Inspiration was a key factor in my decision to become a nurse. I had an aunt who was a nurse and I was always amazed at the things she knew and the love she had for her job. As a nurse what feeds your soul? Who or what inspires you to continue to do the work you do?
When you’re working those long shifts day after day or night after night are there special moments that remind you why you do what you do? While caring for a patient you make sure their heart is beating and they are breathing. What are the things that make your heart beat and keep you breathing?
Here are a few things that inspire me to keep working:
Many jobs I have worked allowed me to be autonomous. I love being out there doing my own thing. Even though I was out there seeing patients on my own I always knew if I needed help I could call on another nurse to give me a hand. Nurses almost always work as a team when caring for others.
Generally, as nurses, we are a respected profession. Nurses respect the lives of others. Nursing is a huge responsibility and not taken lightly and for that we command respect.
We have the courage to make hard decisions. It takes courage to question a doctor’s order because you know the patient best. We do what is necessary to get the job done for our patient. We ask for help when needed and offer help to others in need.
Love and joy
The joy of being accepted into nursing school and passing the boards. Landing that first job and passing certifications tests when required.
Nurses have a heart that is always full. All of the joyful moments, sadness, tenderness, triumph and recovery the thousands of tears shed with patients and families. You can not be a nurse if your heart is not full of love for what you do.
Nurses develop intimate relationships with the people in our care. We know so much about their life. We know their medical histories, their fears and sometimes their secrets. Patients know we’re bound by HIPAA for confidentiality.
Nurses see them exposed physically and emotionally. A nurse will have sympathy and learn empathy. Seeing the courage and strength of one suffering from illness or loss is humbling.
Knowing we are needed
Patients need us and our colleagues need us to show up.
Intuition and insight
Over time a nurse develops intuition by using her assessment and observation. Nurses have saved patients lives by knowing something just isn’t right. A nurse is usually “in the know” about a patient’s life situation and unwise choices they may have made. Knowing a patient so well instills compassion in us, replacing judgment.
Passion and confidence
Remember what called you into nursing in the first place. Stay involved continue your education, volunteer in the community at a health event or charity clinic and stay committed to quality patient care.
Be confident in your skills and knowledge of your job. Patients trust us when we are enthusiastic about our work.
Teaching and/or learning
As nurses, we learned to see one, do one, and teach one. Nurses at some point will mentor a new nurse, a student or another health employee. These opportunities help to keep you sharp. Remember you’re a source of encouragement for another nurse so own it.
We are never too old to learn something new and get inspired or motivated. Take a workshop or continuing education course to stay current and instill confidence. Maybe you want to become certified in your specialty or find a new job to inspire you and ignite the passion again.
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