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  • Writer's pictureMegan Filoramo

It's not just hard work

The work is hard, some days grueling. Even on days that are “easier” we often never stop moving and thinking, collecting data and interpreting what it means, often shifting what we are doing multiple times within just a few minutes.


And it can be exhausting when doing this for any prolonged period (like a 12 hour shift).


A diatribe could be written about all the things that make working in healthcare difficult. I will assume that I can skip that part, we will agree that we understand how hard it is.


What else is true about the work we do?


It is meaningful.

It is important- even the bedpans or charting, the prior authorizations and rescheduling, the phone calls and the medication refills.


It is about seeing and honoring the humanity of others. 

THAT is what we are doing; we are acknowledging and supporting the dignity of human life. 


Yes, we could probably do a better job with more support, better staffing and more time off, but this does not, in any way, lessen the importance or value of what we are doing.


Why do I tell you this? Why do I bother telling you what you already know, deep down in your soul?


Because thoughts about hard work can drown out the thoughts of the value of the work we do. We have to prevent this at all costs.


Here is what is true:

The work can be difficult

AND 

Systemic change can be needed

AND 

We can feel fulfilled and in control now.


But in order for this to happen, we need to direct our thinking. We can’t just let the thoughts about hard work drive the bus. 


So how do we do this?

We practice. 


We practice just like we practice any other thing that we want to become a habit. We set up reminders, we make a plan of when and how we will make it work.

We practice directing our focus to the WHY behind the work we do.

We practice talking about the people we have helped, not just the tasks we have done.

We practice thinking about how this helps them and the impact it will have on their lives and the lives of their families.

We practice noticing when our brain shifts to the negative and then gently offering other thoughts that could also be true.

We practice reminding ourselves at the beginning of each shift why we do what we do.

We practice trying again when we get totally knocked off course.


We have the gift of being able to be an integral part of so many peoples’ lives. 


And this makes the hard work a little less hard.



 

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