Medical Device Integration Blog

National Nurses Week: Coping and Caring

Posted by Dru Ledbetter, BSN, RN on May 10, 2016 @ 02:20 PM


Celebrate National Nurses Week 2016!

Editor's note: In celebration of National Nurses Week, we asked our own Drudys Ledbetter, BSN, RN to share her thoughts on the annual event and this year’s theme “Culture of Safety, It starts with YOU.”

The theme of Nurses Week is centered on creating culture of safety. How does a nurse create a culture of safety in the midst of a personal storm?

Nurses Week always brings out memes and social media posts about the perils of being a nurse. Although most are pretty funny, some deeply touch on the dirty truth of how stressful a job in a hospital can be. Many nurses are in a position where they are relied on to serve and give of themselves to patients and families while facing their own health battles. Chronic pain, fatigue, and depression plague the nursing community, yet we still carry the expectation of providing a positive patient experience as a priority.

How do you provide quality and safe patient care when your mind is “foggy” with your own issues?

I heard a million times in my own practice that I am supposed to leave my emotions at the door. Nursing is just not one of those jobs. When connecting with people we often bond over similar experiences. The patient story can trigger an emotional response. The patient’s strength in the midst of a health crisis can comfort a clinician. There were days when I was more impacted by the patient, than I felt I had impacted them.

What works for me?

I have found that journaling was a healthy way to express myself and address my own stressors in the workplace. In the midst of a personal storm, it is best to address one’s owns stressors. Step away from the bedside. Take a few days off. Providing safe care is not always about the environment, it is also about the person providing the care. I want to be clear in my thoughts when caring for others that rely on me. I know every nurse does too.

What helps you?

Share your healthy habits. Your fellow nurses will appreciate the advice. 

You might also like...

READ: How to Cope with Stress on the Job  by the ANA

READ: National Nurses Week: One nurse's view on technology and patient care

READ: National Nurses Week: RN shares her nursing career from detective to designer

LISTEN: Capsule's podcast interview with Amy Hester on deploying device integration within med-surg care units

Tags: Nurses, National Nurses Week