For a nurse, inspiration is as important as breathing—we need oxygen for our souls. Just as we check to see if our patients are breathing, checking our own emotional pulse is essential. We need to feel inspired; it’s a critical component to a nursing career.
For us to keep going shift after shift, we must be reminded from time to time of those special moments—we all have them in our careers—when we’ve stopped and thought: This is why I do it.
So just what are some things that keep a nurse breathing? The following are presented randomly, not in any particular order of importance. All of them, however, provide oxygen for our souls!
- Passion: Recollection of what called us to nursing in the first place. Our initiative to continue education, join a committee at our workplace, volunteer in our community at a health event and stay fervently committed to quality patient care. It’s contagious!
- Respect: For our profession. For human life. For dignity’s sake we undertake enormous responsibility.
- Humor: It’s a well-known fact that laughter is great medicine for our patients and for us! A colleague once boasted of eating an entire Thanksgiving dinner in six minutes while standing up during a busy ER shift! Then there are certain things that we find comical (perhaps even hysterical) that only another nurse would understand!
- Gratitude: This attitude on our part recognizes that if it were not for our own good health and intelligence, we would be unable to serve those in our care. We’re also grateful for our patients who appreciate our time and patience…for our families who often miss us at the dinner table—especially on holidays (oof!).
- Teamwork: As nurses we need each other, depend on one another and have each other’s backs. I know, I know…nurses historically eat their young…but it is and always will be the teamwork that energizes and fuels us. Not to mention the snacks and dishes we bring in to share!
- Doctors: As much as we often complain about them or are intimidated by them, we thrive on their trust in us. It helps when they’re charismatic and good-looking, too! Doesn’t it? Be honest.
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For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!