I love the holiday season and the memories from my childhood that it reminds me of. Today, I think about spending time with family, and the time I will have off from my graduate school studies. The holidays can also be hectic and stressful at times if you let them. So many nurses find this to be their most stressful time of the year. With trying to manage their career schedules, family demands, and bringing it all together can be hard on anyone.
You may be saying to yourself, why would I want to work longer? You may say that now, but you may say something different five years from now. What if you need the money, what if you are working a job you love, what if you have truly found your purpose in nursing? What if you need something to do to keep from being bored and want to be compensated well for your time? Many nurses do not think about retirement until the last ten years of their career. Sometimes health crises can sneak up on you unexpectedly.
Hypothyroid is a common medical condition in our western culture and is basically an underactive thyroid. I would argue that many people don’t even know they have it and if they do they may not be doing anything about it. It is not a condition that will stop you from doing what you need to do in daily life so therefore most people will ignore it for years. Eventually, it will take its toll on your body if you let it continue to get worse and do not take steps to correct it.
It is hard to know where to start when addressing self-care, but for you as a nurse, self-care is critical. As a nurse, you tend to put other’s needs ahead of your own, but I am here to tell you to put yourself first by performing proper and consistent self-care. You have a duty to yourself, your family, your profession, and your patients to be a good example of health. I know that is a big pill to swallow, but it illustrates the importance of prioritizing self-care. If you do not choose self-care while you still can, then you will require healthcare eventually, and maybe sooner than you thought. Once you start requiring healthcare services, it is going to be difficult for you to get back to a place where you have a choice and then everybody else will be serving you. Choose wisely while you still can.
Nurses are great at taking care of others, but they are not always the best at self-care. If you want to serve others to the best of your ability and for as long as possible, then you will need to prioritize your self-care. By the way, serving others does not only pertain to your patients, but also to your family, friends, and the community in which you live.
I am sure there are many reasons you can think of nursing from a negative perspective, but today I want to focus on why being a nurse is so awesome. Maybe some reasons you have been taking for granted and didn’t even know it. Some of them will be obvious and some not so obvious. Either way, as nurses, we have a lot to be thankful for, and I am glad to be a nurse.
Being happy and fulfilled as a nurse is a big issue I see when I talk with other nurses. I have thought about this topic a lot over my nursing career and have some ideas that may be useful for you to ponder. I have had my ups and downs when it comes to happiness in my nursing career just like every nurse does. At this point in my career, I am the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever been, but there is still quite a long journey ahead. Some nurses choose to give up at a certain point and get frustrated, and some journey on and try to figure it out. I have chosen to journey on, and I want to do my best to show you how I got over the mountaintop to get clarity on where I wanted my nursing career to go.
Healthcare change is something I am a strong proponent of. Currently, healthcare consumes almost one-fifth of the GDP (gross domestic product) of the United States. Our healthcare system for the United States ranked eleven out of eleven, and yet we spend twice as much per person as most of the other countries. Something is wrong with the way we are delivering healthcare and the value we are bringing to the patient.
Every day I see nurses who exhibit signs of being burned out. They may show up late, are not engaged in their work, have a poor attitude, are not team players, and are showing signs that they have lost that fire they once had for patient care shortly after graduating from nursing school. I believe all nurses at their core want the best for their patients and is the main reason they entered nursing in the first place. However, many nurses find after a few years they lose this passion for the profession and find themselves dreading every day they must go to work.