We are constantly challenged to be better. Better at listening, focusing, analyzing, learning; managing our time, environment, emotions, pain. Better at connecting with other beings: those who work alongside us, and those we serve. All who need the best of us. As we do of them. We struggle and shine variably, together. The bedside is not always an easy place.
So how to be here? And not just for one day, or until the end of the project, but down the stretch? Because we are very stretched. Acknowledging that we, ourselves, are beings, with a full set of needs and responsibilities, who also experience illness and distress: how do we bring our full selves to the work? To receive the grace and meet the challenge of the moment? And live with ourselves when it’s not possible. But keep striving anyway.
The best nurses I know are are a combination of curious, creative, tough, determined, brave, smart, patient, and humble before the vast complexity of the human body, mind and spirit. Aware of the limits of our knowledge. They are in touch with their values and they embody them. They build healthy relationships and healthy boundaries. They learn from successes and mistakes and are honest in examining them.
So how can I be more like them?
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