Are you the perfect Nurse?
The ever changing, adapting role of the nurse is historically, very feminine. At the bedside, caring and nurturing and more practical than academic. Moving through time, where higher education, skills and research are now sought after, encouraged and recognized. Accompanied with expectations, guidelines and standards of practice. Nursing has evolved into a science of constantly anticipating and preventing the risks of patients while prioritizing the care of their actual problems. Along with balancing the art of; counselling tears, reassuring concerns from numerous people, in addition to delicately finding the words and best tone of voice to bring awareness to authoritative minds without crushing egos.
A day in the life of:
Consider the obstacles faced when simply “doing our job” like; being in stressful environments, lack of sleep, shift work, the incidence of violence, heightened emotions and multiple codes within hospitals. Including being the direct respondents for. It is no wonder that any individual can feel both the masculine push to get it all done, on time, to a certain standard, and perhaps to the personal liking of someone superior. Though also the feminine pull of natural emotions and energy depletion of such physical, intellectual and mental expenditure. The desire to want to be with a patient, consoling a loved one, listening and learning new things, asking reflective questions, or even, perhaps allowing yourself to feel the unpleasant emotions associated with such a role.
Who is perfect?
Understanding that humans are not robots or phones. People make mistakes, there is opportunity to learn from them, from a systematic and personal approach. And, so can others too. Understand that sometimes our motivation, skills and energy are not enough to match or meet perfect standards every single time. The only way out, is through dissolving the feelings and emotions which are triggered from those situations. Allowing them to surface, to be vulnerable and hold space. To be kind, loving, and practice self-compassion. Only then will self-acceptance arise, and forgo the desire to be perfect.
1. Have compassion for yourself, honor your emotions and sensations and tend to your own self-care. Having feelings rise to the surface knowing you are never broken. Allowing those feelings to gently pass through you.
Example: Understanding that your energy was not a match for the workload you had on one day, and expressing this to whomever is appropriate, and excepting help from others. This can be handing over low priority tasks, resting in moments when you can, and prioritize a good nights sleep.
2. The more compassion you have for yourself, the more vulnerable you are able to be, to ask more questions about things you don’t know or understand, to dive into a supportive personal reflective practice.
Example: Being aware of any emotions or feelings attached to that situation and just being still and holding space for your emotions. This can be as simple as identifying how you are feeling when the shift is over. Perhaps some journaling, talking it over with a loved one or colleague or calling a hotline. Either Nurse and Midwife Support or Nursing and Midwifery Health Program.
3. Support and communicate with each other, as a predominantly female workforce, we have power to really pull together and influence outcomes towards leadership.
Example: finding not just the personal self-care strategies that work for you as an individual. But reaching out, calling a hotline, seeking out people to just be around and bounce your ideas off, to come to a positive resolution to the situation. Ask for a mentor, stay close and in contact with people who inspire you.
To answer the questions to the title… I haven’t met one yet…
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