Don’t Forget to Remember…

Don’t Forget to Remember

Nurses have been known to provide excellent care to others. However, caring for themselves is often forgotten. Many factors play roles in a nurse’s decision to procrastinate addressing his or her health and wellness. No matter the excuse, nurses should prioritize their health and wellness with the same importance as their patients. After all, we pride ourselves on providing the best care. How can we provide the best care, if we are not at our best physically, mentally, and emotionally?

Let me take a pause here to clarify my point. I am not saying that all nurses postpone attending to their health and wellness. I am saying that nurses have been known to delay addressing their health and wellness. There are many nurses who, generally speaking, take great care of themselves and make their health top priority. We know that you exist out there! We applaud you! Keep up the good work! However, many nurses don’t make their health and wellness top priority; unfortunately, nurses who make that mistake risk the possibility of suffering severe health consequences. Listen to your bodies nurses, and if you do have a health problem, seek appropriate medical attention and learn from your experience so that you may continue to improve your nursing practice.

I’ve been on both sides of the line. At times, I’m focused on my health and wellness, and other occasions, I’m not so focused on those issues. I always attempt to follow my healthcare carefully and remain compliant, because every time that I didn’t, I had a health scare. The health scares that I experienced were similar to “Near Misses” in the nursing world or “We caught it just in time…” situations. I call them scares because of the “If I hadn’t gotten this checked out…” thought that often haunts me for a while afterward.  Of course, every complication and horrible end-scenario then follows. Finally, I would breathe a sigh of relief once the situation resolved, but the “what if” always remained. I don’t mind because it serves as a reminder of why I should take my health and wellness very seriously – because I want to live. For those who do not follow their health statuses, consider the examples that follow.

Once a nurse has to live as a patient for days, weeks, or months, an opportunity to better understand the patient presents itself for the nurse. Now the nurse knows, from a personal experience, why fall risk precautions are so important – because that nurse almost fell, a few times, while hospitalized. Now the nurse knows, from a personal experience, how difficult it can be to have a bowel movement when taking narcotics, or how much more problematic the same task can be when in a freshly postoperative state – because that nurse has experienced one or both situations while inpatient. The nurse may have a better understanding of medication reconciliation and communication between providers due to complications from drug interactions that he or she experienced. The nurse may have an increased understanding of the emotional turmoil that occurs when one is hospitalized. These examples help to facilitate growth in the nurse and hopefully an improvement in practice by analyzing and learning from those experiences.

We all will get sick at one time or another. Nurses, please continue to remember those encounters when taking care of others. Our profession is a great one and will continue to become better by remembering what it was like when you were a patient.

I worry about you…

I worry about you, the ones I care for…

About what we are all to do… 

I worry about me and my family…. someone cares for us too…

The ones I love, but I love you all…

When in need, will they come when we call?

Will I come, sure I will, and I’ll come with lightening speed…

And render the services for which I am trained, 

But will they do so for me? 

Last week it rained, 

A terrible storm, the earth was weeping for us all, 

Or was the cause due to the impending healthcare pitfall?

Why must something so necessary be made so complexed? 

I worry about them, we worry about them,

About what will they do next?

I worry about you, those I care for,

What will happen if uninsured?

You’ll loose access to my services,

And unfortunately be on your own.

I worry about me as your nurse,

I must stand and facilitate change,

So that my people are protected and receive the care they need.

Searching for The Center: Achieving Work-Life Balance

Many articles address the attempts of nurses to achieve work-life balance.  Most of the articles mention many great ways to achieve a balance. However, they seem to lack consideration regarding an individual’s life situation.  For example, many articles encourage nurses to say “no,” to certain circumstances. What if he or she can’t say no? For example, if a person is the only one within a family that is able to help another family member, is it ok to say no then?

The burnout the nurses face in today’s society is not only caused by the demands of our profession. It is also caused by life demands. Some nurses can’t say no to the demands of life or work, and this situation leads to nurse burnout. Becoming overwhelmed by the demands of others could lead anyone to become burned out – it’s not specific to only nurses.

From a work perspective, the situation may be easier to resolve. For example, talking to the manager about conflicts on the unit might lead to a simple resolution. Unfortunately, resolving personal demands may prove to be more difficult. The main component that is needed when attempting to achieve a work-life balance is a healthy support system. I have not read this in many articles, but it is imperative – even if the support system is only one person. Support systems offer encouragement, assistance, and a shoulder to cry on if needed.

No, I’m not going to give you a list of things to do when trying to balance out work and life.  However, if you establish a support system and identify the need for help, the rest will fall into place. Sure, you are encouraged to read other articles and follow their to-do lists on how to balance it all out. Just please don’t forget that you can’t achieve it all by yourself.



Not another nurse blog…

I attempted to start a blog many times, and each time was a failure. Could it be because I tried to avoid blogging about my profession at all costs? Maybe, only time will reveal that answer. You see, I’m a nurse, and I love what I do. In fact, I consider myself rather saturated in the profession due to my passion for helping others. So, why not talk about it right?  Well, because I love other things as well, such as traveling, painting, spending time with my family, and reading.  I could write about family life, but I rather keep those memories and experiences private.  I could write about my hobbies, but most of my time is split between my family and my profession. I would like to spend any remaining time actually engaging in my hobbies, not writing about them per se.  So I’ll write about nursing – the life and times of a nurse.  Right? Why not?

Through all of the ups and downs that come with nursing, it remains a profession that I’m privileged to be a part of. So, that’s what this blog is going to be about… The life and times of a case management and critical care nurse who is also a wife, mother, and student.  I’m going to take my time with this blog and let the words flow through me and from me to you. I’ll tell you about the good days as well as the bad days, and venture through the experiences I encounter with ease some days and with difficulty other days. Being a nurse is not easy physically, mentally, or emotionally, but every second spent making a difference in people’s lives makes it well worth it.