As you've done it to the least of these...
Nursing is about treating people as a decent human being when they are at their weakest. Helping the pt. see the strength they have within themselves to recover and regain their health. When admitted to the hospital or nursing home pts. Often feel they have given up their independence in one fashion or another. It is our role to help give that back through whatever means necessary. I to was a nurse aid, patient care tech, and an ECG monitor tech while going through nursing school, as were many of you. Some of my favorite stories and interactions have come from the intimate time spent helping pts. with the simplest of tasks. Look at your job as an opportunity to connect instead of a personal quest for significance. No harm intended, we all like to feel appreciated, but sometimes we still need to do the right thing whether the audience notices or not. God is watching, your pts. appreciate you, you will be better for it. You can't teach compassion, you either have it or you don't.
Think of the deposits of mercy and kindness you've made or will make that no amount of human measure can possible describe. Go into nursing with the attitude of celebrating people on a daily, and moment by moment basis and you will never be disappointed, exhausted yes, regretful no...
Todd from Tulsa
p.s. If we begin to look at people in a different light, we may find the strength to do our jobs and remain intact. Your recognition that people are Holy, whether they realize it or not, often can bring things to a new level. I know I sound preachy but I used to work as a Youth minister and have enjoyed nursing a great deal. Yes underpaid, understaffed, and underappreciated. But I challenge you who have lost heart, take your eyes off of yourself, and focus on who is immediately in front of you as if they were they only person
that mattered and your day will count. Too often we take the human interaction out of our routine only to be replaced with apathy and bitterness over personal needs that go unmet. I too have experienced prejudice, and unfair treatment at times, and at times this demands an equal but appropriate response, not mumering and complaining. Be direct, be unified, be appropriate, be timely, but be effective. You don't shoot a bear with a BB gun, and likewise you don't kill a chipmunk, with a shotgun. God has gifted some to speak, and they should speak, but all should monitor their personal behaviors, and encourage one another to grow closer as adversity presses us. My personal slant involves my faith as a Christian. It has many times help me keep this helping profession in proper perspective. I am a Christian first, who happens to be a nurse. I don't draw my personal identity from my job, and so when things are hard on my job I remain intact. Using the human strength of unity, and celebrating one another especially in adversity is what I have seen change the climate in the unit I work on. Being the only male RN in L/D (and the first ever hired) there were plenty of opportunities for me to turn and run. But I am of the persuasion that God, yes God does not give you the desire to pursue something only to leave you hanging when things are tough. For those of you offended by my obvious weaknesses I say...
"His strength is made perfect in weakness, All the more will I gladly glory in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon me" I challenge those of faith be strong and be weak...Those who chose to lean on their own talents and abilities, you too will come to the end of yourself and find that their are not answers to every question or knowledge for every problem, only a person named Jesus....
Todd from Tulsa....
Apr 1, '01
Whoa, Todd, you have been a nurse for such a short time. I am glad for your strong faith, but it is yours. You will need it to survive, and keep that cheery outlook. I have tried and failed to not become cynical. I rejoice in my good health, marriage, and other things that I must think of. Definitely not politics, or justice, or hospital administration. Here in Minnesota, the largest healthcare employer is being dragged through public scrutiny, over consultation fees, and perks for the hotshots. We are also in the midst of nursing contract negotiations. I will believe a change, in money or working conditions, will happen when I see it, not before. All the best to you and yours.
Apr 1, '01
Thanks for your response no judgement intended to drive anyone away, I have just learned over the years, whether it be nursing or what ever that many things are well beyond my control, but those that are not are often God's way of letting me have a sence of purpose and direction in life. It does'nt hurt to be a total extravert. I often find myself as the funnybone on a unit where if left to themselves these ladies might just take themselves and their jobs way to seriously. I mean...somebody could get hurt...thanks again for your feelings and opinions, I too have a great family that helps me land on all 4's when work has kiciked my but...Todd From Tulsa
P.S My wife is a nurse tooo........
Apr 3, '01
Thank you for your perspective. I think there are many nurses that are strong believers in God, regardless of whether they are christians or other faiths. Sometimes it is the strength one gets from that is what keeps all of us going, whether you are a nurse or not.
Something to think about it. You note that it is the personal interactions that you cherish the most. It is what is missing to many times for nurses, it is that missing piece that make some nurses so cynical and decide it is only themselves they have to worry about. A survival mechanism. If we do work to be able to have the tools and ability to have the personal interaction we enhance not only our profession but our ability to do patient care. If one only is going to complain, but not do anything to help things change in the profession, they get what they get. However if one does do something that will enhance the profession then it is worthwhile.
Hold tight to your faith.
Apr 3, '01
Todd--I wear my cross necklace to work every day...I grab onto it and say a little prayer when I need to. I wear it as a constant reminder and comfort...I can go to work with no makeup, hair all ugly, but I HAVE to have that necklace on. I feel naked without it. My faith gets me through the rough stuff, too. It's a comfort to me.