It is a well known fact that the nursing profession is very demanding. We hear and read about this a lot, and no one can really relate to this, but us nurses. The demands of the nursing profession come in all areas. It starts from the higher ups, management, patients, co-workers and even yourself. I believe nurses put so much of themselves into their chosen profession to the point that all we do is give, not expecting anything in return.
In the process, we get burned out. It is a fact. I have seen it happen everywhere. New nurses leaving the bedside, older nurses retiring early... I was a victim of this burn-out. I found myself questioning my values, beliefs, profession, and intentions. Therefore, I left the bedside and went to ER Case Management.
Case Management is the financial side of nursing. Always looking for medical necessity to get the most reimbursement from payers. At the same time, the Nursing Process still serves as your guideline as to how to plan for patients hospital needs and discharge planning. With this come more demands. Revenue becomes the object of desirable outcome. Then I question myself again. Is this what it really boils down to? Money?
As I began to feel torn between two sides, I came to realize that nursing really is a profound profession which covers more than meets the eyes. You can enter this profession with a noble intention of plainly helping and caring for people. But there is nothing plain about nursing. I believe that in any area you go into, it is the little significant nursing moments which inspires you to go on.
I decided to go back to bedside nursing on a PRN basis. I never realized how much I missed patient care until I stepped back onto the floor and hustled and bustled all over again. This is where nurses nurse for the whole 12 hours, fulfilling tremendous amounts of nursing tasks. Yet, I believe, (and I'm sure a lot of nurses will agree) that true nursing comes from the genuine encounters during a nurse to patient relationship. These encounters whether good or bad, become your teacher for the day.
Nurses give comfort and courage. We also nurture and listen.
We give comfort to the ones who are in pain, tired, hungry, and scared.
We encourage hope to the ones who are in pain, tired, hungry, and scared.
We nurture the natural inner powers of the ones who are in pain, tired, hungry, and scared.
We listen and acknowledge pain, hunger, and fear.
These trivial moments in nursing is what makes the profession so beautiful. Its beauty comes from within the soul. No amount of nursing books can even begin to teach this concept. This is because there are no words to explain the joy it brings to a nurse and his or her patient. These moments, no matter how many times you experience it, do not get old, and will not burn you out. These nursing moments, whether it's your battle with your own profession, or the acts which bring profound changes in your patients' lives becomes embedded in time for us to cherish.