Change is Good

IMG_4614Happy New Year, nurse friends!!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season ❤  2018 has already presented itself with some huge changes.  Mighty Nurse, the online nursing community that I have been writing for over the past couple years, has been absorbed by a much bigger company and as such will no longer be offering an online platform for nurses, nursing students, and other healthcare professionals.

It has been a wonderful experience where I was able to share my experience as a nurse with nearly one million readers every week.  Mighty Nurse gave me a platform and the freedom to write.  I will be forever grateful to Brock and everyone there for giving me the opportunity.

My first thought was what next?  Fear of change and the unknown can be paralyzing to some, but it is just the reality and evolution of life.  The best thing is to mourn it and move on.  Embrace change.  You never know what is just around the corner.

My hope is to continue offering you sound advice and tips for navigating life as a nurse both here and elsewhere.  You will still find me contributing to American Nurse Today, AWHONN, and The Gypsy Nurse.  I am always open to suggestions from any fellow bloggers out there as well.  Anyone know of a good next step in the online nursing community? Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Hugs,

Lori

Advertisements

The Necessity of Teamwork

imageShowing up to work does not mean that you are gifted a neatly wrapped patient assignment. The same goes for your coworkers. What may seem like the smooth sailing assignment can easily shift to the assignment from hell. Working as a team is essential on any unit. No one person can possibly manage an emergency alone, sudden unexpected admission alone, or the sick call that leaves the unit short staffed. It is the strength of many that keeps the unit running.

The Necessity of Teamwork

Ingredients of a NICU Nurse

image

A NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse is a special breed of nurse. We care for the tiniest population on the planet. Our babies are the most fragile patients. One tiny baby can challenge us most intensively in one shift. So what does it take to be a NICU nurse? A careful ear, meticulous eye, and gentle hand are just a few key ingredients……

Ingredients of a NICU Nurse

6 Ingredients for a Succesful Shift

IMG_3514

“It is a simple fact that working with your tribe of people can sometimes make all the difference in the world. You know that no matter what, you have one another’s backs unconditionally. No matter how difficult the day, you have a second pair of eyes, ears, and another trustworthy opinion. Somewhere, in the calmer moments, you can have a laugh.”

A shout out to the amazing nurses, nursing assistants, and docs in the NICU at Queen Silvia’s Hospital for Children in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Here is my latest for Mighty Nurse…

6 Ingredients for a Succesful Shift

Foreign Nurse Feature: A South African Nurse

motimela 1

I developed  wanderlust at a young age, but didn’t start nurturing it until I was older and able.  The most amazing part of my journey has been meeting so many fascinating people from every corner of the globe.  In this month’s foreign feature, we meet Betina-a young and enthusiastic nurse from South Africa.  In our interview, one could not help but be infected with her enthusiasm for nursing.  It is clear Betina has found her calling and interestingly enough as we will find, it was by way of a detour.

How long have you been a nurse?

I started my training in January of 2009 and graduated in December of 2012 at the University of Johannesburg.  I started my community service at Steve Biko Academic Hospital and worked there for two and a half years. I believe that although I was not yet qualified as a student, I was a nurse, because during our training we work with patients to accumulate the needed hours to qualify as a Registered Nurse, therefore I have been privileged to touch the lives of patients and their families for 7 years.

In what area of Nursing do you work?

I found my passion and the area in which I wanted to specialize during my training and since I graduated I’ve been working with the little miracles in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I can’t describe the immense amount of belonging I feel when nursing these small and innocent beings. They are so vulnerable and completely powerless, yet such strong and determined fighters. I learn something new from them on a daily basis. We spend most of our lives at work, therefore finding a career where you want to get up in the mornings is of the utmost importance and I am truly blessed when I say that I am convinced I have found that, not only in the NICU, but in being a nurse.

What inspired you to be a nurse?

Since I was a little girl, I found myself playing “doctor doctor” where I would be the one taking care of the “sick patient” and being the eldest grandchild, I was always the one taking care of my sister and cousins when we were growing up. I suppose caring is in my nature. I have to be honest though and say that I didn’t always want to be a nurse, because in our culture being a nurse is looked down upon.  I wanted to become a doctor, but those doors didn’t open for me until someone told me to do nursing, get my foot in the door (so to speak) and then I could do a bridging course and become a physician.  Little did I know that in studying nursing I found where I belong and who I was destined to become. I no longer believe that nursing is a career to be looked down upon…in fact I am determined to change that perspective and rather have people realize that it is a profession where we make a difference on a daily basis, twenty four hours and that the health care system would not exist without us. Needless to say, I no longer wish to become a physician, although I respect them and love to gain knowledge from them, I feel that I have more of an influence at the bedside, taking care of my patient and knowing every aspect of their being.

What advice would you give to a new nurse?

I would tell them that being a nurse is more than just having a job to pay the bills. Being a nurse comes with the responsibility to care for another human being when they are in their most vulnerable state. Being a nurse means that you need to be passionate and professional, not only at work, but also at home and in the public, because we are looked to whether we have our uniform on or not. So my advice is to make sure that nursing is for you, because it is a life-long commitment and then to go out there and be exposed to every possible field of nursing.  Nursing is the one profession with an insane amount of fields and opportunities and places that you can find where you belong, therefore get exposure to as much as possible and then find the place where you feel like you can spend the rest of your life and make a difference there.

What advice would you give to a tired nurse?

Nursing is a physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining profession where patients and the multidisciplinary team demand a lot from us on a daily basis. It is of the utmost importance that you find something outside of nursing that you love and enjoy to do. An activity, where you can unwind and get rid of all the frustrations, turmoil, heartache and troubles which come with our career.  I find exercise and being active to be my ‘sanity’.  In the gym and jogging on the road is where I ventilate, release my emotions and find the strength to continue. I also recently found a love for obstacle racing, there is something about running and digging through mud and challenging myself through the most ridiculous obstacles that energizes me and pushes me past my own limits.  I also ensured that I have a strong support system, people to talk to. I find my best friend and sister to be my pillars of strength. But another piece of advice would be to never lose contact with the friends you studied with. There is a certain level of understanding that comes when one nurse talks to another about a challenge they faced, different to talking to your best friend in another profession and safer than sharing with your colleague.

Thank you for your honest words, wise advice, enthusiasm, and love for your tiny patients Betina!  To read more about Betina, check out my interview with her in Mighty Nurse in the link below.

A Mighty Nurse in South Africa

 

 

 

 

April Nurse Feature: A Nurse Mentor & Friend

“Rest and take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you can’t take care of others.”

FullSizeRender-71Our April nurse feature takes us to my hometown, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Meet Janet.  Janet was one of my first mentors as a graduate nurse.  She gave me daily pep talks and hugs when I would pass her in the halls at work.  She took me under her wing, pushed me to follow my dream of working in NICU (neonatal intensive care), and trained me when it was my turn to orient.  My hope is that any new graduate nurse has such a mentor.  It was though her guidance and constant encouragement that I found my nursing legs and confidence.

Where are you from?

I am originally from North Carolina, but was raised in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

In what area of nursing do you work?

I worked primarily in NICU for over 30 years.

How long have you been a nurse?

I received my license in 1981 and retired in 2013, so for 32 years. I didn’t start my career until I was 41 years old.

What inspired you to be a nurse?

It was something I had always wanted to do since a very early age. I just wanted to be a nurse, wife, and, mother.

What advice would you give to a new nurse?

I have a granddaughter who wants to be a NICU nurse.  She just received her RN and got a job in a children’s hospital. I tell her to get her foot in the door and get all the experience she can and watch for opening in NICU- to work and strive to accomplish your dreams.

What advice would you give to a tired nurse?

Rest and take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you can’t take care of others.

What do you do in your spare time?

I try to spend time with my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and I love to sew.

Thanks so much for sharing, Janet ❤  You are the true definition of nurse!  To read more about Janet and her mission trip to Haiti, check out my latest post with Mighty Nurse below.  It will leave you with a sense of post-retirement inspiration.

Coffee Talk With a Mighty Nurse: Volunteering After Retirement