Nurses Should Re-think Their Thinking

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    Spreading negativity is easier than spreading joy, nurses should understand that negativity can severely impact one's ability to adequately take care of their patients. Improve patient care by spreading joy around the workplace as often as possible. Doing this can improve morale and motivate others to improve their own mood.

    Nurses Should Re-think Their Thinking

    My wife and I are long-time nurses and have worked a number of different jobs with different patient populations, all of which were learning experiences for the both of us. One common theme we have noticed is the nurses’ ability to voice their concerns. Nurses are very vocal and in this day and age, being vocal in the healthcare setting is important but it is how and when we are vocal that is most important.

    According to Andriakos (2017), relishing the joyful moments in life by drawing attention to them through speaking about them become important in increasing our happiness our lives and decreasing the effort it takes to do so. Spreading some cheer by intentionally brightening up and being vocal in the workplace can go along way. Smiling just for 10 seconds can improve your mood almost instantly (Andriakos, 2017).

    This concept is just as important to understand when being negative or being vocal in a negative way. For example, many of us already understand and think of the above paragraph as being motivational and a good way to bring yourself to being in a good mood. However, not many of us realize this works the opposite way as well. Of course, we do not walk around the work place thinking “I wish I was in a worse mood, I think I’ll frown for 10 seconds to worsen my mood almost instantly.

    It is human nature to find ourselves feeling blue or angry often over situations we almost have no control over and when we voice those situations, we draw more attention to it, and unknowingly began to spread the negativity and “de-cheer” many people who overhear. In each of the work places my wife and I have had the pleasure of working, there seems to be a very familiar trend. The nurse that is vocal about negative events in their personal life, their patient they just had that asked a “ridiculous” question or the family member of a patient that was being unnecessarily difficult. Being vocal about these negative interactions often come up at the nurse desk or other common areas that employees gather to perform their job. Overall these negative conversations not only can put the nurse speaking about it in a worse mood but also the person the nurse is having a conversation with, as well as, possibility de-motivating staff (Ho, Delin, Kin-Hung, Chan, & Lee, 2015).

    It is easy to have conversations to make yourself feel good about a situation or to bring attention to a particular event inside (or outside) the work place but do so in a positive way. Nurses today are role models. We are taught that both in nursing school and after graduation, however, some forget that. Being a role model is important to ourselves, our co-workers, and more importantly our patients (Ho et al., 2015).

    Being mindful is step one in being the best role model possible and it starts with you, the nurse. Spreading our joy to others through positive motivation, exemplary actions, and choosing how and when we relate a negative situation or idea can reduce the impact of the negativity thus increasing happiness and motivation in the work environment. Be positive! It is important that we all learn from each other and our patients on how to be a nurse and how to treat others respectfully while still voicing our concerns.

    References

    Andriakos, J. (2017). Squeeze More Joy Out of Life. Health, 31(3), 24.
    Ho, N. P., Delin, S., Kin-Hung, T., Chan, C. H., & Lee, T. C. (2015). Mindfulness Trait Predicts Neurophysiological Reactivity Associated with Negativity Bias: An ERP Study. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (ECAM), 1-15. doi:10.1155/2015/212368
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    5 Comments

  3. by   Libby1987
    Today's healthcare environment is difficult for everyone but I am here to accomplish something. I have a purpose. I am not a victim. I am not a passenger. I drive myself. I am paid for my service. I show up and make at least one good thing happen to someone else. My work is meaningful. I don't want to drag people, I try to lift them. Some days are hard but every day I am blessed with options. I own my mindset.
  4. by   Akay1717
    Very well said! Thank you!
  5. by   Akay1717
    Thanks for writing this article. It's really easy to get sucked into others' bad moods, feed into our own and get extremely frustrated when working with difficult patients. However we are there to serve not only our patients but our fellow co-workers. Our thoughts are a choice and our actions are a choice. Once we do practice being mindful and work on our own self control in action, words and thoughts we really can change the course of our day along with its impact on others.

    Focus on doing good and on living well. Everything else will fall into place behind that.
  6. by   drkshadez
    I want to add a different perspective to this post. Sometimes if a person is positive all thectime, they may use positivity ad euphoria and try to accomplish herculean tasks until reality sinks in and the situation becomes a sinking ship.

    My point is that, as nurses, we just need to be rwal and honest, finding that light within our patients thst give them hope. Sometimes we have to say medications and tasks need to wait....I really need to spend tome with this patienr....and i do not mean idle chit chat....i mean rwal life discussions thar greatlt impact important healrj care decisions.

    In the past month I have sat at tje bedside with 6 patiejts who haf life altering diagnoses and each one just felt very depressed and alone from others. They felt God betrayed them. One asked me to pray with them.

    I have had tearful discussions with patients. I have helped change patients perspectives about their outcome of a particular life altering diagnoses because i found within th the spark that gives them hope.

    Happiness from being positive can only fuel a person so far. What I have found, though, is by talking with patients who feel hopeless, desponded, alone in their decision making, after spending time with them- sometimes medications will be late when you do this, but the reward you feel by making a difference in people's lives this way is very much worth the time and effort.
  7. by   LifelongNursing
    Quote from drkshadez
    I want to add a different perspective to this post. Sometimes if a person is positive all thectime, they may use positivity ad euphoria and try to accomplish herculean tasks until reality sinks in and the situation becomes a sinking ship.

    My point is that, as nurses, we just need to be rwal and honest, finding that light within our patients thst give them hope. Sometimes we have to say medications and tasks need to wait....I really need to spend tome with this patienr....and i do not mean idle chit chat....i mean rwal life discussions thar greatlt impact important healrj care decisions.

    In the past month I have sat at tje bedside with 6 patiejts who haf life altering diagnoses and each one just felt very depressed and alone from others. They felt God betrayed them. One asked me to pray with them.

    I have had tearful discussions with patients. I have helped change patients perspectives about their outcome of a particular life altering diagnoses because i found within th the spark that gives them hope.

    Happiness from being positive can only fuel a person so far. What I have found, though, is by talking with patients who feel hopeless, desponded, alone in their decision making, after spending time with them- sometimes medications will be late when you do this, but the reward you feel by making a difference in people's lives this way is very much worth the time and effort.
    You bring up a great point. Being realistic is important and not letting "blind happiness" to control or mask systemic problems or being "too cheerful" for the depressed, dying patient and being true and show that the patient is cared for by listening, crying, and holding their hand when they are at their worst. That is also so very important. Thank you for bringing up another prespective.

    In the article I wrote, I was trying to articulate that being rude or spiteful and negative around co-workers while during a venting session or whatever the case, can cause reprecussions on the moral and view of nurses especially if patient family members or visitors over hear. Often us nurses become too comfortable and begin to forget that every day holds the potential to show what nurses are made of in skill, compassion, caring, and comforting, and we shouldn't put unprofessional behavior out for others to see, especially those who do not know us personally.

    Great post. Thank you for sharing!

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