In 2014, I have decided I want to be a better nurse with a more positive attitude. Not only does my attitude affect the care I give my patients, but it also affects other aspects of my life. I find myself being more critical of people in general. I let the unpleasant patients I take care of, in a sense, harden me to others outside of work. This isn’t the nurse or the person I want to be.
As a nurse there are days I feel like a hero, a waitress, and sadly a drug dealer. It can be a challenge when you have patients that are demanding, drug seeking, and who expect you to wait on them hand and foot. There are times I have formed an opinion of a patient before I have entered the room solely based on another nurse’s comments. The negative thoughts creep in slowly, but begin to gain control over my mind and eventually form into a pessimistic outlook, sometimes for the entire day.
Despite the challenges that some patients can bring, it’s important to be positive. I have to start ignoring these negative thoughts. If I let them take over, eventually they will consume me and affect the level of care I am able to provide my patients. Even though some days I feel like I’m the ball at the batting cages, I want to approach every patient in an unbiased way that is both compassionate and kind. There are those who desperately need and deserve my help. Others I can educate, but in reality, I don’t believe I can change in the small time frame that I care for them. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.
Negative thinking becomes a habit – a very bad habit. It seems to me there is only one solution. I must change my way of thinking. To help me accomplish this I’m going to start a new habit of positive thinking – a stream of self talk that gears my mind up for the best possible outcome in every situation instead of expecting the worst in people. This wont be an easy task. Just like a resolution to start eating healthy or stop smoking, it will take time and practice. But with patience and hard work, it is a goal that will lead to happiness in all aspects of my life.
As a nurse it is my job and responsibility to give the best care I can give to those in need. I know there will always be those patients that are difficult and will challenge my resolution. Positive thinking doesn’t mean you see the world through rose colored glasses though, it simply means you try to find the best in every person and in every situation, even in the less than pleasant circumstances. Starting in 2014 my goal is to become the person and the nurse others want to be around, the one who is radiating with kindness and compassion. And I challenge you to do the same.
“All you can change is yourself, but sometimes that changes everything!” – Gary W Goldstein