by Paula Manuel Staff Nurse Interest Group

Literally the season is changing and here in this part of the world the weather continues to be changing. Scanning the world it’s troubling to see the degree of strife, the magnitude of Ebola, and concern that more world leaders are not emerging to show leadership, fortitude, vision to boldly transform our world–indeed rewire our connections to create solutions.

In the way of yes think global act locally I work and lead as a Registered Nurse…as a nurse every clinical shift is an opportunity to apply purpose, practice, and passion.  The purpose to conduct myself as a healer, the practice for every patient synthesizing visual cues, behaviour, objective data, and connecting to a level of intuition, wisdom, and critical thinking that contributes to various patients improving their body, mind, and soul state. It is blending my clinical practice with professional activities, and family and friends dynamics that keeps my passion burning to achieve excellence, to make a difference, to have courage to drive change.

This past week I listened to a patient who described his fears,  how his doctor was not listening, the anguish of a man who stated “I just need to die…”  Platitudes are not  nursing actions, so my approach was drawn from past learning, connecting knowledge of physiology, pharmacology, aging, and applying my mastery of communication.  As I spoke to the man’s family doctor I used my critical thinking aptitude as I presented his case, his needs, advocated for a review of his medications, the need for lab work to check on the effects of increased diuresis, and a referral for a community agency to review what supports are needed.  A total of 20 minutes in time on my part, the evidence of gratitude from the patient, and I reflected on how nursing is very much science and art–it is also about being humane.  Being humane one person at a time, repeated multiple times, and all of the components framed in professionalism, compassion, and clarity of values.  Conduct needed in these troubling times, Lynn Keegan said “nurses have come a long way in a few short decades. In the past our attention focused on physical, mental and emotional healing. Now we talk of healing your life, healing the environment and healing the planet.”

It’s membership renewal time for the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, I’m grateful for the resources I can access related to Best Practice Guidelines, learning and professional activities and participating in volunteer roles to advance nursing and health.  I will also be selecting the box for the Canadian Nurses Association, as I value the importance of a national voice for nursing and the link to our international nursing organizations.  Health is important, nurses are sentinels, innovators, and we have much to offer–thanks for your time.  Namaste.

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