Last year, in May 2016, nurses came together on the lawn of the US Capitol to bring attention to the need for safe nurse patient ratios. It affectionately became known as Nurses Take DC. It was the first rally for nursing in over 20 years when over 35,000 nurses met in DC for the same issues. Well, it is happening again this year on Friday, May 5, 2017. There is still time to attend and you can get more info at Nurses Take DC.
I am often asked what is wrong with healthcare? Most of the time I simply answer, “we lost the CARE in health CARE“. But its a bit more complicated…
If you have been following any nursing news this past year, it is clear the hottest topic continues to be the debate for safe staffing. Currently there are two prevailing thoughts on how nurses should be staffed in acute care areas – mandatory minimum ratios versus local staffing committees / plans. In an effort to become better educated in the matter and make appropriate decisions for support, I wanted to share this excellent discussion regarding the current staffing issues.
Have you ever wondered what happened after all the hoopla from the Miss Colorado and The View controversy? Remember, all the nurses bonded together and we finally found our voice. It was a great time to be a nurse! A really great moment of pride. But then what? Well…. something did happen. Nurses found their voice. Nurses realized that apart we will accomplish nothing, but together, we are a million person force to be reckoned with. A few, humble nurses took that message to heart and were inspired to have a rally in Washington DC regarding the one issues we almost all agree on – staffing. On May 12, on the steps of the Capitol, Nurses Take DC!
Wowzer! What a week to be a nurse! Like what the heck just happened – the sleeping giant has arisen!! I always knew we had it in us as a profession. I just knew if we could find some common ground, we would be a force few could overcome! Little did I know it would come from such a benign place and the momentum would give nursing a new view!
So in case you have been working or live under a rock – here’s what’s been happening this week in the world of nursing…. Nursing’s New View!
Hi all! Hope your summer has gone well! It has been a fun and busy one for me, especially since I had a clinical group for a super fast summer session. Clinicals can be tough enough on a good day, but for my fundamentals nursing students, summer session is like learning via a fire hose!
As we head back into the fall session and the stress level starts to amp up again, I thought I would share some self-care tips for nursing students. Although you may have heard a few of them in the past, really take them in and consider, “how is your self-care routine?” Students are notorious for not taking care of themselves and I think this is amplified in nursing students. People entering the nursing profession tend to seek to put others first and demonstrate a high level of care to others, often at the expense of themselves.
So, here’s my tips for taking care of yourself while in nursing school and after graduation too!
Your Next Shift – A Book Review
Once again I had the honor of reviewing another fantastic and super helpful book by nurse entrepreneur and wellness extraordinaire, Elizabeth Scala. A few months ago she offered us alternative self care workarounds in her book Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds. (You can read my review here.) It was a practical guide for nurses who were looking for a fresh alternative and perspective in how to manage in the daily grind of healthcare. With her next book, Elizabeth continues that journey in her aptly named book Your Next Shift: How to Kick Your Nursing Career into High Gear.
Sadly, I can’t say I remember my first code or even the first death I witnessed. Unfortunately, there have been so many over the years. Not to minimize any life that has crossed my path, but after 16 years, it does all start to blend together. There are a few who stand out – but, I will save their stories for another day. However, each experience – each life – has been a small part of my molding – shaping who I am, teaching me a lesson. And those lessons I try to pass on.
We rarely talked about death in my nursing program – the model for our nursing school was based on restoring people to their highest level of functioning – death doesn’t always fit into that equation. So, when I came out of school, I was clueless. In my personal life, I had not had anyone close to me pass away, so I really didn’t even have that frame of reference to draw from. However, working in critical care areas – I had to learn quickly!
One of the hardest adjustments for new nurses to overcome is the unanticipated frustrations they encounter in their nursing journey. Although we attempt to prepare nurses to care for patients and instruct them in safe medication administration, it is difficult to prepare them for the “real world”. Unfortunately, these new nurses find themselves unprepared, lost and feeling like they are the only ones experiencing these transitional difficulties.
It was with great pleasure, I had the opportunity to review the new book by Lorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JD called “From Frustrated to Fulfilled: The Empowered Nurses System”. Ms. Brown and an esteemed group of nurses shared their journey’s from frustrated to fulfilled. Not only do they share their heartfelt stories, they offer tangible ways to transition from frustrated to fulfilled to empowered.
Although each nurse offered a unique account and perspective on empowerment and fulfillment, there was a cohesive message that change starts with ourselves. As challenging as the current healthcare environment is to function within, the message that we as nurses need to find ways from within the not only survive, but thrive.
I especially appreciated the personal and transparent stories shared by the contributors. I could relate to many of them, especially Mrs. Watherill’s experience of starting her first job in the ICU. She found herself full of clinical knowledge, but severely lacking in how to cope with tragedies she faced everyday. As nurses we get caught up in the business of “caring”, but often overlook the emotional aspect of our careers. When we pour out so much of ourselves, and are not refreshed, we create a breeding ground for frustration and burn out is not far behind.
Not only does each author share their experiences and perspectives, they end each chapter with action steps. Rather than just analyze the problem, tangible steps are offered to engage the reader in positive actions. Almost like a checklist to work from based on the issues you may feel you encounter in your practice. A way to institute change and transformation.
If you find yourself feeling frustrated or even have a co-worker who seems to be struggling, I would highly recommend this book. It was very easy to read and offers practical solutions that can be instituted immediately.
I would also recommend this book to new nurses starting their careers. Rather than risk becoming unfulfilled and burned out, start now and be proactive in positive self-care activities and actions. Remember, we have to care for ourselves if we want to care for others.
You can order your copy at The Empowered Nurses Book.
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Take care, be safe & wash your hands!
When I got out of nursing school, like many, I felt pretty prepared. I knew I still had a lot to learn, but with my drug book in hand and a few other little pocket books, I was ready to go. I read up on things, learned about new drugs, tackled ACLS and overcame my fears one day at a time. But, what I was grossly unprepared for was the art of nursing. Sure, school taught me how to calculate medications, do assessments and manage diseases – all the science stuff. But what it didn’t prepare me for was the sadness I would encounter, the deaths I would see and toll this would take on me. I hadn’t tapped into the art of nursing while I was conquering the science of nursing.