Here’s the last half of my week as a “mind map.” I thought this post would be easy; after seeing the map, though, it is one of the most intimate views of my life I’ve shared on Nursetopia to date. I am participating in the HAWMC to challenge my writing and thinking. This definitely did that. Hellllooo, Vulnerability. Still, I share it with you.
I saw a quote the other day that sums up everything: If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.
Have a lovely weekend. I hope it is full of everyone and everything you love.
Want to join a special group of 230,000 nurses impacting the lives of women everywhere since 1970? Sign up for the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS). Researchers need 100,000 female nurses and student nurses ages 20-46 years old from the U.S. and Canada to enroll in the third cohort, NHS3, of this longitudinal study. All study components are completed online.
The Nurses’ Health Studies have quite literally changed women’s health. If there’s an article published about women, lifestyle factors, or cardiovascular disease, chances are the NHS’s are involved in some way. This is a brilliant opportunity to volunteer, fill out some electronic surveys, and contribute to the greater good. Ask a friend to join with you, sign up together, and then add it to your resume.
Giving is one of my favorite things to do. Anonymous giving is that much more of a thrill. I love it when people get anonymous gifts and ask me if I had anything to do with it. Many times I don’t, but it’s just so much fun to be asked. It’s part of the selfishly generous mystery.
Random acts of kindness sparkle in my holiday calendar. They are all small moments or things, in my opinion, but they are fun and often catch others by surprise. Sometimes they catch me by surprise, too.
Want to join me this week? Look for one opportunity to perform a random act of kindness. Maybe it’s bringing in a coffee or hot chocolate for the co-worker leaving your oncoming shift. Maybe it’s an overdue thank you letter, delivering warm cookies to a lonely patient from an “anonymous” baker, or taping a dollar to the vending machine with an “Enjoy the snack!” note.
C’mon! Join in the fun; leave your random act in the comments so we can share smiles!
Looking for a way to give back and see the world at the same time? You need to volunteer for my friends at Grounds for Health, a global nonprofit bringing women’s health to coffee-growing communities in Mexico, Tanzania, and Nicaragua. They use cervical cancer screening technologies such as VIAA to save lives in these resource-limited areas. Cervical cancer is a global threat, and you can make a difference.
Volunteering with Grounds for Health is sure to be an amazing experience. And if you can’t globe-trot, there are absolutely other ways to volunteer with this great organization. Get involved today.
As I ran the Dallas Rock and Roll Half-Marathon Sunday, complete strangers lined the race course to give high fives, cheer, and hold signs of encouragement. I loved it all, and it was a great help! Here are some of my favorite signs that lined the course:
~Your feet hurt because you’re kicking so much butt!
Nurses are amazing volunteers. Working in the nonprofit sector, I have the privilege of working with many nurse volunteers. I’ve said it before – I don’t think nonprofits (health care or otherwise) capitalize on nurse volunteers or the professional skills nurses bring to the table.
I recently won Y Gen Out Loud‘s Y Gen Cares at the Holidays Contest. In case you wonder what I sound like in real life, you can check out the radio interview about my thoughts on volunteering, family, nursing, and service.
Take a deep breath. Go on. [Deep breath in through the nose...1, 2, 3, 4, 5...deep breath out through the mouth...6, 7, 8, 9, 10.]
Hopefully you inhaled wonderful, smoke-free air. Some of you may not have been fortunate to do so. Maybe you had difficulty breathing in due to a chronic disease such as asthma, lung cancer, COPD, or emphysema. If so, the American Lung Association works for you and the rest of us.
This May, the American Lung Association of Texas is hosting the 2011 Fight for Air Climb. If you’re in or around Austin, you should try to make it. Don’t think you can make it up 60 flights of stairs to the top of the Frost Bank Tower? Uhm, yeah, that makes me a bit nervous, too. No worries, though. There are practice climbs, which is awesome. Check out the first one, which is tomorrow - The Austin Stairs of Doom. Sounds fun intriguing, right? You can even mark the feat via Gowalla if you’re into it.
Practice, practice, practice. That means climb, climb, climb. Get ready for May 14th. Downtown Austin. Frost Bank Tower. Huffing and puffing. Breathing deeply. All for a great cause. Hopefully I’ll see you there!
I’ve spent the past two glorious weeks with my amazing family. A good amount of time was devoted to reading and taking control of my Google Reader. It’s been wonderful. I thought I’d share an eclectic blend of some of my favorite December blog posts – not those I’ve written personally, but definitely those I have enjoyed personally.
Last but certainly not least, make sure to check out the great submissions and nominations for the first ever Those Emergency Blues Prize for Writing. I have loved reading from the best and brightest of the diverse nurse blogosphere.
December 2010 hasn’t been short on great content. Here’s to January 2011!
Nurses are present in every community, in virtually every setting. We’re everywhere.
Naturally, nurses are some of the most altruistic people on the planet. You have to admit it takes a certain personality (and dare I say it – calling – even) to care for hundreds of complete strangers throughout the year.
Even when nurses aren’t caring for others professionally, they’re often caring for others personally – in their churches, with their favorite nonprofits, during times of crisis. About 80% of the nurses I know volunteer in several capacities. (I counted five organizations I personally volunteer with; it seems like my list grows annually.)
It’s our instinct to help.
According to the ANA, there are 3.1 million Registered Nurses in the U.S. (According to NFLPN, there are an additional one million Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses in the U.S.) All of that knowledge. All of that expertise. All of that passion. Poured into our communities via volunteerism.
For perspective: If only 50% of only RNs volunteered with one organization for five hours each month, at a meager rate of $25/hour, that’s $187.5 Million of in-kind donations! Cha-Ching!
So, nurses, where do you volunteer? How many organizations do you volunteer with? Tell me about them and why you love volunteering with them. If you’re a nonprofit person, are you tapping into the nursing expertise in your community? If not, what’s the barrier? If so, how are you reaching and utilizing nurses?