Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Archive for the ‘health care nurses compassion world fight’ Category

Mindset: The Key to Creating Balance

How do nurses create change, develop balance and relieve stress?

by Naomi D. Jones RN, MS, CRNI

scales-311504_1280Are nursing leadership and work life balance contradictory terms? Many nurses are wondering if this idea of a balanced life is fact or fiction. Many organizations state they promote “work life balance” as a recruiting tool. When speaking to those same nursing leaders, the feeling of balance seems to be elusive.  I had a great conversation this week with a fellow nurse friend of mine about how we attain equilibrium in our lives as nurse leaders. What became very clear early in our conversation is that managing our careers is difficult to say the least.  There are so many things you have to coordinate i.e. yourself, your staff, (direct and indirect reports), co-workers, your upper management team and don’t forget the work itself!   Then we have a “Life” that also needs management. Relationships with spouses, partners, children, grandchildren and parents pose their own challenges.  Handling personal finances is another factor where achieving balance necessitates confrontation.  In today’s economy, so many nurses I know work more than one job.  Nurses in management may experience some limits since they are salaried and already work long hours.

Balance vs Imbalance

In all of these arenas, balance is the key to having a great life!  If we don’t balance all of these areas well, we may become discouraged and lose our passion and joy in what we do which leads to burnout.

Burnout is the result of imbalance.  Frustration, disappointment and stress are encompassing nursing leaders in homecare, at the bedside and behind the desk (depending on where you work). Expectations of higher productivity, increasing demands to do more with less, the squeeze between staff and company goals intensifies the stress nurses feel. That stress makes for short tempers which can lead to episodes of disrespect and bullying which plague our profession.

Create Change

How do we create change in our lives, develop balance and relieve the stress from these situations?  Read More…

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It’s all about you! But it’s not about you!

Excited Young Female DoctorWe are taught as children that we should not be self-absorbed. As nurses, we generally have an exaggerated sense of just the opposite. Nursing is the profession that encompasses patience, compassion, empathy and caring. We are judged by how these characteristics show up in our actions to our patients and each other. How often have you heard a patient or another nurse say, “Oh! She’s such a good nurse!” It’s usually when a nurse is exhibiting one or more of these qualities. If we as nurses believe these are good qualities to exhibit, why don’t we model them for ourselves?

As nurses, we came to this profession because we felt we have something to give to others. We want to help people live to their fullest potential. For example, we help our patients live to their fullest potential by helping them manage their health. As nurses, we live our highest potential by doing the work we do. But what about us as individuals? I can’t tell you how often I’ve had conversations with colleagues that end with, “I don’t have work life balance or time for myself.” Yet we take extra time we have and give it to other people.

This self-deprivation philosophy has to stop! Why are nurses burnt out? Because we are trying to give what we don’t have! We need to show ourselves patience, compassion, empathy, and kindness. Making yourself a priority is essential to preventing burnout. Here are three basic strategies for getting your whole life balanced.

1. Take inventory of what you are doing with your time. Are you running to and fro with increasing job requirements, deadlines, children’s activities and family obligations? STOP ! Take a moment and just list them on a piece of paper. Reflect on what you do over one week’s time. What do you see?

2. Begin introducing yourself to yourself! Write down the things you like to do (You may have to think back before children or the job). Write those things down, no matter how small they might be.

3. Begin the reconciliation. In order for us to be our best and be complete, we must reconcile our mind, body, soul and spirit. Just like we reconcile medications, we need to match up our total being with life’s demands. Take a look at list #1 acknowledging all of the things you do for others. Then eliminate a task entirely, share the responsibility of it, or delegate it to someone else (possibly the person you are doing it for). Next, begin to transition one thing you enjoy from list #2 into your life on a regular basis. Continue this process until you achieve balance.

Patients look to nurses as their advocates. As nursing leaders, your staff looks to you for guidance and care. Your families look to you as a resource for everything that goes on in their lives. If you REALLY care about them, you absolutely must put yourself first. You will be able to improve patient care by improving your self-care. You will improve the quality of your life if you take the time to advocate and care for yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

For more tips on how to put yourself first contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”. www.lifecoachrn.com.

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Too much documentation in nursing?

Talking to a fellow nurse today discussing how much documentation nurses must do to justify that standards of practice are met.  The mantra we are taught right from nursing school is “If you didn’t document it ; it wasn’t done”  We have been led to believe this in our educational, tracks, our jobs and governing organizations like CMS.  Even our own nursing organizations have us believing that we need to document every response to “everything” to prove that we are practicing our craft appropriately. A lot of nurses feel they are documenting more than providing care.  Some areas of nursing are not experiencing this pressure.  How about you?  Where do you stand on the issue?  Is there too much documentation being done?  Is it all necessary?

Compassion

Where is the compassion going in the world?  The fight is still on in nursing to care for our patent’s while we take on all of the outside influences in health care.