jackie Says:

    So nice that your caregivers would take time to do that. My patients typically want a hug on the way out the door, I think after the initial anxiety of having a spinal tap they are just thrilled to be leaving, ha ha.

  9. Lynne King Says:

    Personal touches mean a lot to me. Each time I have had a procedure done, I have received a personal call from the doctor who performed the procedure. That doesn’t happen in Indiana. I was pleasantly surprised and thankful. It might have been a marketing ploy, but it touched your heart. When we’re hurting, that’s what matters.

  10. Card on the way…..!!
    I did not know, dear.
    Get well soon!!! xxxx

  11. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    That’s the nice thing about small town service!

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