There’s a distinction between thinking we need to fix nurses versus tapping into what is already there within each nurse.
I was recently struck by a number of psychologists talking about shame as being the deep seeded driver of our bad behaviors and/or our not being able to move forward in life.
The solution is learning how to tap into our existing compassion for self and others. (And it turns out that it is pretty uncomplicated, but that’s another story, another blog.)
The point made was that the word “development” is no longer the action word involving compassion because it is now understood that “human consciousness is inherently compassionate to self and others when engaged in perspective taking and not problem solving.”
Whoa…. How many development programs have I created in response to solving a problem?
My point regarding myself and other nurses is that compassion is already within each of us, and especially for nurses … we have to learn how to allow it more consistently, to not shut compassion down when we are overwhelmed, threatened, distracted, etc. Interestingly, it’s about the work environment as much as our individual emotions and inner workings.
I just reread an article about compassion in a nursing leadership journal and it is full of “nurses must recognize”, “…must engineer approaches to incorporate … compassion”, “nurses must apply tools …”.
I believe that nurses all too well recognize that it’s all about the patient.
I believe that it is us, nurse leaders, who are not using the right healing and language with ourselves, with each other and with nurses.
There is so much good information out there that can help us feel better about ourselves as leaders because it always starts there (sorry, can’t escape that piece),
help us connect with other leaders and nurses on deeper levels in simple ways,
help us learn to trust ourselves and others when overwhelmed,
and how to allow vulnerability with each other.
This is how we promote real caring of the human spirit in its most vulnerable state.
And then we learn how to talk about it, using caring language, all the way up to the boardroom.