A few months ago, I was offered the opportunity to review a book. Not only was I intrigued by the title and description – I LOVE doing pretty much anything that supports a nurse getting their voice out there! I happily agreed and began reading Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds by Elizabeth Scala.
I will confess right up front, I was a little hesitant about the “touchy-feely” concept of the book. Being a Type A personality, I like concrete facts, lists, scientific data etc., however, I do also believe in the power of our thoughts and perspectives. I also was drawn to the idea of providing some assistance to my students and fellow nurses on how to navigate the complexity of patient care – we certainly put out fires on a daily basis and are masters of workarounds!
As I continued to read through the book, I was more and more pleasantly surprised and continued to be engaged and challenged with each chapter I read. I appreciated her candor of not being “called” into nursing, her journey in nursing and the art of helping people. Each of our journeys are different and tell a lot about a nurse when we know their journey to becoming a care giver.
She continued to share her journey and how she sought out contentment within the complexity of healthcare. At the beginning of each chapter, she shared the various steps of her journey. I appreciated her candor and transparency. I soon recognized that each nurse shares a similar journey and just desires to care for their patients, yet not loose themselves in the process. As she states so eloquently, the stress of nursing is not going anywhere and will likely just get worse. However, she offers that instead of focusing on the stress, we need to provide self-care and connect with who we want to be in any given situation – find the nurse within. Basically, shifting our thinking and perspective. It is so easy to be swallowed up in the madness that is patient care, however, our patients, families and friends need us to be steadfast and strong. Often when working in the ICU, I tried to keep my perspective in all the sadness, madness and death that surrounded me in the workplace. It often caught people off guard and they would ask, “why are so chipper when this place is a mad-house?” I almost always replied with, “I am just happy I am not in one of those beds today. I am upright and will go home at the end of my 12.” Perspective.
Although I might not be able to practice all the concepts she presents in her book, I definitely believe it is a starting point. The only thing we can change is our perspective, our view point, our actions and no one else. If you are finding yourself on a journey looking for peace in the madness, I highly recommend this book. It is a quick and easy read, but will be worth you time. It may not answer all your questions or solve all your problems – she is not trying to – but it certainly will change your perspective and sometimes, that is what we need.
Take care, be safe and wash your hands!
Nursing from Within™ is an innovative and uplifting guide for nurses at all levels of the profession. Learn how to shift your inner perspective so you can enjoy the work of helping others, regardless of how stressful or challenging the environment you are working in may be. Are you ready to rediscover the joy and passion of nursing? ‘Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds’ is available now. Get your copy today by visiting Elizabeth Scala’s site, or purchase directly from Amazon.