Happy Nurse’s Week!
I am very thankful for the profession of nursing, and I am even more thankful to the Lord for leading me to it.
I am thankful for my coworkers, my patients, the awesome hospital I work at, and most importantly, the lessons the Lord teaches me daily on the job.
As a nurse for almost 3 years now, I have learned a lot from the working world including how to work with patients and coworkers, communication and relationships, and how to take on adulthood.
In honor of nurse’s week, I wanted to share a few of the life lessons nursing has taught me and how they apply to life in general. To list everything would take a while, but I narrowed it down to a handful of important takeaways.
I also say these things from a spirit of helpfulness and insight, rather than claiming to be an expert. These are things that I am working and focus on as constant reminders to be the best nurse and human as possible.
- “It’s not about you” (Warren 21).
During the day, the focus is not on the nurse. It is always on the patients: their well-being, their needs, their vital signs, etc. We are there to serve the patients. That is what we signed up for. That is our role, and as exhausting as it can be, it is the nature of our role and the passionate calling we step into.
This lesson translates to our everyday life. This world, our whole life, and creation is ultimately not about us. We were given this life to serve the One who gave us life in the first place. The Lord wanted and loved you so much to create you and place you on this earth. He wants you to enjoy His creation.
He made you for a specific mission that He ordained, equipped, and wove together for you, and He provides the strength for us to carry out this mission.
This mission includes everyday service to your patients as a nurse. Though it can be exhausting, it is the Lord who ordained this mission so He promises to carry one through. He is the one who gives us the strength to care for our patients.
This is something I have to continue to remind myself of, because it is 100% human instinct to focus on oneself. However, just because it is instinct doesn’t make it right. Also turning inwards on our own needs leads to relying on our own strength, which will become much too burdensome.
We need to shift our focus from doing things because we like them, but carrying out this act of service to others because we were once served by the greatest Creator. It is our mission, our calling, and our opportunity to give back to God. We are not just serving patients, but serving something far greater than ourselves — God.
- Even if you don’t feel needed, you are.
In the recent weeks, work has been a little…dare I say it…slow. (You nurses understand we never like to say that in fear that we jinx things.)
However, census has been pretty low at my hospital. I know for some that is not the case, but it got me thinking about the few patients I have during my shift. I have had a shift where I had one patient, and that one was very self sufficient, independent, and didn’t ask for much. I thought about the need for me being there.
I thought about how stable of a situation I was in, so was I even needed?
It didn’t seem so in that moment, but if the scenario changes or something goes wrong, I would be very needed.
This is a patient with an acute illness that is admitted and still not ready for discharge. As “stable” as the patient seems, there is still the risk of decline. So YES, I am still needed. As the nurse of what seems to be a stable, independent patient that does not need me right in the moment does in fact still need me there and checking on him/her.
And you are needed too!
On a broader scope: in life, there are many days when we may not feel “needed”. Sometimes the temptation to take short cuts or delay tasks arises because it does not seem to be a “needed” thing at the time.
However, cutting corners is when trouble strikes because even when you don’t feel it, the opportunity or situation happened for a reason. Carrying them out well is a part of what is required.
- Encouragement, uplifting words, and teamwork are really important.
Adulting and the working world is hard. There are good days and bad days, and it is important to surround yourself with those that encourage you and build you up. Having a team that lifts you up when life gets hard will really make all the different.
I am big on words of affirmation, so I probably need the encouragement more than others. However, I believe everyone loves a good compliment even if its not your love language.
Have a spirit of building others up and spread encouragement in hopes that you receive positivity in return.
Sometimes work gets stressful, but continuing to practice positivity in your work setting will allow for it to become more and more natural and a foundation to build upon.
Also it is important to recognize that the true, unconditional positivity and encouragement comes from the Lord, who never runs out of beautiful words for you.
These are three big lessons that I’ve learned while being a nurse that apply to life in general. I am so thankful for a profession that has provided life lessons and for the ability to do what I believe I was created to do. Nursing is filled with hard moments and hard days, but these lessons allow me to preserve knowing that I am there for the sake of others, I am needed for this purpose, and I have encouragement from the only one that matters: Jesus.
Happy nurses week to all nurses out there! And thank you to everyone that does what they love every day. Putting forth effort into what you do and your work is a part of carrying out what you were made for. And that is a BIG act of worship that you should be proud of!