Is it hard for you to keep a positive attitude at work?

iStockphoto | Hemera | ThinkStock + Scrubs
iStockphoto | Hemera | ThinkStock + Scrubs

It’s hard to keep a good person down, or at least, that’s how the saying goes. I, for one, think it’s harder to keep a good person up.

I’m a pretty positive person, but maintaining a positive attitude takes a lot of work. Nurses have quite the task at hand. How in the world do you maintain positivity in the face of so much stress?

The aggravating part is the domino effect it has on the care we provide. Somehow we inadvertently project this stress onto our beloved patients.

We have to repeatedly remind ourselves it’s not our patient’s fault. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • A bad work schedule is not the patient’s fault
  • Personal problems and stresses are not the patient’s fault
  • The way a colleague treats you is not the patient’s fault
  • The way a coworker treats you is not the patient’s fault
  • You not getting enough sleep is not the patient’s fault
  • Feeling under the weather is not the patient’s fault

We have a tough job. We are in charge of our fellow human beings’ health and wellness while caring for them.

  • They didn’t get to go to work today
  • They’re scared, anxious and worried
  • Their families are scared, anxious and worried about them
  • Their friends are scared, anxious and worried for them
  • They probably slept less than you did
  • They feel much worse than you do

During my time in the business of retail (pre-nursing career), someone shared a wonderful little saying with me: “Always try and keep the P.A.C.E.”

  • P – Positive
  • A – Attitude
  • C- Changes
  • E – Everything

The one thing I try to remind myself every time I step across the threshold of my patient’s room is this:

Today I’m not the patient

Hang in there.

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