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Posted 11 months ago
As they say, nursing is the most trusted profession. Is it because our patient's lives are entrusted to us? Or is it because of the nursing values we uphold and help us bond with our calling to help others? With all the ethical issues going on and around nursing, are we still seeing a brighter nursing future where positive values and beliefs will continue to be the main core of our jobs?
I have asked people all across North America if they have ever a had nurse who was extra special, a nurse who really made a difference, who went above and beyond, and who stood out amongst the many nurses they have met. Almost every person spoke about an angel whose name they could not recall. A nurse that went the extra mile, a nurse that sat on the bed with them and let them cry or vent, a nurse that held their hand in comfortable silence, a nurse that said, “Don’t worry, we will take very good care of you.”
Not one person spoke to me of a nurse who expertly inserted their IV or catheter, or who did a commendable assessment, or who took continuing education courses.
Is it because these things are not appreciated or not noticed?
Maybe, but perhaps it is because these things are expected of us. Patients, residents and clients expect you to be brilliant, they expect you to be an advocate for them, and they expect your knowledge to be current and your nursing skills to be exemplary. What they may not expect though, is that little extra you give them when they know how busy you are; when you make them feel human when they feel like a pincushion.
In life and work, it takes so little to mean so much as to reach out to another, and even though the nursing profession is one of the most respected professions, even though nursing is synonymous with caring and compassion (and perhaps should be synonymous with brilliance!) it is so easy to put it on the back burner when the pressures of performing are high.
How do you want to be remembered at the end of your nursing career? I once spoke at an educational event for nurses called the Faye Fox Education Day. This day was named in honour of Ms. Fox, who set an exemplary example to all in her field for decades upon decades. What a wonderful nurse legacy to leave!
If we plan now what kind of legacy we want to leave in health care, we will create a vision for our professional nursing future. While it may seem grandiose, if we start there (in the future) and ask ourselves what we have to do now to begin to bring this vision to life, that is, we start small but dream big! Here are some ideas for a professional vision you may want to adopt:
Once you create your vision (in the present tense, like you are already there) every decision becomes so much easier! All you have to do is ask yourself, “Is what I am doing or saying now and how I am acting now, leading me towards that vision or away from it?” If your answer is "away from it," then you have to make a conscious decision to change your behaviour. If your answer is “closer to my vision,” then raise your arms, look upward and say, “Woo-Hoo!” because you are making a vision of your nursing profession into a reality!