This is the post excerpt.
I am starting this blog because I am that RN and so are you. I decided the old saying “nurses eat their young” need to be put out to pasture and as nurses we need to start taking care of our own and setting a new precedent. Teaching them, nurturing them, and helping them reach their fullest potential. Unfortunately, I experienced that old saying first hand straight out of nursing school with my very first job. These blogs will give me and you the opportunity to share our experiences with the world, with nursing students, and with current nurses. It is not meant to bash, belittle, or degrade our profession or each other, but rather to encourage, uplift and support one another. I will write on the topics and things directly affecting nurses today, including myself. I welcome you to join in the discussion, exchange dialogue that will transcend nursing and prosper us in every way. WELCOME to MY world of nursing. Some things may move you, make you cry, scream, hollar, mad or glad. Whatever we do, let’s be the change we want to see in nurses and the nursing profession. I am my sisters keeper and I am that RN!!!!!
I’m sitting here and every time I get to the week I have to go for the meeting involving leadership and management. I get discouraged in advance, provoking anxiety and frustration. Why? Because being a woman of color in a position some don’t believe you deserve to be in and are incapable of doing and make it difficult more than not can be taxing on you mentally and physically. I have always seen or should I say not seen many black nurses and especially those in positions of authority so, I speak life to myself everyday to keep me from bowing out. Bowing out is the easy way out. It’s easier to run than to stand and fight, but I choose to do that everyday. I won’t tell you it’s easy, but I will tell you that it challenges me to my core. I have to remind myself that God is my keeper and He fights my battles. So, this battle is not mine, it’s the Lords so don’t be discouraged. I am praying and preparing for this meeting with optimism and a heart of openness. I will give what I have despite those who oppose me; those who devalue me and/or devalue my input. I am important; I have a lot to offer; I’m intelligent; and worthy to sit at any table. The moral of the story is God does the qualifying and until He says otherwise, I’m going to stay and be the light in darkness. Be Encouraged………Not Discouraged!!!!
So, I’ve lived my life as a people pleaser, trying to make everyone else happy and not myself. I have tiptoed around cautiously trying not to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. Meanwhile, no one has offered me the same courtesy. I’ve managed to downplay how I feel, what I have to say, and just keep quiet so as not to upset anyone. My blog is MY truth. It’s not about anyone else’s feelings, thoughts, or how they perceive what I’m saying. It is simply my truth. What I won’t do anymore is be silenced, walk on egg shells, be made to feel like my truth is unworthy or unimportant. I will speak it, say it, even shout it because it’s mine and I matter to me. I make no apologies for who God created me to be. I’ve lived my life, lost my virginity to gang rape, molested, had children out of wedlock, made mistakes, fallen, gotten back up, been broken, repaired, sick, and healed, never experienced true love from a man, given until there’s nothing left, I’ve been homeless, no money, food, or car, a single mom and still I’ve risen from the ashes to become who I was meant to be. So, through all these tests and trials, God saw me through these things to be a nurse and I’m proud of that. I have no shame or guilt at this point in my life because everything I’ve experienced has made me one of the most caring, nurturing, loving, lovable, giving, advocate anyone could have as a nurse. My truths lead me to who I am. Nursing is what I was born to do and life has created nursing as my ministry of healing. So, again what I won’t do is dim my light or hide in the shadows to make anyone else feel good. I believe we all go through things that contribute to making us who we are and it is our choice to use these things to lift ourselves and others up. This is who I am…..this is my truth…..that is all!
I work as a nurse and it is indeed my passion, but as a nurse I am expected to know everything, be everything, and be able to do everything. Although I play a dual role as center director and nurse it can be quite difficult to bare at times. It comes with great expectations as it should, but I don’t always feel strong enough to handle it. I sometimes get to the point where there are no words for what or how I feel. It is at these times He reminds me that He, not me or anyone else is my source for all things. It’s not that I forget, it’s that these situations remind me that God is my source for everything. My strength, my courage, my energy, my everything…..He IS! So, no matter what it looks like and/or feels like just remember God is and He will never leave nor forsake you. He is our source for our every need. Let him be your source…..be blessed:}
I know I lie to myself when I say I have no expectations. We all have some level of expectation with anything we do or give. We can’t help it, we’re human and humans are naturally inclined to want something in return. As nurses we give unconditionally and often when we’re overworked, tired, no breaks, no lunch, etc. but we keep giving at all cost. And lets admit it, who wouldn’t want or expect a thank you, a smile, or kind word for all they do and give? I know I appreciate it. And besides that, how many times have you said thank you or given a tip for exceptional service? It’s normal to want and expect something in return and we do ourselves disservice to say we don’t. We cheat ourselves out of the many wonderful blessings we can receive because we don’t expect anything in return. Set expectations for yourself, for your day when you get up, for your performance during the day, for your mental mindset, for your emotional self, and total well being. It’s okay and in fact, I think it’s necessary to your success. It’s called self preservation.
The crazy thing is anyone who wears scrubs are thought to be a nurse. NOT the case so, please don’t be deceived. I and my fellow registered nurses all over the world have worked really hard to get our credentials. We spent endless nights studying, taking test, failing than succeeding, hours with study groups, sacrificed family, friends and leisure; not to mention the amount of money it costs to go to school for 4 years, especially a private school. So, STOP IT!!!! Stop telling people you’re a nurse and own who you are what you’ve earned. If you’re a certified nursing assistant, a medical assistant, a geriatric nursing assistant, or whatever you’ve been certified to do…..CLAIM IT, but don’t claim my title. I worked really hard and let me tell you that included before NCLEX. There were endless test and practice test and test we had to complete before being released to take the NCLEX. So, I am a proud registered nurse with my BSN from The Great Bethune-Cookman University located in Daytona Beach, FL. I was taught by some of the most astute, enriched, and knowledgeable nursing instructors. If you haven’t walked the walk, then don’t talk the talk. I paid the cost to be this boss and if you want the title, then do the work. I have respect for everyone and whatever it is they choose to do, but people please don’t clump everyone in scrubs together. Would you ask the janitor to do your taxes simply because they work at the tax center? Would you ask a patient care tech to assess and diagnose your sick relative because they offered you a glass of water at the hospital? NO, of course not. So, be you and let nurses be who and what they are. No one can do what nurses do, not even doctors; that’s why they rely on us so heavily. Be authentic if nothing else.
In a society where there seems to be such a lack of care, it is important that healthcare workers in whatever capacity they work in should not lose sight of that. Caring is a part of curing, a part of healing, a part of what we do as healthcare providers. If you don’t care about people, their wellbeing, their healing, then why be in the profession. People are not able to get well if we are taking out our frustrations of life, work, or whatever else on them. That’s why it’s vital for us to take care of ourselves and tend to our own personal needs. When we do this we can better care for others. Think about how you feel when you’ve been on your feet all day seeing patient after patient with no break to eat or use the bathroom. You become frustrated, irritable, cranky, moody, tired and start lacking your luster. This has a direct effect on how you CARE for the people you are meant to serve. It’s better to step away, take some time off, or find a way to refresh yourself so this doesn’t happen. It is likewise important that those in administration see to it that their workers have what they need to do this. Things like proper lunch breaks (in timely manners), additional breaks to step away to the restroom, and sufficient staff so that they are properly relieved and are able to actually get their break. Let’s take CARE of one another so we can take CARE of our patients. Keep CARING…..You are important and the work you do is critically important.
Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to be a nurse. I never saw that many black nurses and the ones I did see didn’t hold any positions other than bedside nurses. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a bedside nurse, it was definitely where I started. I just knew that it was my humble beginning, but never where God planned as my ending. I used to say I want to be a charge nurse. Never did I aspire to simply exist, but even as a child I recognized that I needed to be more than just a nurse. Once I became a nurse, I looked for a black nurse who was where I desired to be in order to be mentored. I always said every other culture, ethnicity, race, etc. would band together to support one another, but I’ve not found that to be the case with black nurses. Black nurses, from my experience, fight against each other instead of together for one another. I haven’t quite figured out why even in my experience as a nurse. How many black nurses or black people despite my asking have gone to post and actually follow me? I’ll wait….Only a few. But think about it; how many black people do you know who support other black people’s endeavors, businesses, etc? Black nurses are relevant, important, intellectual, valid, and of great value, so, support one another, lift each other up and stop tearing each other down. I want to actively be the change I want to see in other people. So, I strive to mentor young nurses, be a good example, and help dispel the all too familiar “nurses eat their young” saying that is a horrible reality. Help me do this by being a leader to our new nurses and even the ones who are complacent and set in their ways. We all need each other and can be a better nursing community if we learned to support one another. No more Black against Black nurse mentality; Instead, make a deliberate choice to know better and do better.