After working many years in nursing, one learns to temper emotions. Perhaps it is a self defense mechanism. Perhaps it something we learn like any other part of our practice. A nurse can experience a wide range of emotions in one single shift. The important thing is learning how to temper these emotions to get through said shift without becoming completely apathetic…
Compassion is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Compassion is synonymous with our work in healthcare. Our job is to care for our patients with the hope to relieve some suffering. The following are just a few ways to be a more compassionate nurse….
Hi everyone! I am super excited to share another piece featured in American Nurse Today. American Nurse Today is the official journal for the American Nurses Association. They are the largest nursing union in the U.S. that continually fight for nurses’ rights and patient safety. This piece is close to my heart. It should be the right of every human being to have reasonable access to healthcare. Thank you to my sweet sister and Aunt Donna for being the inspiration behind this. And thank you Sweden for caring for it’s residents. Heja Sverige!!
In honor of National Nurses Week, what better way to celebrate than to honor what defines a nurse? Florence Nightingale described nursing as “no man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this – ‘devoted and obedient.’ This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.”
While the struggle is still real, nurses have since earned their rightful place among medical professionals. Fast forward to modern nursing where the American Nursing Association defines nursing as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
Through the years, the definition of a nurse has evolved, but there are a few key characteristics that remain constant…..
We are nurses. We witness joy and sorrow and amid what is all in a day’s work, we thrive in the service of others. It fulfills us. Nursing teaches us how to be better human beings. In a world where selflessness has become a sign of weakness, it is now more than ever that we need to step up and model the art of compassion.
Showing 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.
Whether you are a nurse or a nurse in training, you are likely a well-organized individual. It comes with the territory. It is important to have routines. One routine that is well worth having is a designated nursing bag that you can easily grab on your way out the door without thinking twice about its contents. I have been asked time and again by my coworkers what exactly is in my work bag. I thought, why not share with you? The following are just a few of my own personal essentials….
Nursing is a calling, not just a profession. Most nurses are innate caregivers. Perhaps you became a nurse after caring for a sick loved one or friend? Perhaps you are the mediator of your family? Are you the glue that brings people together? Or maybe you became a nurse because you like problem solving? While all of these attributes make for an excellent nurse, there is the risk of burnout, mistakes, and lack of necessary change in the profession when we never say no……
Whether it is your first job as a nurse or you are a seasoned one, starting a new job requires patience, humility, and openness. You are walking into a well established, well oiled machine or so it seems. While there remains room for improvement in every unit, how you offer your thoughts and suggestions will determine how you are initially received. There is a delicate balance between proving your worth and coming across as a know it all. Here are just a few suggestions to help you smoothly acclimate to your new unit.
If there is one thing I have learned in my travels, it is to embrace minimalism. On my first assignment I tried to pack my entire apartment. It was like I was moving out entirely. I packed every photo, piece of clothing, pair of shoes, cleaning item, and on and on. With each subsequent assignment I realized that I did not need my vacuum, pots, pans, or dishes. I learned to use what I was given. That being said, there are a few musts that should be on every travel nurse’s packing list.