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9 Valentine’s Day Cards to Love on Your Healthcare Colleagues

I love a good healthcare pun. Okay, I love any pun.

And what better day to have some laughs and love on some colleagues than Valentine’s Day?!

Simply download, print (on card stock would be best, but whatevs), and share with those around you. They’re sure to bring some smiles to the busy work day.

P.S. If you need more, you can find past Valentine’s Day card series here (2017), here (2016), and here (2015).

 

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Changes to Nursetopia “Coming Soon”

You may see Nursetopia evolve over the next few weeks as I prepare to launch an online store. It’s a big step for me and has been a dream for a few years now.

If you routinely visit the site, you may notice it looking different from day-to-day until I find exactly what I am dreaming, but fret not…all the content will remain the same. All of my digital cards will remain downloadable and free to use, and I will continue to publish free, digital cards, as well.

Thanks for all the ways you’ve supported me. Here’s to the future!

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There’s No Glory in the Grind. (Grind Anyway.)

I recently shared news about a significant (to me) achievement – publishing a book* I’ve been working on for a while.

I was stunned at the number of people who congratulated me; it was a lovely surprise. I was also shocked, though, at the number of people who said things like, “I don’t know how you do it all,” “Is there anything you can’t do,” “I’m so impressed with this accomplishment,” and the like.

I don’t mean to downplay the achievement, but really…anyone can do it. Anyone who has enough perseverance and persistence, that is.

Because there were a few days of “glory” – people celebrating the moment with me, which I absolutely love, but there weren’t that many people who were doing the same the 600+ days the project was in the works. Very few people saw the early mornings, late nights, weekends of paper and red pens; the grind of it all wasn’t glorious. It was mundane. And boring. And painful. And stressful.

Yet, it was worth it. Because there is no glory without the grind, and the grind makes the glory-moment pretty spectacular. So much so that it completely took me off-guard with surprise emotions.

There’s no glory in the grind.

Grind, grind anyway.

 

* The book mentioned is Your Guide to Cancer Prevention, which was written by oncology nurses as an extension of care to the general public. 25-50% of all cancers are preventable; see what the evidence says about the strategies and the myths related to modifiable and non-modifiable cancer risk factors. 

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It’s A Great Day to Save Lives [Free, Printable Card]

Who doesn’t need a little Sunday (or Monday, Tuesday, whatever day) inspiration? You have an incredible role in this world; celebrate it! You can download and print this free card; there are two cards on each page because double-giving is twice as fun.

By the way, the very next sentence of this fictitious character’s famous quote is…Let’s have fun. 

So, shall we? Rock the day…whatever day it is.

 

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The Organized Life [Part 1]: Reading all the Books You Want to Read with Your Crazy Schedule

In the spirit of transparency, let me first say I have areas of my life that I would never show you. I do not organize people’s lives or homes or workplaces for my living; there are many incredible people (and books) who do that with astounding productivity results (yes, really). This blog series is not about closets or drawers or garages (although I will show you my two types of home medication storage systems in a later post). This series of posts, however, is about the tricks I use to stay on top of my goals and the “little” things that used to drive me crazy that now…well, don’t.

I get asked all the time, “How do you do everything you do?” Well, I have an incredible support system. I’ve also organized several areas of my life. I’ve found systems that work for me, and I use the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People every day. The one I think about the most that I think has helped multiply my efforts in care, work, and life is begin with the end in mind. You can apply it to just about anything to improve the results.

Begin with the end in mind makes you think – really think – about your end results – what you want and how you know you’ll be successful with that one piece. Once you have the ending in mind, you can work backwards to break up the goal into manageable pieces and tasks.

Reading is important to me. And while I’ve been a book lover for a while (more about that in a future post), I have a leader in my life that encourages others often with Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’s quote,

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

 

And, boy, is that true for leaders at all levels. Nurses, I am looking at you, too. The books you read change you. I want to grow each year.

Keep a List

Since we’re responsible for our own personal and professional growth, it is up to us to make it happen, so I keep a running list of books I want to read, and then I either delete them or mark them off my list as I finish them. It sounds easy enough, but I am surprised at how few people actually do this. Ask for recommendations from others and write. them. down.

I previously kept my list electronically – on my phone, but I’ve recently discovered bullet journaling, so I have incorporated pieces of that into my paper calendar. Yes, I am still a paper calendar gal in life (and electronic at work…again, more on that later).

Here’s my 2018 reading list. As I finish a book in this format, I color it in.

 

Yes, it is January 7th, and I’ve already read two books from my list. How?…

Keep A Book Near You

Whether it is hardcopy, electronic, or audio, keep a book near you. It’s amazing how much “down time” you have in your day if you’re mindful of it. Meeting not starting on time? Open your e-book. Commuting to work? Read your hardcopy book on the subway, or listen to your audio book in your car or on the bus. I enjoy running, and I recently learned my audio book app will work simultaneously with my running app! Oh, the joy it brought me to run for 45 minutes while “reading.”

Get a Library Card or Use a Book Subscription Service

Libraries are not antiquated. The possibilities are endless now as most libraries not only have books on-hand but can do interlibrary loans to get books from other libraries. My library also has an e-book and an audio book app. It. Is. Awesome. I don’t have to spend a fortune on books, and I always have reading material on-hand.

There are plenty of book subscription services and apps, as well. Audible, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and MyBookBox are just a few.

Try Reading Two Books at a Time

If you can keep books straight in your head, have a reading method where you read two books “simultaneously.” Read one as an e-book or audio book in the morning/during the day and another as a hard-copy or e-book in the evenings.

Start as Soon as You Finish 

Because you’ll always have reading content around you, you can pick up a new book as soon as you finish one book. Even if you only read a page or two, go ahead and start the new book.

Don’t Be Afraid to Stop A Book 

Don’t just read to read; read to enjoy and to learn. If a book is not keeping your attention, stop it and start a new book. For those who need a sense of completion, this is easier said than done, so get comfortable with the idea…it’s your reading list, and you can do what you want with it. Don’t waste your time on “bad” books.

 

So, what are you reading that I need to add to my list? (I’m a non-fiction fan.) How do you prioritize reading in your life?

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All Hail the Sky Holders!

Do you ever have those days where everyone around you swears the sky is falling? Maybe it’s you. I’m sure we all know similar people…Every. Thing. Is. A. Major. Issue. And the panic spreads.

There are these amazing people in the world – I have them in my life and I hope they’re in yours, too – that hold up the sky. They may not say it verbally, but they’re likely thinking…No, not today; the sky is not falling today.

They ease the tension. They calm the never-storm. They reset the pace and tone for everyone. It’s beautiful leadership in action. It happens everyday and gets little attention. Next time you see it, honor that sky holder! And yes, Chicken Littles of the world, you can learn this skill.

Who’s your favorite sky holder you want to thank?

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Looking Ahead: Nursetopia’s 2018 One Word

Happy 2018, Nursetopia!

My one word for 2018 is circle

It’s an inconspicuous word, but it has significance to me in many ways, always has (Nursetopia’s logo and theme is full of circles). Much like the Israelites (yes, in the Bible), I feel like I’ve been circling – and in a holding pattern – for a while. Like I’ve needed to wait for a certain season. Transparently, I feel that season coming. It’s exciting and terrifying. But, really, aren’t all the best moments?

Also, I plan to circle some of my biggest goals and dreams with prayers, people, and purpose. Medieval renaissance scientists believed the circle was inherently divine due to all the related mathematics during that period. The circle is a symbol of both beginnings, completion, and continuation; I love that symbolism for 2018.

I plan to focus on the various circles of my life and work. This is the first time I’ve used a Commit 30 planner (and I have no financial conflict of interest with the company), and the planner has a circle theme, which I love and have taken full advantage of for planning my 2018.

Do you have a one word for 2018?

 

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In Retrospect: Nursetopia’s 2017 One Word

Since 2011, rather than selecting resolutions, I’ve chosen one word to help guide my year. It’s more than a ritual; it’s a word that is carefully selected and woven throughout my life for the year, and I think about it often. It’s quite amazing to reflect back and remember. You can find one word reflections for past years here: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

2017’s one word was intentional.

I was more intentional with my relationships, spending more time with the people I love and those entrusted to me at work. I intentionally mentored close to one dozen people throughout 2017; the fun part was that I did it mostly in secret. It was intentional for those people and for me – a quite enjoyable giving of my time and knowledge.

I was intentional with my money. I saved money, stopped giving to organizations that didn’t align with my passions or weren’t showing a return on my investment or just weren’t grateful for my contributions. On the converse, I gave intentionally to others in ways meaningful to me – and hopefully them. I spent my money on intentional items unlike I’ve ever done before. I spent 10 days in Europe with my husband, celebrating a friend’s nuptials and our wedding anniversary. It was a blast and worth every penny and minute.

I was intentional with my time. I completed several professional works that will be published soon; I cannot wait to share those with the world. I read 19 books, putting a serious dent in my “to-read” list. And, I said “no,” to a lot of things – many at work; I am extremely proud of myself for saying no because despite what people say, it’s culturally and professionally taboo to do so. As much as I love my work, it is not my number one priority. I’ve been intentional in keeping my priorities my priorities.

I was intentional with my goals. I finally applied for – and was accepted to a doctoral program. Ten years after completing my dual master degrees is nursing and business, I head to Duke University in a few days as part of Duke University School of Nursing’s Executive Leadership inaugural cohort.

What a year 2017 has been. I am ready for 2018, and I’ll share 2018’s one word tomorrow!

How was your 2017? Did you use one word to guide your year? How was it? Are you planning to use one word for 2018?

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Happy Radiologic Technology Week [Free, Printable Cards]

We couldn’t do healthcare without them…the incredible radiology professionals who are often hidden in basements and dark corridors. Take a moment this week and shine a light on their great work! Simply download the graphics, print on card stock, and voila…instant gratitude for these brilliant team members.

Download We Heart You X-Ray here.

Download Freakin’ Awesome Radiology Technologist here.

Download Keep Calm and Beam On here.

Download Freakin’ Awesome Radiation Therapist here.

Download Yeah, I Can See Your Insides here.