I have grown up on the acute care practice side of nursing … where the focus has been empirics, skills and competencies.
We/nursing have unleashed hundreds of thousands of nurses from all education levels onto these acute care units. I feel most are ill equipped to handle the social complexities that they will experience.
A bit of me feels we have abandoned them, despite all the good intern and residency programs that exist.
Most nurses go into nursing with the intent to help people yet we do not support them enough in holding onto that intention while they master the science, technical, pharmacological, safety and quality priorities.
This practice environment is one of the most difficult for a nurse to survive professionally, emotionally and spiritually intact, yet we expect this of ourselves and of them.
I know nurses who do survive intact and many with grace. I admire those and gravitate to them. What is their secret? Is it that they are connected with something within themselves that results in them and their patients thriving and perhaps healing in this high tech care setting?
What I’ve learned… We are a Vessel that delivers high tech care and caring.
We must nurture this vessel.
Yes, we must learn and master the empirics and technical skills required of quality and safety practices, but it is our aesthetic knowing and personal dimensions that are our vessel of technical care and caring.
This is what makes us unique.
It is what we know within ourselves that sustains us, and is inherent in all interpersonal relating, caring, healing. This is the piece that makes nursing unique, and results in patients feeling cared for and at times healed.
This uniqueness makes our caring real and authentic.
And what can we do to help our nurses?