by Paula Manuel Staff Nurse Interest Group

I have had the honour of being a nurse for many years and I am delighted to also follow in the footsteps of the storytellers, the actions of being a scribe. Sharing wisdom, observations, philosophy, challenges, to celebrate, to reflect, to explore, to lead and to follow. What is a scribe? Essentially a writer, indeed more of a journalist, an observer and analyzer of what is going on around me. I hope to inform, intrigue, transform, celebrate, commiserate, inspire, capture the wonder and the challenges of being a nurse.

The life of a nurse is one of altruism, caring, empathy, knowledge worker, skilled technically, adaptable, ethical, leading and following, a team player and lead taker, innovator, challenger, role model, encourager, passionate, advocating on behalf and for self, compassionate to peers, patients/clients, and emerging professionals our nursing students. The following blog content has been posted on another site, as I am the one who wrote it I will use my proprietary privilege and share some best of content.

2013
This week I had a busy shift in my new specialty of adult medicine and at one point in the shift I was providing a bed bath, of note without gloves, I mention this because I notice many of my fellow nurses wear gloves for everything i.e. taking a temperature, feeding a patient. I believe it is more beneficial for the patient to feel a human touch, making a connection while assessing skin turgor, skin temp–hot/cold/, dry or clammy, and the art of massaging to improve circulation and scanning for pressure points, redness, and ensuring that positioning provides therapeutic support and that the patient looks comfortable. In this 20 minute task I was engaged in the science and art of nursing and you know nothing we do is just a task.

I highlight this in light of a Canadian Nurse article by Barbara Fry who provided a reflection on what she sees as the state of nursing, and her concerns after more than 40 years on the current status of nursing. I have the hope that we can find a way to thrive in nursing practice, by nursing in the moment however many times we need to enter that state of mind and heart–like any skill it takes practice and you have to be authentic. Establishing trust has to start from the first interaction, say hi, introduce yourself, state your title I know pretty basic yet time and again I have observed nurses imposing care without saying a word to the patient. Here’s a key phrase “I’m here to help you, what do you need from me today (tonight)” and wait for an answer listen and if someone is non-verbal watch them they may still be able to interact…

So welcome to Life of a Nurse, I look forward to sharing my perspective and my journey as a clinician, healer, leader, storyteller. The path has laughter, poignancy, triumph and loss, and I celebrate the intrinsic me who overcomes adversity, is resilient, practices honour and integrity, being a life-long learner and a teacher. Namaste.

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