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Just for Today

Nurses Article   (4,515 Views | 16 Replies | 791 Words)

VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 250,820 Profile Views; 9,753 Posts

Years ago, I received a greeting card containing a poem which exhorted the reader to do things he/she might not ordinarily do, "just for today". I don't recall who sent me the card or what occasion prompted her to do so, but I've never forgotten the gist of the verse, which was along the lines of "just for today, I will dress becomingly...

Just for Today
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...speak softly...behave graciously...do something for my health that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime...not try to improve anyone except myself".

This morning, as I was confronted by a sinkful of dishes that my 18-year-old son failed---again---to take care of while I was off toiling away in 100+ degree heat for the third consecutive evening, I was ready to boil over with frustration. His father and I pay him to do certain chores, and we're lucky if he does half of what he's supposed to...he's too busy with his CNA clinicals, his girlfriend, his texting, his computer, his other friends. This is a student NA who will run back and forth to the kitchen ten times a day to fetch things for the residents, and he's the first to clear off the tables after a meal, but he can't be bothered even to take out the garbage at home. Hmmmmmm.

Then I got to thinking about the attitudes of some of my aides as we were trying out a new meal service arrangement last night at work, and how difficult it had been to hold my tongue while everyone else had the luxury of griping about "@#&! management making all these changes without consulting anybody who actually WORKS here". I felt the same way, but I couldn't say that in front of them; all I could do was remind everyone not to complain in front of the residents, and wish I had some mature people to work with instead of twenty-somethings who get all bent out of gear whenever they aren't accorded the respect they seem to think they deserve. Good grief, what makes a 25-year-old believe he or she should be given what's taken me twice that many years to earn??

That's when that little gem of a poem popped into my head, and I thought, "Somebody ought to write a version of 'Just For Today' for healthcare professionals".

Here goes:

Just for today, I will be smiling as I step through the door of my workplace. After all, in this economy, I am more fortunate than many in that I have not only a job but a decent income. Things could be---and have been---much worse.

Just for today, I will greet my co-workers as though they're my best friends. Come to think of it, they are my best friends because they've got my back when things go South and I need help in a hurry.

Just for today, I will remember that the residents pay my salary, that if it weren't for the existence of cranky Mrs. H. and that fellow who puts on his call light every two minutes and yells "HELP!" for no discernible reason, I'd probably be working at Wal-Mart.

Just for today, I will not let myself become annoyed with residents' family members, no matter how much of a time vacuum I think they are or how hard they push us to "do everything possible for Momma". Who knows how much guilt they may be feeling about having put her in here, or how much they love this 98-year-old Alzheimer's patient and want her to live forever?

Just for today, I will NOT assume management sits in their air-conditioned offices all day thinking up make-work projects for us floor nurses to do in our spare time. I've walked in their Ferragamos, and I wouldn't trade jobs with them again for anything.

Just for today, I will look for the good and praise it, speaking words of encouragement to every aide I come in contact with. People need to know when they're doing well, not just when they're messing up; if I can't find anything positive to say, I'll just keep my face shut. There's already enough criticism out there as it is.

Just for today, I will perform my duties as carefully and diligently as though someone important was watching my every move. He is.

And...just for today...I will leave work at work. It's not anyone's fault that the residents are crazy with the heat, that I'm having to referee arguments between staff members who are behaving with all the finesse of third-graders, that the unit manager really DOESN'T know her butt from a hole in the ground (let alone which residents like to sit with whom at dinnertime). I'm away enough evenings as it is; my family deserves to have me fully present on the nights when I get to stay home and chill out with one of Ben's patented strawberry smoothies.

Heck...for one of those, I'll do the dishes!

I'm a Registered Nurse and writer who, in better times, has enjoyed a busy and varied career which includes stints as a Med/Surg floor nurse, a director of nursing, a nurse consultant, and an assistant administrator. And when I'm not working as a nurse, I'm writing about nursing right here at allnurses.com and putting together the chapters for a future book about---what else?---nursing.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 250,820 Profile Views; 9,753 Posts

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AznMurse specializes in med-surg, radiology, OR.

37 Posts; 1,932 Profile Views

just for today...I will learn to ignore the constant berating of a psychopathic narcissist MD towards nurses, nursing policy, and the nursing profession that has been going on undisciplined by his boss and the employer.

just for today...I will smile and pretend that I respect my ADN who is too young and inexperienced to be managing a complex profession and has barely any time to catch on with work because she is going for her masters.

just for today...I will not feel contempt towards my nurse educator who has not shown efforts in learning our specialty but has read various books and articles about it to write our policy.

just for today...I will think that union truly has a purpose in this day and age.

just for today...I will continue to serve my patient to the best of my knowledge, skills, and ability and sincere care for their well-being like everyday.

just for today...I will think to myself that nurses will soon band together as one with genuine respect for another's experience, education, and background.

just for today...I will pray the most if not all nurses will truly take pride in their profession and not think of themselves as second rate health professionals.

just for today...I will pray that those who would move to administration truly and sincerely care about their own and not because it is just an opportunity to exert power and to display over compensating behavior from the lack of self love/worth.

just for today...I will think that nursing will one day move to community care and preventive education so we won't need much nurses in hospital/corporate settings.

just for today...I will keep my thoughts and feelings positive no matter how hard it is at times.

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VickyRN has 16 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

3 Followers; 105 Articles; 5,349 Posts; 133,319 Profile Views

Beautiful and poignant, Viva. I will hold these words near and dear to my heart as I go to work for two days this week (staff nurse, job#2, in an ER with a very "needy" patient population).

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,753 Posts; 250,820 Profile Views

just for today...I will learn to ignore the constant berating of a psychopathic narcissist MD towards nurses, nursing policy, and the nursing profession that has been going on undisciplined by his boss and the employer.

just for today...I will smile and pretend that I respect my ADN who is too young and inexperienced to be managing a complex profession and has barely any time to catch on with work because she is going for her masters.

just for today...I will not feel contempt towards my nurse educator who has not shown efforts in learning our specialty but has read various books and articles about it to write our policy.

just for today...I will think that union truly has a purpose in this day and age.

just for today...I will continue to serve my patient to the best of my knowledge, skills, and ability and sincere care for their well-being like everyday.

just for today...I will think to myself that nurses will soon band together as one with genuine respect for another's experience, education, and background.

just for today...I will pray the most if not all nurses will truly take pride in their profession and not think of themselves as second rate health professionals.

just for today...I will pray that those who would move to administration truly and sincerely care about their own and not because it is just an opportunity to exert power and to display over compensating behavior from the lack of self love/worth.

just for today...I will think that nursing will one day move to community care and preventive education so we won't need much nurses in hospital/corporate settings.

just for today...I will keep my thoughts and feelings positive no matter how hard it is at times.

Excellent post! Thank you!:yeah:

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BSN_after_40 has 19 years experience and specializes in Public Health, Teaching, Geriatric, M/S.

7 Articles; 35 Posts; 2,740 Profile Views

Bravo! I especially like your comments about the twenty year olds! I work part time in LTC and boy they think I must be blind when they are sitting feeding residents with one hand and texting with the other! :banghead: I don't understand it! When I was a CNA years ago, you had respect for the residents and facility!

But yes, let's be glad we are working:yeah::yeah:

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8 Posts; 1,021 Profile Views

Nice thoughts.... :yeah:

 

Much better if we adapt this attitude in each and every duty....

can make wonders even if burnout gets in the way....

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Grace Oz specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/HH/Radiology-Now Retired.

1,294 Posts; 23,265 Profile Views

Kudos Marla! Excellent post.

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Cherybaby has 10 years experience and specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC.

385 Posts; 8,990 Profile Views

Great post for healthcare workers.

I think the original poem was based out of AA/NA's 12 step program. Their "one day at a time" mantra.

Lord knows I have said it enough times in my life that I should know its history by now.

http://www.nhal-anon.org/Just4Today.html

YOURS is easier for me to follow! :)

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190 Posts; 4,710 Profile Views

Just for today, let the experienced nurses realize that at one time or another, they too were new nurses.

Just for today, respect the intelligence of others and realize that they may have had another profession before coming to nursing that you may know nothing about.

My point is... I'm a new nurse (Graduating Friday!) and I am graduating from an Accelerated BSN program. At times, I can feel the resentment and anger from nurses that spent two years instead of one year in school. Please remember that I completed my basics as part of my first degree and in the end, I will be completing twice as many years of school---->I'm not taking the "EASY" road. :banghead:

I have the upmost respect for experienced LPN's and RN's. I realize that I don't know everything just coming out of school and that you will be the ones to teach me. Love me and respect me and I will do the same for you!:wink2:

If we could all just remember the golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," this world would be a better place all around. Take care of your "baby" nurses because one day, they may be taking care of you...:twocents:

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51 Posts; 1,862 Profile Views

how wonderful... well, im 22 and i just had another rough day awhile ago.. i understand im still inexperienced but i truthfully, and sincerely want to learn. so my take:

" just for today, i will learn to acknowledge my mistake, say "i wont do that again," and let it go. i did my best and if my reliever only see my loopholes, too bad. but i wont let my mistake haunt me for the rest of the day. "

that was a wonderful wonderful post. thank you so much.

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florianslove has 7 years experience and specializes in Home Health, SNF.

75 Posts; 3,506 Profile Views

Marla, I've always enjoyed your posts, but this one is a gem. How true. Tommorow morning I will go in and take the time to thank our CN'A, as well as my other nurses. Just for today I am thankful to have read your post.

Have a good rest of the week all, I really respect and admire so many of you.

Roxann:yeah:

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212 Posts; 4,742 Profile Views

Awesome words from a nurse who has more wisdom in her little pinky than I will ever have in a life time.

Thank you for posting this. It was very uplifting to me!

Bless you!! :kiss

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