One of the benefits of being away from bedside nursing is that I’ve had time to reflect on my own performance. How could I have been better? What simple precepts would have helped? Being out of the “fog of war” has given me a clearer view of what’s right and what’s wrong in health care. Our culture doesn’t offer much positive encouragement for the nursing profession. That’s a costly shame, as many Baby Boomers soon will discover. To help out, I’ve come up with eight ways to become a better nurse.
- Pay attention to how you perceive your patients
- Intend nothing but the best for your patients
- Speak the truth in a way that echoes your wisdom, not your darkness
- Act on the facts but respect your intuition
- Live your life as a connection to something greater than yourself
- Work through your hardest times, not against them
- Mind your mind: its power to destroy is its power to heal
- Focus on the moment, not the past
Some of us are cut for bedside nursing, some of us aren’t. I think if you’re in bedside nursing and enjoy what you do then you’re a Jedi Knight who commands more respect than you probably receive.
For those of you who don’t quite enjoy what you do, think about your reasons for what you do. Consider the eight precepts (or make up your own) and see if anything changes for the better. You have more options than you realize.
Feel free to add your own suggestions for becoming a better nurse. If I get to 101, I’ll post your thoughts here and promote the living shit out of the list.
I hope the list I’m offering here helps you to become a better nurse, a better person, a better part of our quickly-changing world.