Nursing is more than just a profession. It’s a calling! There are few jobs which afford you more meaningful and rewarding ways to make a real difference in people’s lives every single day. Since the work of Florence Nightingale late 19th century nurses have been a beacon of hope and compassion even in the most Hellish of environments. Whether in the trenches of World War I or your local high school, nurses can be found changing people’s lives for the better all over the world. But, as any working nurse will tell you, while it’s an infinitely rewarding career, it’s also incredibly demanding. Twelve hour shifts are bad enough but they often turn into thirteen or even fourteen hour shifts. Patients are usually delightful, but can be cranky and cantankerous, outright refusing to believe that you have their best interests at heart. Even the sunniest and most optimistic of us can struggle to stay motivated. Here are some ways to help keep yourself on track and be the kind of nurse that you wanted to be when you were a kid, even when the deck is stacked against you…
Line up your next career move
We tend to work best when we have that next big promotion or perhaps a lateral progression in mind. Fortunately, a nursing degree can open up a lot of doors. If hospital nursing is beginning to lose its luster, how about setting your sights on the next step in your career. It may be a promotion to a more senior role, or a shift towards the private sector. You could make a very good living for yourself working as a consultant to a legal firm or an insurance company. Or perhaps you just want to develop the skills you already have. Wherever your degree takes you, try to focus on the next rung of the career ladder next time you feel your energy levels flagging.
Look good, feel good
It’s a fact that when we feel that we look good, it makes us more confident in ourselves and our abilities. This allows us to wear a smile with a little more ease and weather adverse working conditions with a little more positivity. Of course this isn’t always easy to do in scrubs, especially when the splattering of bodily fluids on our scrubs makes us look like a walking Jackson Pollock installation. It is possible, however, to find scrubs that not only look a lot more fashionable than the baggy green variety we’re accustomed to, but also allow us much more comfort and ease of movement. When we’re comfortable and feel like we look professional and smart, that makes us that much more motivated.
Lean on your colleagues
Never be afraid to vent to your colleagues, if you feel overworked and undervalued. They’re in the exact same boat and while they may be able to give you the catharsis of working out your frustrations and anxieties, they’ll also likely be able to furnish you with workable practical solutions, too.