“The Millennial Nurses: Keep the Passion to Care Burning”

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Saint Luke’s College of Nursing celebrated 110 years of grand alumni homecoming last 2017 of October 14th, Saturday at 9 o’clock in the morning. All student nurses and faculty members had a seminar about the 35th Vitaliana Garcia Beltran lecture series and it was held in the faculty office of Episcopal Church, led by Maria Linda G. Buhat, RN, EDD or Assistant Director of Nursing of the Philippines Heart Center. The seminar assembly was all about the passion for others and keeping nurses traditions to have a strong foundations in quality of care. Especially this days, we are the future millennial nurses. The work environment in which nurses provide care to patients can determine the quality and safety of patient care. As the largest health care workforce, nurses apply their knowledge, skills, and experience to care for the various and changing needs of patients. A large part of the demands of patient care is centered on the work of nurses. When care falls short of standards, whether because of resource allocation (example- workforce shortages and lack of needed medical equipment) or lack of appropriate policies and standards, nurses shoulder much of the responsibility. This reflects the continued misunderstanding of the greater effects of the numerous, complex health care systems and the work environment factors. Understanding the complexity of the work environment and engaging in strategies to improve its effects is paramount to higher-quality, safer care. High-reliability organizations that have cultures of safety and capitalize on evidence-based practice offer favorable working conditions to nurses and are dedicated to improving the safety and quality of care. Emphasis on the need to improve health care systems to enable nurses to not be at the “sharp end” so that they can provide the right care and ensure that patients will benefit from safe and quality care.

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During the seminar, they mentioned about the factors that contribute to burnout; which include: long shifts, putting others first, busy, high-stress environment, dealing with sickness and death. Nurses are more susceptible to experiencing burnout than some of the other healthcare professions because of the implicit relationship of job stress to burnout. There have been many studies trying to verify the relationship between stress and burnout in various clinical settings however; little light has been shed on specific associations and inter-relationships. How to avoid it? As a wise nurse, we must set boundaries, process your emotions, put yourself first, manage your stress and find solace in creativity. Many nurses and nursing students can experience this feeling of burnout because of the rigor and intensity of their work or program. Nursing burnout may affect some in the community but it doesn’t have to be your fate. Being proactive about your wellbeing can help ward off any emotional exhaustion and keep you at your best. Be deliberate in your actions, whether that’s through exercise, healthy eating or meditating. Control your outlook through positive.

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In nursing, having a sense of passion is very important. It is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. A great nurse should have an unconditional compassion and determination to alleviate suffering. According to Ma’am Buhat lectures, there are four ways to keep your passion: 1) Be influenced by passionate people— Listen to how they talk about the things that move them. Rekindle your fire with the sparks that they give off. On the other hand, if you hang out with people who keep complaining about their day and their work, you will probably feel lousy and think that your work does not matter. 2) Unplug and get bored— A lot of people will advise this; when you’re burning out on your creative drive, just take a break. Go out for a walk or sit by the beach. When you’re refreshed and the ideas start coming in, get back to what you’re doing. One way to discover if you are passionate about your work is to take the following test: When you do take breaks, do you feel like you just do not want the break to end? Do you rather sit and stare at nothingness than go back to work? If your answer is yes, it’s probably because you are not passionate about your work. 3) Keeping a day job that allows you to work on your passion— Not any day job will do. You will want to find a decent paying job, that allows you to knock off on time and pursue your passion in the off hours. It also needs to be a job that will not drain you off completely when it’s time to go home. Alternatively, find a job that has flexible hours and is objective driven, and understands that creative pursuits will only lead to a happier and more productive employee. But that’s a rare find. Get a job that can take care of your basics, then go crazy with your passionate pursuits! 4) And lastly, hire an experts— There are so many things you need to worry about. But is that always the case? If you are doing reasonably well, and have a steady revenue, wouldn’t it be a wise move to hire experts to work on the different aspects of your business that needs to be attended to? You can then move on to doing what really matters for your business, or keeping your employees and clients happy.

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In nursing, change is inevitable. Whether it is outside work-related, making change is part of life. It happens whether we’re ready or not.  One of the secrets of living successfully is to learn to handle the changes we find coming our way. In fact, it is good sometimes to initiate life changes ourselves. The first step in making positive changes in our lives is to decide exactly what it is that we want to change.  Many times people don’t know what they really want in life. So the first step in making significant changes in your life is to determine what changes you want to make. Next comes desire.  All achievement, all progress, begins with desire.  Unless you have a strong enough desire, you will never see the needed changes become a reality in your life.

In the real world, we talk about life and death circumstances. How change is inevitable to us? First, look ahead and let the end determine the beginning.  Ask yourself where it is you want to end up in life.  Once you know that, it is much easier to determine the steps you need to take to get there. As an individual, we must be focus and responsible in every decisions we make. Same thing with every clients we take good care of. Every day has a different plans, nursing assessments, and nursing interventions to meet the goal. We are controlled by those deep wants that we may not even be aware of.  So the importance of setting conscious goals is so we might counteract some of those unconscious goals to which we are susceptible like the need to please people or the need for approval. Another important thing to do is to learn to look upon problems as opportunities to grow.  Problems are inevitable, especially if we’re making significant changes in our life.  If we can learn to expect problems and view them as growth opportunities, it will help us persevere when we might otherwise be tempted to throw in the towel and quit. Life is full of surprises. We must learn how to be prepared and be ready for the next challenges may come.

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According to Ma’am Buhat, “Value between Wisdom and Passion”. Finding balance between passion and wisdom is very important, especially in nursing and healthcare professions. Work-life balance is more than good time management. It means having a professional life and personal life that are integrated so well that each part enhances the other. That takes self-knowledge and self-discipline—two traits that we need to cultivate if we ever hope to achieve the balance that brings enjoyment along with achievement. It is a life-long process that requires daily fine-tuning.

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Competence of Nurses— “Wisdom alone won’t give you push you need to get past your fears, but without wisdom, passion might leave you out in the cold.” All sorts of people have trouble with work-life between wisdom and passion. What makes nurses especially vulnerable is that so much of our professional life is beyond our control. We can’t change the fact that most nursing jobs involve tricky schedules, heavy work-loads, and tons of variables that can shift by the hour, yes, even by the minute. Most of us are additionally burdened by wanting to give good care. You cannot be a nurse if your heart and soul is not in it. You cannot take care of a person if your passion and wisdom is not in it. Passion and wisdom works hand-in-hand to have a strong foundation in quality of life. When you care for others, it should be coming from the heart, not because you are feeling to do so. Most of healthcare now a days, fail to do so. It is very sad but I hope that ALL millennial nurses generations will become more compassionate with a heart.

As a nursing student, I would say that with each rotation comes at least one remarkable experience that you cherish throughout your journey from student to professional nurse. For me, I remembered that moment came on the day I observed an 8-hour Alzheimer’s disease patient with a coronary artery bypass to the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. This was my chosen “dream day” experienced set up by my clinical instructor. It had such an impact on me that I went home and immediately wrote a journal of my experience to my family and friends. I was crying in front of my boss. That moment I realized, “I am getting older. We are so busy growing up, we often forget that our parents are also growing old”. When I looked at my patient, there are so many questions in my head. I always tell myself, I don’t want my parents suffer with that kind of condition.

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The gift of nursing really changed me to be a better person. I don’t know how but I am truly in awe of the clinical team in Tender Touch Geriatric Center, the patient, family, and I were honored to spend time with. What a gift this patient was given and how blessed she and her family must have felt when they were reunited. This experienced led me to pursue nursing after I volunteered. I saw what my patients go through before I care for them in the hospice care unit and I’m excited about the possibilities that await me as a professional nurse. And I hope, I can inspire many students one day. I hope I can able to see a vision of everyone as how I look at it as a caring nursing student/ professional. It reminded me of the true gift of nursing— the act of opening our hearts, and unselfishly giving ourselves to our patients, their families, and our colleagues.

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“The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest….” – William Osler

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