NURSES GOING THE EXTRA MILES .. HOW HAPPY YOU ARE?
Nursing has become an ever-demanding and challenging profession over the years. No matter which department you work in, you are expected to go the extra mile irrespective of your time constraint or work pressure.
Working as a nurse is a great honour. From the times of the lady with the lamp to the era of the lady with computers, the human race witnessed and experienced drastic changes. The healthcare sector has welcomed each upgradation and supported the development of nursing by various means. There are no boundaries for a nurse to establish her carrier growth. The world is still in demand of nurses.
However, it’s a fact that nurses are overwhelmed with their job roles. Many of us may have experienced the same. No matter how hard we try to do our best for our patients, we will still be under the blame frame for some tasks. We may have been confused and clueless most of the time amidst our MDT (multidisciplinary team). A nurse is defined to be a patient advocate, an educator and many more. We are also entitled to be the communicator between Doctors, dieticians, physiotherapists and other MDT. Everyone expects nurses to be patients’ voices as they believe nurses spend more face time with the patients.
But I have witnessed patients express themselves differently with different teams. It is not that they do not trust their nurses, nor are they unhappy with his\her professional qualities. It is just because they treat us as if we are only communicators. Many of us may have observed the difference in how patients interact with doctors versus nurses. The nursing shift starts with identifying the right patient with PPI checks (positive patient Identification), developing interpersonal relationships, listening to their concerns, documenting their observations, and then administering medicines as per the drug chart, and then documenting. Between chasing the pharmacy to deliver the newly prescribed medications and checking for any drug reactions, everything is the sole responsibility of a nurse again. Moreover, a nurse must ensure the patient’s personal hygiene is met, their nutrition is adequate, their mobility has no issues, and their skin is intact. If any area needs assistance nurse needs to communicate and notify the respective team for further assessment. Meanwhile, after so much effort, when we return to the patient, they may be annoyed for not being there for their call bells. Then our inner voice whispers….” Going the extra mile…. Was it valued…”?
Every nurse who begins their shift will have one strong desire …. which is to provide the best patient care and have a peaceful shift. But often, the time and energy are exhausted by concentrating on particularly assigned patients where we have to go above and beyond. Even though many of us want to raise our voices, being overwhelmed with multitasking, many of us fear being judged on our efficiency or the desire to be appreciated for managing the stressful situation either of the two in the chamber of our heart keeps our voice suppressed.
There are even situations where we enter into a drama triangle -the game of Persecutor, victim and rescuer. (Stephen Karpman first described the Drama Triangle in the 1960s)
Drama Triangle (https://leadershiptribe.co.uk/blog/the-drama-triangle-explained)
The journey around the triangle can be made with self or another, such as a spouse, child, co-worker, etc. Most of us are neurologically programmed to play these three roles, and we consciously or unconsciously choose one role given the particular context. If you’re human, chances are you may see yourself or be seen by others, as all three in different scenarios. It is important to point out that the players in the Drama Triangle may switch roles during a mind game, and if anyone in this triangle changes roles, the other two roles change as well.
Most of the nurses who begin their shift as a rescuer end up being a victim. In an attempt to favour the persecutor, a nurse gets emotionally and physically drained. This leads to losing self-confidence, and we end up with a high risk for errors.
A sweet note to all my dear companions.
Time for self-realization …..How happy are you to go beyond the call of duty?
Let us not get strangled in the drama triangle. Each MDT, right from the health care assistant to the consultants, has their job description, But unfortunately, a nurse is expected to blend and be flexible with other professional’s roles. It’s high time to fix the boundaries and stop the game of being persecuted.
Multi-tasking and multi-functioning is not our ultimate goal. Let’s keep the lit lamp glowing brighter with care and compassion and focus on quality care, not quantity.