The Extremely Real-Life Nursing Commercials!
I was sitting on the couch the other day, watching TV. I was recovering from 3 days of work, vegging in my over sized t-shirt, sipping on a large black cup of coffee, and watching “Live With Kelly!” My FAVORITE morning show! I’m still mad at Michael, but we won’t go there. My muscles and feet were really hurting me, and I didn’t plan much for the day. The typical post “3-days-of-work-in-a-row” fatigue had hit me hard!
During the commercial break, an advertisement came on for a local hospital. The soft spoken narrator began with some emotional statement about “your loved one”, and nurses smiling while taking care of these patients. They looked extremely refreshed, happy, and they were TALKING WITH THEIR PATENTS! Even better, the FAMILY was laughing! Man, they just hit the jackpot when they filmed this day 😉
So we all know the reality of TV, media, and *paid advertisements. Of course the nurses are going to be smiling. Of course the families are going to be laughing. Of course the patients are going to be well groomed, content, and “well.” And of course most will be compensated! That’s the image ALL facilities want to put out. Why is that? Because people like happiness. People like laughter. People like kindness. People want the “attractive” things. People want the “good” things in life for themselves and their loved ones.
The Harsh Reality
The harsh reality of healthcare is that this is not true 90% of the time. We, as nurses, desire to love what we do on a daily basis. We want to leave work feeling fulfilled and satisfied from a days work. We want to laugh and smile with our patients. We want to be able to lend a hand and help the nurses around us in need, at a moments notice! We want to ENJOY and LOVE our jobs! We want to love it for the same reason that we loved getting into it! Because we CARE about people and CARE about the wellbeing of others!
I look around on a daily basis and see a lot of unhappy nurses in healthcare. It frustrates me because I do still feel that I have that “fire” and I do feel joy. I want so badly for nurses to smile more. To feel supported! To feel loved! To feel appreciated! I feel that when the people around you feel better about themselves and their jobs, the unit functions better as a whole. The HOSPITAL functions better as a whole! I also feel like I’m a tiny mouse trying to scream this “idea” from the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It feels like it’s just hopeless somedays, and that this profession is going to continue to be like this.
It Sometimes Feels More Like A Really Hard Desk Job, Except LIVES Are At Stake!!
The lack of smiling and happiness sets a hospital back. It fosters a culture of hard shelled nurses, who feel overworked and under-appreciated. This is NOT good for patient satisfaction, and that’s why I can’t understand why it’s not aggressively addressed. Patient Satisfaftion is EVERYTHING for hospitals? I HATE this. As a young nurse, I LOVE taking care of people, but there are some days that I can’t see doing this the rest of my life. I think its very important and healthy to do what makes your heart happy. It’s part of “taking care of you.” I LOVE people and I LOVE taking care of sick hearts, but some days it doesn’t feel like I truly get to do that. It feels more like a really hard desk job, that I can’t ever get finished, and someone could DIE!
When It Is Well…
As those days frequent themselves, I start to run. I seek satisfaction in looking for other jobs. Other positions. Other careers. But then I’m hit with the reality that the grass isn’t greener. And I don’t want to run from nursing. Because it’s not nursing that hurts me, it’s the business. I actually LOVE my role as a nurse. The TRUE role of nursing.
What if nurses were equipped to smile more? What if nurses could laugh and have lighter hearts at work? It’s intense in its nature, as we are taking care of LIVES. I get that. But what if the profession that’s emits qualities and characteristics such as compassion, patience, gentleness, support, love, encouragement, and trust were to be not only that to it’s patients, but to employees who run it too?
Man, I want to see this change so badly. I love taking care of people. I just freaking love it. And I want to see nurses happier and smile more. For the smiling means “it is well.” And when it is well with them, it is well with everything else. I know we have a “GIANT-nothing new- heartaching” issue at hands, but I think we can start on a very small level. And that’s by loving on your fellow nurses, and finding the small joys and the smiles in a day.
Let’s not contribute to this GIANT. Let’s come together, in love and respect for one another, and learn to smile a little more….we need it. You need it. And someone you’re working alongside today or tomorrow will need it too!
Your Heart Is Mine,