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Nurses are Superhuman?

Tag Archives: therapy

Nurses are Superhuman?

I’ve heard people make the claim that nurses are superhuman. While it’s meant to be an empowering compliment, I think it actually does more harm than good.

I believe it removes the human factor from our role. It cultivates that mentality that nurses can’t make mistakes simply because they are nurses. That we can do anything in any situation.

I mean… You wouldn’t be able to get through nursing school if you messed up, right?

Wrong.

Turns out – nurses are human too. (Surprise, haha!) Just like anyone else, we make mistakes. Everyone does. Getting through nursing school, med school, pharmacy school, or physical therapy school, etc. doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re above mistakes. The stakes are just higher.

Naturally, we don’t want to mess up and harm someone in the process. It makes sense. However, in this pursuit of avoiding error, we begin to set the bar at perfectionism. Somehow being perfect becomes the lowest acceptable standard.

Achieving this is impossible. When we inevitably mess up, either an identity crisis ensues, or we try to cover up our mistake because we couldn’t bare the thought of being one of “those nurses” who does something wrong. Nurses hide their mistakes out of fear of discipline and facing that realization that they are not the perfect nurse they thought they were.

It’s a pretty tough place to be, especially if you’ve made it a while without a mistake or if you’ve been hard on someone else who has.

Not only do patients suffer from mistakes themselves, but also from not reporting them. Processes can’t be perfected. Others may make the same mistakes but because no one is talking about it, the people in a position to address it are completely unaware.

A perfect track record does not mean someone is a successful nurse, much like growing in age does not mean someone has matured.

Honest nurse > “Perfect” nurse

You are not your mistakes. Mistakes are a byproduct of the learning process and being human. What matters more than the mistake itself is how you handle in the moment and how you view yourself going forward. Will you allow it to empower you to become better, or will it cripple you and break you down?

The beautiful thing is that we get to choose our response. We can say no to the negative thoughts that come up, allow the waves of emotions in the moment to calm, and intentionally choose how this situation will shape our character. We just need to own the narrative.

All the best,

Kati

 

Shared From Kati Fleber’s Blog FreshRN.com

4 Ways to De-Stress on the Road

Everyone knows the medical field is one of the most stressful job fields to be in. Medical professionals are paid to save lives for a living; the expectation to always be at your best for your patients is taxing. Dealing with family members, feeling like you are not in control of your work environment or just the cases you observe can all play a role in the amount of pressure you feel. We have put together a list of a few things you can do to de-stress when you get off work.

 

#1 Work it Out

The first way to de-stress is working out the stress. There are many benefits of physical exercise other than just improving physical well-being. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can also reduce stress. Studies have shown that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has drained your energy or ability to concentrate.

When stress affects the brain, with all its nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Naturally if your body feels better, so will your mind. Exercise and other physical activities produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. There are many benefits to working out; add de-stressing to the list.

 

#2 Take a Walk

While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins (which in turn, reduces stress hormones), consider walking in a park or by a body of water, which can put your body into a state of meditation. Take it up a notch and bring a yoga mat so if you find a good spot you can do yoga there.

 

#3 Put Music On

While classical music has a notably soothing effect — it slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and can even decrease levels of stress hormones — any music that you love will flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals (like dopamine).

And, while music can soothe everyday anxiety (crank it up on the drive home!), research shows that it’s remarkably beneficial for those in the midst of stressful events, like surgery.

Don’t have your headphones nearby? Try humming or making your own music. One study of stressed-out nursing students found that recreational music-making relieved stress and prevented burnout.

 

#4 Treat Yourself to a Treat

Eating or drinking something sweet is satisfying because it starts the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid (which helps explain why we find ourselves staring down the jar of cookies when things don’t go right). While not an excuse to unleash your emotional eating on the hospital vending machine, a Reese’s pieces, peppermint candy or other reasonably-sized treat can help.

Try some of these techniques next time you feel at your breaking point and need to de-stress a little.