Nursing

WoooHoooI love any reason to celebrate people – especially healthcare workers. Every job in healthcare is difficult in some way. We all do sacred work in our disciplines, so when it’s an appreciation week or month, we should live it up and thank our colleagues.

And because I love to celebrate my coworkers, I like being prepared with cards, treats, or at the very least – an acknowledgement. I don’t like being caught off-guard, not knowing it’s a certain disciplines appreciation month, week, or day. That’s never fun. Thanks to NAS Recruitment, I won’t have to experience that again because they’ve developed a running list of healthcare professional celebration dates. If you use it, you’re sure to celebrate all year long!

Woohoooooo! Partaaaaaay!

Disclosure: In no way was I paid to mention NAS Recruitment. Their effort to celebrate healthcare professionals with this proactive calendar caught my attention and sparked my sharing.  

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The Snickers “you’re not you when you’re hungry” commercials crack me up. Because it’s true! We all tend to turn into different people when we reach that beyond-hungry point.

Maybe that’s partly why so many people working in healthcare are a little perturbed. We’re hungry, and the bag of chips stuffed in a pocket to inhale at any given moment just isn’t cutting it.

Nurse RatchedTake a break, People. You’re not you when you’re hungry. And while Snickers are great as an occasional treat, it may not be the best choice to fuel your life-saving skills throughout the 8 or 12-hour shift. Grab some protein and a complex carbohydrate.

What’s your go-to shift meal and snacks?

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Valentines2016_LubDubValentine’s Day is an “easy” day to thank those around you at work, no matter your role. Gratitude is contagious, and you might be surprised how great you feel after thanking those around you and watching them light up with a smile. Little moments of thanks really can change a day, a week, a unit, a culture.

If you need some Valentine’s Day work-love help, I’ve made images and cards in the past. They’ve been so well-received, I’ve made a new line of 12 free, printable Valentine’s cards available for everyone; not all of them are shown here, so be sure to visit the download link. Simply download, print (card stock is best), add a handwritten note to the blank space on the front or back of the card, and share with your coworkers. Enjoy!

And, no matter your healthcare specialty, if you have ideas for future cards, please share in the comments. Spread the love this season!

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Nurse.com’s 2016 Gem Awards Open for Nominations

by Nursetopia on January 10, 2016

I bet you work with or live around some amazing nurses. I certainly do. Why not honor their great work and nominate them for an actual award like Nurse.com’s Gem Awards?

With six categories, there’s one to honor all of the amazing work nurses do both at work and in the community. Hurry and get your nomination in; nominations end April 15, 2016.

By Macroscopic Solutions, Flickr.com By Macroscopic Solutions, Flickr.com

 

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Leader, Leader quite legendary,

How do your nurses grow?

With sharing wells, and mentor swells,

And encouragements that overflow.

Grow, by Susy Morris, via Flickr.com Grow, by Susy Morris, via Flickr.com

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When Nurses Grieve Together

by Nursetopia on September 4, 2015

Oncology nurses experience grief. All nurses experience grief. It’s part of the job we agreed to as life also encompasses death.

As a nurse leader, grief over a patient death is very similar to the grief I experienced as a frontline nurse. While I do not routinely put my hands on patients daily, I still get to know patients and their families in my role, and I get the pleasure of caring for them in ways they may never know. In addition, I get to hear nurses and the rest of the team talk about patients in care meetings or in the break room as they munch on a homemade treat a patient just happened to bring for the group. Stories and story-telling moments are vital learning sessions in healthcare, and it’s important (and sometimes fun) for me to hear these stories of our patients throughout their care.

And conversely, the grief over a patient death as a leader is different from the grief as a patient’s nurse. That bond is entirely different. Entirely.

The longer I am in leadership, the more tenderly I view my nurses and team during seasons of patient loss. It is humbling watching a group of nurses attend a viewing together or stop by an end-of-life patient’s room one-by-one, only to leave with tear-stained faces. It’s moving caring for a multidisciplinary team passing the Kleenex box around a gathered office space during work hours. It’s endearing hearing a handful of nurses share unknown stories with a family who may have never been in the care environment to experience them, showing either a completely different side of a patient or reinforcing the truest of true personalities and characteristics throughout even the hardest of health times.

Nurses are seriously some of the strongest, most courageous, versatile, and resilient people I’ve ever met. Even in their grief, they are amazing. That gathered grief shows the deep sincerity of their care to people who were once strangers to them but now forever a part of them.

Not everyone grieves together. I believe it is a sign of a strong team when grief is shared, though. What do you think?

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Just Ask: Getting Over the ‘No’

by Nursetopia on July 18, 2015

She Could Say NoThere once was a time in my life that I would assume some of my ideas or requests would automatically be squelched with a “no” answer. My assumption would actually limit me from even asking or discussing the request or idea. One thing is for sure -the answer will always be “no” to something that’s not asked.

I had to get over the fear of “no.” In light of many other things in work and care, being told no is not really that big of a deal, but when you’re told no over and over again, you can start to think your ideas are rubbish and simply stop generating ideas altogether. That’s not good for any organization.

“No” for the sake of “no” has never really set well with me; I have always wanted to know the why behind the answer. Most people are this way, which is why leadership communication is important to validate ideas and questions. Just because the answer is no doesn’t mean the idea or request wasn’t valuable. I’ve learned that both when I’m told no with an explanation or I do the same thing with those who follow me, often times a subsequent idea results to overcome the explanation’s barrier. It’s a beautiful thing – respectful, transparent communication.

Receiving a “no” answer is really no big deal, but it does take practice – just like everything else – to maintain professionalism and competency within the situation. “No” comes in all forms, but it mostly signifies the opportunity to grow – to research more, collect additional data, strengthen a business case. It’s a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block.

Get over your fear of “no.” Just ask.

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Tacos – whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, are a big deal in Texas. And so are our nurses. You likely feel the same way about the nurses around you, and what better way to say a little thanks than to bring your favorite nurse a taco or two…along with a Nursetopia card, of course?

Taco_Wide

To download the wide version, click here.

Taco_Long

To download the long version, click here.

Happy Nurses Week!

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May is full of wonderfulness – graduations, the beginning of summer, Nurses Week, and yes…Oncology Nursing Month. Now, as an oncology nurse I realize my bias; that’s okay, it’s a good bias.

Seriously, I love oncology nurses. They give, give, give. They are brilliant healthcare professionals, and I am proud to belong to the specialty.

Shower the oncology nurses around you with appreciation all month long. There are oodles of free, printable cards here; just click the Freebies & Giveaways link above to start sharing the love.

Happy Oncology Nursing Month!

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This week, Baylor Scott & White Health live-tweeted a heart transplant via #HeartTXLive. The Twitter stream follows the story of “Jane,” a North Texas mom in her 30’s, living with cardiomyopathy since birth who found out Monday morning a donor match was found. By Monday evening, the entire country heard Jane’s story and watched as she received the gift of life through organ donation. Social media buzzed, and traditional news outlets began sharing the event, as well.

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I was glued to the feed, and going back through #HeartTXlive again is just as enthralling and inspirational. Not only did Baylor Scott & White Health honor an organ donor and family giving such a precious gift, but they gave Jane a new chance at life while highlighting a complex surgery, team, and process. They pulled back the curtain on transplant surgery and showed the world what incredible care happens everyday without millions of people in concert. Individuals from all over social media chimed in with #ImADonor, and Texas organ donation organizations saw a 30% increase in residents registering as donors.

Those aren’t numbers. A 30% increase in registered organ donors means hundreds of people in need have greater chances of having a match. That’s the gift of life. And it all came from one person who registered as an organ donor and a family who chose to give through their grief. What a legacy.

Thank you to Jane and her family – for their courage in sharing their story in such a vulnerable moment; to Baylor Scott & White Health – for forward-thinking and using social media as a powerful, altruistic tool; and to Jane’s donor/donor family and organ donors and families everywhere – for giving life.

If you’re not an organ donor and want to give life to others, register with your state and let your family know your wishes.

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