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Posted 5 months ago
Work can be a drag to put it mildly! Mondays have a horrible reputation for being the least productive day of the week while Wednesdays have the title of "hump day." Is that supposed to make people feel uplifted because their miserable week is more than half over? Somehow, it doesn't work, does it?
So, what is the answer to this sad dilemma? Could a few creative ideas begin to work for an otherwise negative atmosphere? I give a resounding "Yes!" and add that there is absolutely no reason work can't be fun, too! Perhaps with a few tweaks, your nursing unit could come alive, not just on Mondays or Wednesdays, but on every shift and on every day of the week.
My dear friend, Mary, used to arrive for shift report proclaiming, "Girls, we're going to have so much fun today!" She was sometimes met with looks of, "We'll see about that", but inevitably, she was right. Somehow we always had fun when Mary was assigned to work with us. Oh, we were still understaffed and sometimes overworked, but the atmosphere was often lighter. Could one person make that much of a difference in how we faced our next eight hours? Yes, one person could!
At some point we must all take responsibility for the mood in our nursing workplace. So, using the creative process that we are all capable of using, think about the things you can do to improve the success (and atmosphere) of your units. Here are a few ideas:
A monthly newsletter which gives fun facts about coworkers, birthday recognitions, educational achievements, and family news could help to bond nurses who work together. Remember that nurses need nurse friends! That's a fact we can't run away from.
Invent funny or poignant holidays. Give individual awards (real or pretentious) and think about posting inspirational thoughts or jokes on a regular basis. Do you have any comrades who are amateur photographers? Enlist them to help create a unit calendar. It doesn't need to be the caliber of a Sports Illustrated version. The goal should simply be to represent your unit and your nurses.
Most nurses enjoy reading, so begin a "lending library" to trade or share books and magazines with one another. Begin a scrapbook and give every person who works in your area (secretaries and aides, too!) a page of their own. Ask your supervisor to budget for donuts or pizza on the weekend shifts. Do you see how creative we can all be if we just put our heads together? In other words, nursing work can be fun and it should be fun!
As a final note to "Amazing Ideas..." (and as a confession of sorts), some of my coworkers and I decided to give our nursing station an award. When we couldn't agree on what that award should be, we gave ourselves "The Distinction of Honor Award." We had a little plaque made and hung it in an out of the way area of our nursing unit. Amazingly, we were given that same honor year after year! It was a miracle of sorts. Other nurses were extremely envious of us. Visitors often stopped to admire the little plaques. It made us all very proud despite the fact that we had given it to ourselves. Was it wrong to do that? I don't think so. It didn't hurt anyone and it made us all very happy. After all, don't nurses deserve a little happiness?