Wait ! There Are Positives Around Us – Impacting Our Caring Consciousness

I am in uncharted territory and am in a very steep learning curve right now. My book is in the editing process … so lots of challenges happening there.  Plus I am finalizing the talk that I am giving in San Diego at the Association of California Nurse Leaders Conference in a few weeks.

So all of my thoughts feel especially connected across these projects right now — the book, the talk and now this blog, …. and last weeks blog.

Note – I just rewrote last weeks blog ….I refined it by simplifying and adding details (about using caring language) for clarification to help me; it may be helpful for you too.  Here it is if you wish to reread.     I think it’s worth it.

What I want to build on today are some Positives Impacting Our Caring Consciousness.

Why I want to keep talking about this is because I know that your daily clinical practice and jobs just don’t feel very conscious.  I know that from my own work experience, plus I hear these sentiments in every conversation I have with every nurse, clinician and leader.

Positive Changes in Our Midst

So today, I want to step back from the grind and point out some positive cultural changes that are happening around us that impact our caring consciousness, even when we’re not noticing.

I know that it doesn’t seem like there are positive changes happening in our everyday life… especially as they relate to our work in clinical settings …. But I promise you, there are, and here are a few such positives.

CVS drugstores banning photo manipulation in its stores’ cosmetic marketing-

This is huge!   I love this story! The CEO of CVS is a woman and mother. She noticed that her daughters were consistently using YouTube videos when evaluating products to purchase.  So she questioned them. Her daughters pointed out, “of course, the cosmetic branding photos are not real”.  They turn to YouTube for authenticity.  This decision reflects an acknowledgment that “unrealistic body images” are a significant driver of health issues, especially among women. About 80% of the chain’s customers are women.”   These daughters are no doubt millennials. My experience with my millennial daughters teaches me that they hold the value of authenticity very high, and are suspicious of anything less.  We can honor this is our caring practice.  This is another good reason to support this store.  You recall that CVS was the first drugstore to stop selling cigarettes, and recently started dispensing opioid prescriptions in no more than 7 day increments.

“Evolution of Medicine- Functional Forums” – an organization with the mission to change how healthcare is delivered in communities –

This is an online group called “Evolution of Medicine – Functional Forums”.  A healthcare economist in England founded it.  He started this business to champion change in American healthcare by helping physicians and other clinicians to set up innovative Functional Medicine practices that help communities change the way health care is delivered.  What I like about it is that it is based on values and principles that help people and communities, not economics. The organization is quite visionary with big-minded aspirations.  It provides a path for physicians and health care leaders who want to reengage with their purpose of helping people. Their audience is health professionals who practice in Functional Medicine, Preventative Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Holistic Medicine.  I learned of this group in a Living Longer Webcast series. You can learn more about them here. 

Mahatma Gandhi – 1982 film

I just saw this movie again last night.  I had not seen it in more than 20 years. Seeing it now prompts me to point out how far Eastern philosophies have come into our Western society.  I am no historian, so there is a lot of world history and its depth that escapes me, but I was able to relate to this story with more understanding than 20 years ago.  Despite all the chaos in our political world right now, our society is shifting towards deeper connection with each other.  This historic story shows what authenticity and staying true to one’s purpose looks like when there is much at stake.

As nurse leaders, What we talk about and the language we use helps us demonstrate what is important to us, our personal authenticity and our desire to connect.  Here are some suggestions:

Talk out-loud and often to individual nurses about their caring experiences,

  • ask why they became a nurse
  • how are they fulfilling their purpose in nursing
  • ask what has been meaningful in their practice today
  • ask what patient interaction touched them deeply today
  • ask what they do for themselves to help them care for themselves
  • share a quick story that shows your caring journey… that makes you real in their  eyes

Remember … 

These conversations are consciousness expanding.
Caring potential exists within each nurse; this potential is energized when our sense of purpose is awakened.
Authentic caring is contagious when nurses recognize it within themselves.
image courtesy of istock.com

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