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Looking forward to Nurses Week! May 5, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in Inspiration, Professional Practice, Thought for today.
Tags: , , , , ,

May is Nurses Month!

Let us take this opportunity in the cycle of time to reflect and celebrate the gift that we have.

Forever, in the history of civilization, there has been an inclination among people to reach out and help another in need in their community. Forever, in the history of civilization, it has been understood that this form of human interaction is of greater benefit to society then interactions that are harmful, destructive, damaging, or painful. Yet, for reasons that are somewhat imperfectly understood (by us and others), those of us who regularly engage in the helpful and compassionate interactions are undervalued, or devalued in this particular period of the history of mankind.

The fact that materialism, success in business, scientific knowledge, wealth, and gaining a competitive edge using aggressive techniques are the common sources of prestige and status must not interfere with the clarity of our vision that the work we do has enormous significance in the ultimate advancement of civilization.

Nurses are among the most trusted professionals in the eyes of the public, but that trust not always taken into account in the rewards side of the ledger. Nurses need to stop taking personally the way society can undervalue our work, and focus on making visible the impact our type of interaction can have on the level of civilization experienced by those who live in the world today.

Let us celebrate the power we can have via the choices we make in our nursing interactions with humanity… let us find ways to help the rest of the world understand what it is missing.. let us cherish the feeling we get from our work when we are conscious of the sanctity of one human being helping another.

For that is what Nursing is.

Let us Celebrate!!

Updated from original text published in ‘Primarily Nursing’, From the Desk Of column, 1988.


1. Corinne Romano - May 6, 2017

Thank you for your incredible insight. I am interested in finding ways to “stop the insanity” that is the eternal pace of the bedside clinician today. The challenge I see as the biggest barrier is to get nurses to be still long enough to realize that these are worthwhile endeavors for them and their patients. The skills of reflective practice and mindfulness can help here. Do you have any suggestions for the “be still” part?
Happy Nurses Week
Warm regards,
Corinne Romano

2. mariemanthey - May 7, 2017

I have two ‘be still’ suggestions.

I speak a lot to staff nurses. And I know the following suggestions are practical for them:

The first is to practice ‘presence’ – this is not a deep metaphysical action, but rather a simple choice – to practice intentional presence. Meaning – to decide to empty your mind of what just happened in the immediate past and to not be thinking about what you’re about to do when you walk in to the next patient’s room.

Instead, at that moment of entry, to practice intentional presence – to decide to be present to the patient or their family. We also call this attunement. The important thing is it doesn’t take any time. There are no minutes to be used to practice intentional presence.

The second suggestion is to consistently and regularly start each shift by spending a few minutes sitting at the bedside of each patient. DO NOT DO THIS STANDING UP. The conversation should be about what’s going to happen today – from your point of view – and asking the all-important question: is there anything in particular you want to see happen to day as well? This information, and the experience of an eye-to-eye conversation, will have a profound effect on your experience of the workload of the day.

Time is a function of our thoughts. Things speed up and slow down because of the way we’re thinking. Time always passes inexorably the same way. By managing our thinking in these ways, staff nurses have experienced a profound effect on their sense of the workload of the day.


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