One of my favorite quotes is that of Henry J. Kaiser, “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” This makes more sense than nearly anything I have heard regarding how to handle praise.
I have the great opportunity to see people do exceptional work in the healthcare field, and at times get appropriately recognized for it. All of them are genuinely surprised, and speechless, when the award comes. Especially when the citation is read of above and beyond professional, caring service, they seem surprised that what they did is regarded that way. They truly believed (though perhaps an intense time) their service was simply another day in the life of a nurse. This is the classic portrayal of the quote above: they do not interrupt. Their work does speak, and they just keep doing it at the high level.
This happens not just here and not just with nurses, but in every field, and likely in many locations in this country and the world. With all the “less-than-good-service” happening, there is also some great service happening. Too bad we don’t hear of it enough!