This is a busy week for me this week. I will be in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday at an investigative meeting with the Kentucky Board of Nursing with a client. On Wednesday, I will appear before the Indiana Board of Nursing with a client in Indianapolis, Indiana. I will be in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday and maybe Friday for the Ohio Nursing Board Meeting. If you need to reach me, I am accessible via email at email@example.com or you can call my office at 513-771-7266 or Jack Stem who works with me at 513-328-7253.
I will probably start shopping this weekend for Thanksgiving dinner. I have a large extended family and we are having dinner at our home this year. The holiday drama has started already but as a client of mine told me who doesn't have any relatives living, "having a large family is a blessing." So I am guess I am blessed to have a large extended family and a large immediate family who can "get the party started right" as I call it, with holiday drama. Why are the holidays so stressful? I knew it was coming. I could feel it starting a week or two before Halloween. I am looking forward to the holidays because this is our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together as a married couple:)
Holiday mayhem and "more drama for your mama" brings me to my post. Nurses, we have got to keep the personal drama out of our professional and worklife and we have to get our house in order. By house, I mean our personal and professional lives. Why?
1. It makes for a miserable workplace when everyone is bringing the negative to work each and everyday. I don't know about you but I have worked with nurses in hospitals and home care whose entire life is open book and they bring each and everything detail to work with them. TMI and start keeping somethings to yourself. Everyone is dealing with issues and its okay to seek support from co-workers and colleagues but don't take it to the extreme. No one wants to work in a toxic workplace as nurse. Why do you want your co-workers to know all your "business" anyway? Are you working and practicing at the nursing equivalent of Chernobyl? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster
2. Criminal crap that happens in your personal life like a DV, theft, assault, disorderly conduct, telephone harassment, stalking, menancing, public intoxication, DUI/OVI/DWI, possession of drugs, and other charges and convictions may impact your nursing career, current and future employment, and your license. If you are a hot head and you tend to explode on others, what can you do differently to keep yourself safe and stay out of trouble? If you party, club it, or you "go hard" with the alcohol, try to anticipate what you will need to do to keep yourself safe and stay out of trouble. Who wants to get arrested? I don't because I have too many licenses to worry about what will happen if .... Its not worth it.
I will say it again (because I am repeating it to myself this holiday season), keep your hands to yourself. Remove yourself from the situation. Calm down, think of your kids, yourself, and whatever else is important to you and the reason why you went to nursing school and count to 50 slowly. Counting to 10 isn't long enough.
3. Some of us are taking a boat load of medications to function. No it doesn't make it okay that you have a cocktail of meds that you are taking morning, noon, and night just because you have scripts and the meds are "legally" prescribed. Some of us are having suicidal ideations and trying to commit suicide. We then go to work and tell everyone how many benzos, narcs, and other meds we take and how out of control our life has become and then we question or become irrate when an employer suggests EAP, a psych eval, and gets the State Nursing Board involved. The bottomline is patient safety. Honestly, are you safe to practice nursing? Are you practicing impaired? You can be practicing impaired from prescription meds. Let me say this again. Its not just about diverting and illegal drugs; you can be practicing impaired as a nurse with prescription medications. Impairment can be physical, mental, or chemical.
You don't work as a greeter at Walmart (if you do, can I use your discount?) as a nurse. You are making critical decisions and assessments throughout your shift, documenting the care provided, and communicating with others on the healthcare team. Alot is riding on you because you are on the front lines of the battlefield baby. As nurse and you need a clear and focused mind and body to work as a nurse in today's healthcare environments. No "ifs", no "ands" and damn it no "buts."
4. There has to be a balance. You are professionally what you are personally. You can't be a liar and thief in your personal life and away from the bedside and still be an excellent nurse professionally because at some what you do personally will like water, start to flow or trickle into your nursing practice and career. No one is perfect and this will be a work in progress. But you can't have chaos and TV-like drama in your personal life and then be surprised when your work performance slips and incidents start to happen at work.
Are you personally what you are professionally? Are you professionally what you are personally? Does your personal life mirror your nursing career and practice? Does your nursing practice and career mirror your personal life? 2010 is coming (I say 2012 this weekend and it was excellent!) and you can start with a clean slate of goals for how you want to improve your personally and professionally.