Sepsis of the soul
What if just showing up was enough?
Not just enough for the patient,
Not just enough for the employer,
What if just showing up was enough for you?
Is the standard too high?
Or maybe there is self- judgement for how low it is.
But if this is true, either way the herculean effort it takes to just show up is minimized.
It is lost.
And with it, the joy of accomplishment.
Doing something despite dread.
Doing something despite fatigue
Are we angry that others don’t applaud?
Or is the pain really more internal
And not , in fact, the lack of acknowledgement from others.
External praise was not what got us through years of school,
Not what kept us going when we were praying for a curve or writing ridiculous care plans.
No, we showed up then because of who we wanted to be,
What we wanted to spend our lives doing.
And now, we tell ourselves that just showing up isn’t enough.
But where would we be without that thought?
What if it simply isn’t true?
What if our own ideals are what is causing our pain,
The crushing anxiety as we wake up for another shift.
What if our ideals of “good care” are crushing our souls?
What if we could nurse ourselves?
What would that look like?
What if we applauded our herculean efforts in showing up,
Day after day
Patient after patient?
Did nursing become a “better” profession when the skills increased?
When the science got more involved?
When the patient became more complex?
Does all of that make us more valuable than the nurses that came before us?
Of course not.
Nursing is about care.
One of the ways we give care is by having scientific knowledge.
One of the ways we give care is through advanced assessment skills.
One of the ways we give care is by managing complex conditions.
And one of the ways we give care is by showing up.
Showing up and focusing on the patient when there is not enough staff.
Showing up and giving our coworkers some grace that they can barely get by themselves, much less help you.
Showing up and having compassion for ourselves that, despite our medical knowledge and assessment skills, there are outside forces limiting us at this time.
It doesn’t lessen the value of the care.
Bad patient outcomes do not equate failure of the nursing care.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a good job.
That thought is poison.
Left unchecked, it will cause a sepsis of the soul.
And we need your beautiful soul.
Your patients need you.
Showing up is enough.
What you are doing is enough.
How would your day be different if you could believe this to be true?
Need some help believing this? Reach out, I am here for you.