A Different Message, Two Conferences

What I learned

Attending 2 conferences, back to back, gave me the opportunity to see – AGAIN –  how busy and unified nurses are.

It didn’t matter that one was a Human Caring (IAHC) conference

  • 40th Annual International Association for Human Caring Conference
  • Wednesday, May 30 – Saturday, June 2, 2019
  • Greenville, South Carolina

and the other a Palliative Care (SDCCC) conference.

The conversations were the same.

Everyone is juggling a lot of demands.

Everyone is dedicated to deepen connections with patients.

Most presentations at both conferences built on patient-centered care programs.

My angle is a bit different.

My message is nurse-centered

I’m promoting a nurse leader practice that is nurse-centered. It’s a grassroots, organic, stand-alone nurse leader practice.

One thing for sure, Nurses are concerned about nurses. 

When I said that my aim is to help nurse leaders bring caring science into organizations in doable ways …

… the responses among nurses and nurse leaders were uniformly energetic, with notes of relief, followed by questions.

My mantra:

  • nurses need more support in todays’ work settings from nurse leaders
  • nurse leaders need doable approaches that can give that support

The doable approach (briefly):

  • engages nurses in conversations about caring using caring language.  (These conversations reach back into our nursing history)
  • these conversations are about the nurses’ experiences, less about patients (It’s OK, patients will benefit in the long run)
  • uses the definitions of Caring Relationships (Halldorsdottir,1991; available in all Watson books)
    • helps nurses clarify their caring experiences … as they talk through their experiences
    • makes the distinction between good care and meaningful care (authentic caring)
  • nurses share details of their caring-  their feelings and thoughts and behaviors
  • gives nurses opportunities to grow self-awareness
  • nurses will not be annoyed by these inward questions; they will rarely walk away …
  • nurses will respond in thoughtful ways; they know intuitively that these are real connections with themselves and their leaders
  • nurse leaders will find the time for these conversations, once you experience the benefit
  • nurses will have more authentic caring moments, once cultivation of their caring consciousness is palpable in their work settings
  • Note – organizations are steeped in initiatives that teach nurses how to care; this is not that!
  • These conversations tap into what is already there, within nurses
  • These conversations feel good

You will feel good about yourself, nurses and nursing

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