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A Message For The Struggling Nurse

You are not alone! Over the past several months I have heard so many colleagues talking about stress, burnout, grief, compassion fatigue, exhaustion, staffing challenges, not feeling heard, lots of turnover, early retirement, vaccine divisiveness, not being able to truly have a day off because the phone is likely to go off requesting you to come to work, the list could go on and on.  Does this sound at all familiar to you?

I hear you loud and clear!  What is happening in healthcare and the nursing profession I love is breaking my heart at the moment.  “We” are losing nurses and long-term employees, the truth is we can’t afford to lose even one more nurse.  We must band together and support one another right now.  We need each other in this pandemic and healthcare crisis.  We are not meant to do this alone.

Take a moment to reflect on the following words of wisdom:

  • Remember your why, your purpose.  Why did you choose nursing?  Keep that at the core of your work every day!
  • Share who you are in every moment of every day.  What are the strengths that you possess and how do those strengths impact others daily?
  • Never, ever underestimate the ripple you have day in and day out in the lives of your fellow nurses/employees, patients and their families.  Are you creating a positive or a negative ripple?  That answer depends on how you choose to show up every day.
  • Be the change you want to see in healthcare.  What will you influence today?  Are you being proactive or reactive to the situations you find yourself in?
  • Self-care and refueling your heart are key ingredients to your success right now.  How are you refueling?  It is impossible to give to others what you do not have.
  • Choices, choices, choices….so many choices every day.  What impact are your choices having on you personally and professionally?
  • Be an advocate for yourself, for your patients and for each other.  
  • Ask for the support and help that you need right now.  
  • Follow your heart as it has the roadmap that includes your purpose. 
  • If you are really struggling, ask for a leave of absence before making the decision to leave the profession forever. 

 “We” need you.  So do take time to contemplate the above statements and reflective questions!

Written by: Cella Hartline

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