Many of us nurses put the needs of others before our own. We often take care of patients and families, as well as our own family and friends, sometimes even strangers, before we take any time to care for ourselves. I know I may be generalizing here, but enough has been written about this topic (see below for some articles and links) for me to know that I’m not the only one who has noticed this. On that note, I’d like to share some inspirational words from some of our fellow nurses…
Over at her blog, Nursetopia, Joni shares the story of her personal health journey in Working Towards Health: One Year Later and Enduring Onward. “So, today is a lovely day – a reminder of where I have been, what I have accomplished, and where I am going. It all started with one day.” Way to go Joni!
Sean from My Strong Medicine is a second-career nurse and athletic trainer who is passionate about nursing and personal health. From his bio: “Health is the true treasure and measure of wealth.” Thank you for inspiring me with your posts and tweets Sean!
I’ve also enjoyed reading the words of Gail M. Pfeifer, RN, MA, news director from the American Journal of Nursing. In AJN’s eNewsletter Gail sometimes carves out a special section “Your Space - Taking Care of You” and shares her tips for committing to a healthier lifestyle. In the January 2011 issue, she wrote “Like other nurses I've met, I tend to put my own needs and creative desires behind the needs of others. This can be a wonderful thing to do—at times. Taking care of ourselves, however, can sharpen our altruism and make caring for others much easier.”
By the way, it was a study shared in AJN that first got me thinking about this topic - Journal Watch: Reducing Fatigue Among Nurses. In this particular study, researchers used an intervention which included education on fatigue and loss of sleep, strategies for increasing the quality of sleep and staying alert, and modified scheduling of shifts, to decrease fatigue in full-time nurses. The result? Decreased fatigue and better sleep led to fewer errors.
Here are some related articles and editorials from our journals. Some are a few years old, but definitely worth the read!
Emotional Climate and Self-care
Holistic Nursing Practice
Where Is the Team?
Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
Work Life Balance: Myth or Reality?
Journal of Trauma Nursing