Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Forgiveness Eases Stress And Speeds Healing

Have you ever contemplated how forgiveness can be used to ease stress in your life?

They say that setting yourself free requires setting others free first. Resentment is really a form of attachment! There is truth in the idea that it takes two to make a prisoner (the prisoner and the jailer). The theory is that the jailer is as much a prisoner as his captor.

When you hold resentment against anyone, you are bound to that person by a mental chain. That means we are tied to the very thing that we hate. Think about it. The very person we dislike the most in the world is who we are attaching ourselves to by a hook stronger than steel. Is this how we want to live?

If we persist in linking ourselves to the people we resent, we are inviting further stress and frustration into our lives. Can anyone afford such a thing?

Surely, you've heard the saying, "Forgiveness will set you free." Well, I believe it's true. A clear act of forgiveness is an instrument of healing. I once bought a meditation CD on the subject of physical healing because I was going to have a surgery and I wanted to prepare mentally for it. To my surprise, the (very famous narrator) lead a meditation in FORGIVENESS. She forever linked the two ideas in my mind. So now in my mind practicing forgiveness in my life is linked to my physical health and well being.

Forgiveness is an act of love. Because the law of love works for everyone, you will be helping to heal the other person too.

Sometimes forgiveness isn't so easy. One of the things you can do to forgive others is to remember that they were once a very, very small child (as we all were). In your mind's eye, picture that person as an innocent child of 2 or 3 years old. Perhaps they've been hurt and they're reaching out to you for some comfort. At that moment, you can consciously choose to hold them and hug them and forgive that innocent little child. When I do that, I can actually feel the resentment chain loosen and my heart opens up.

It's recommended that you practice this meditation until you are able to picture them as an adult without becoming angry at them anymore. At the very least, you will be able to have more compassion for them (by remembering their innocent little child within). You will have more tolerance for the adult that they have become. After all, you don't know what it's been like to live their life and carry their burdens. You've never walked in their shoes.

The goal is to allow them to have their limitations WITHOUT carrying a resentment toward them.

Ultimately, many of us are interested in healing. Many of us are interested in mental, emotional, spiritual and physical good health. Therefore, becoming willing to do the internal work of forgiveness becomes crucial.

Questions: Is forgiveness important? Do you believe there is a link between forgiveness and healing? Post your answer as a "Comment" below.

Take Care Of Yourselves Nurses!
Theresa Waller, RN
714 293 5398
Call Anytime!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Compounded Solutions to Nursing Stress

Remember Nurses: The effects of nursing stress, compounded over time, can kill you! Applying the solutions to nursing stress, compounded over time, can save your life!

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To learn more about applying YOUR OWN ANSWERS for nursing stress to your daily life, read the book, "The Slight Edge" by Jeff Olson. Then you'll understand the importance of your choice to break negative cycles in your life or not to!

Questions: Do you have any negative cycles in your life that you'd like to break? What's your plan?

Take Care Of Yourselves Nurses!
Theresa Waller, RN
(714) 293-5398
Call Anytime!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Own Your Life Nurses!

I recently shared on a nurse forum about how frustrated I was about a patient scenario that had occurred at my work. It's a long story but the gist of it is that my 74-year-old female patient admitted for a small bowel obstruction was in desperate need of an NG (nasogastric) tube. I knew it the first moment I laid eyes on her due to her extremely distended abdomen and the green (nauseated) look on her face when I first made rounds in the morning.

However, before I could insert her NG tube, I had to:
1. First see ALL of my patients and medicate them (hunting down meds from the pharmacy in the process).
2. Field several phone calls from doctors, family members and pharmacy.
3. Medicate several patients for pain who had previously denied any pain.
4. Hunt down all the NG tube parts and pieces to hang the wall suction.
5. Orient, educate and monitor the student nurse that I had assigned to me for the day (always a pleasure. I love working with students!)
6. Hang a unit of blood on one of my patients per urgent orders
7. Discharge a patient who could NOT be postponed because their ride had to get to work

Needless to say, when I finally inserted the NG tube, it immediately gave 2000 ml of green, foul smelling liquid output. What a relief to her. What a relief to me.

But the thing that bothered me the most is that there had been an order on the chart FOR TWO DAYS to insert an NG tube in this lady if she continued to have nausea and vomiting. However, all of the previous nurses had kept her nausea at bay by medicating her (each time apparently ignoring her physical assessment). She suffered for two days!

Do You Want To Stop Playing The Game?

Question for you nurses: Do you have dreams of owning your own life? Do your dreams of owning your own life include no longer having to participate in the crazy game of nursing that I like to call "I was way too busy putting out fires all shift to do what I should have done, so YOU will have to do it for me!"

Over the last year my desire to own my own life has been steadily growing each day. You probably remember from nursing school that the best way to tackle a seemingly insurmountable task is to break it down into steps...in my case "baby" steps.

We Are Not Alone

I know that I'm not alone in my desire to create the life of my dreams...I hear it every day from the nurses I work with. You can hear it in their frustrated voices when they are trying to interpret the "chicken scratch" orders left by a doctor on their patient's chart. You can hear it in their voices when they complain about being paged for the third time in a row within 15 minutes by the same patient regarding the same subject that the nurse still doesn't have an answer for.

You've probably experienced withdrawing meds from the Pyxis machine with a nurse on either side of you...and both are doing the "potty dance" as they wait their turn to withdraw medications for just one more patient before they take their break. The obvious goal is to quiet everyone down so that the nurse doesn't get paged during her break. The not so obvious goal is an attempt on the nurse's part to take control of her life, her environment, her mental space...even just for 5 uninterrupted minutes while at her highly stressful and unpredictable job.

What Do Your Dreams Look Like?

Do you want to create a life where your outsides match your internal desires? Where what you do for a living does not involve a series of emergent stressful situations, one after another, being thrust upon you?

Instead, you'd probably like to be selectively surrounding yourself with like minded people who also want to own their own lives. Your environment would be rich with service to others both on a professional basis and a personal basis. If you owned your own life, you'd finally have the time and energy to devote to strengthening all of your relationships.

If you have dreams, like I have dreams, take baby steps each day to achieve those dreams!

Question: Do you think it's possible to achieve really big dreams through the right daily actions? Post your answers as a "Comment" below.

Take Care Of Yourselves Nurses!
Theresa Waller, RN
(714) 293-5398
Call Anytime

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nurses: Fill Your Business Life With Like-Minded People!

Don't you love it when you get a strong feeling of validation from a book you are reading? It's that feeling you get when you read a book and every word seems to reverberate with you. You are connecting with the message of the book to such an extent that you have to keep checking who the author is because you seriously think that YOU could have written the book in your sleep or something!

Well, if I had to choose a book to recommend to anyone interested in business or career success, it would have to be, "The Go-Giver" by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I personally believe that most RN's have all the tools inside them to have brilliant careers in business. To coin a phrase from the book, "The Go-Giver," they are already pointed in the right direction. It comes naturally to them.

If you are the kind of person who doesn't have to think twice about providing excellent customer service to anyone you are serving, then you need to treat yourself to this book. If providing for your clients' needs has always been like second nature to you, then you have to read this book. If you get the fact that your giving nature, that for you feels like breathing, can some day be intertwined with your business and career success, then you have to study this book.

See if you can relate to this story:

The other day at work, I was listening to the distraught wife of my patient as she described the mental decline he's developed over the last couple of years. My patient, a 74-yr-old male, was a retired M.D. In recent years he had developed dementia, loss of hearing, glaucoma, and heart/valve problems. His wife, a former RN herself, was also in her 70's and at the end of her rope.

The night shift had tried to warn me about this woman. They said, "The wife is a real pain in the neck. She'll drive you crazy. Watch out. She was a nurse and she never lets you forget it."

After two phone calls to the floor, she finally came in to the hospital to check on her husband. After meeting her, I saw right through her within minutes. She wasn't there to "throw her weight around" to intimidate me, she was there to try to connect with me and the be HEARD.

The list of worries and concerns that she listed about this man went on and on. You could see the desperation in her eyes as she spoke about how they had been turned down by the insurance for caregiver assistance. In other words, all the burdens all fell on her.

It was an UNUSUALLY quiet day on my floor so I was able to take the time to listen to her, just the way I like it. I listened to her every word. I really listened. By the end of our conversation, she knew that she had been heard. She never said a gruff or demanding word to me the rest of the shift. Just a note: For whatever reason, it wasn't that busy that day. But even if it had been busier with more interruptions, I still would have made it a priority for her to feel heard...even though it may have taken several conversations to accomplish the same goal, it would have happened!

Later she sheepishly asked me to bring her husband an afternoon snack if it was convenient. Without hesitation, I brought HER and her husband a little ice cream cup and some Graham Crackers. This took no extra time and cost only pennies.

She was flabbergasted. I had brought her a treat too! She went on and on to her husband about how she got a treat too. And then the two of them sat in peace and ate their ice cream and cookies almost like two little kids.

She got more than she had asked for. I was more than happy to do that for her and him. That's how I conduct myself as a nurse and that's how I do business. Now, please understand, I'm NOT plugging myself, I'm plugging the concept of giving.

Can you relate to that story? Do you have to be told to go the extra mile...Or is that something that's already a part of you?

Do you you have any aspirations of going into business for yourself? Do you ever see yourself helping people in a different way other than bedside nursing? Perhaps you have an invention you've been thinking of that would benefit patients or nurses. I want to officially encourage you to follow your dreams and realize that you can intertwine your giving nature with business success.

According to the book, "The Go-Giver" to be successful in business you must understand that "Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment."

Nurses have everything it takes to be successful in business. We're already givers!

As I said before, if you want success in business, read the book, "The Go-Giver". If there is something passionate inside you calling out to create or do something totally new and different in your life, follow it. You'll be amazed at the people you meet along the way. Surround yourself with these like-minded people. And then just be "YOU". YOU + Baby steps (towards any goal) = Success.

Question: Do you think channeling a "strong giving nature" into business success is possible? Post your answer as a "Comment" below.

Take Care of Yourselves Nurses!
Theresa Waller,RN
Call Anytime 714 293 5398

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Using The "Power of Now" To Center Yourself

Do you have an activity or practice that is especially effective at helping to "center" youself? This can be something like yoga or walking or biking? Or perhaps it is a particular type of meditation. Just sitting in your church or place of worship (alone) can be quite powerful and centering.

The reason an activity that centers you is so important and so useful is that it helps you slow your mind down long enough to enjoy the "Power of Now"...the present moment.

When I think of the power of now, I think of it as a "coping" tool, a really powerful coping tool. I think of the power of now as a spiritual tool almost. As a tool to use hand-in-hand with gratitude...As a concept to remind myself to slow down long enough to quiet my mind and just appreciate and experience the present moment.

To be in a place where you are NOT projecting into the future is a very powerful mental place to be in. The goal of the centering activity is to simplify your focus down to what you're doing/experiencing/being at that very moment (the here and now). In a sense it is taking time to realize that at that very moment, all your needs are being taken care of...at that moment you are safe...at that moment you are at peace. By taking the time to do this, you are affirming peace and safety into your life.

That's one of the reasons I love hiking so much. When I'm hiking up a challenging hill, my mind really slows down and the only thing I'm thinking about is my next step. In fact, I'm not really thinking. I'm in the NOW.

I would describe it to you by saying, "That hill really got my attention." (It got my complete attention). As I hike up challenging hills, I usually say a positive affirmation as kind of a mantra...Something really, really simple like, "I am surrounded by love." or "All is well." I'll say it over and over like a mantra because the hiking allows me to block out everything else.

Obviously as a nurse, it is part of your job to project into the future for your patients and to anticipate certain outcomes if you see a particular TREND starting. But that's while you're at work. It's because you are required to do so much of that at work that centering yourself and concentrating positively on the present moment (in your own life) is sooooo important. When you're off duty...you're off duty. It's your time and you have choices as to how you will spend it.

The power of now is a wonderful tool. It is possible to get VERY proficient at using this tool to really slow the mind down and concentrate on what is right in your life. Being in the moment in a concentrated/focused state of positive thought is an effective way to use the power of now.

Question: Do you use the power of "Now" to focus on what is right in your life? Post your answer as a "Comment" below.

Take care of yourselves Nurses!
Theresa Waller, RN
714 293 5398
Call Anytime!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Affirmations To Empower Nurses

The value of keeping to a routine during your workdays cannot be underestimated! Hopefully, if you're a new grad nurse, your preceptor has emphasized this to you. If you're a more experienced nurse, you already know that routine is vital to your productivity as a nurse.

However, way before my workday begins, I utilize the power of routine. Part of my morning routine on workdays includes affirming an empowering mindset and taking a moment to connect with my spiritual source.

Meditating On These Affirmations:

I take a moment and meditate on these affirmations (by Louise L. Hay) prior to leaving for work: (in no particular order)

*I have the strength to remain calm in the face of change.
*I move through life knowing that I am safe - Divinely protected and guided.
*I am a clear thinker and I express myself with ease.
*I now do work I love, and I am well paid for it.
*My heart is the center of my power. I follow my heart.
*I release all resistance to money, and I now allow it to flow joyously into my life.
*I have a wonderful relationship with my friends, family members and co-workers. I am appreciated.
*I get the help I need, when I need it, from various sources. My support system is strong and loving.
*It is safe for me to speak up for myself.
*I am a radiant being, enjoying life to the fullest.
*I choose healthy stimulation. During breaks at work, I speak positively with others and listen with compassion.
*I handle authority with ease, and I am always respected in return.
*When I encounter problems on the job, I am willing to ask for help.
*My happy thoughts help create my healthy body.
*I am surrounded by love. All is well.
*Everyone I encounter at work today has my best interests at heart.
*I am grateful for my healthy body. I love life.
*Life supports me in every possible way.
*I let go of all negativity that rests in my body and mind.
*I love myself exactly as I am. I no longer wait to be perfect in order to love myself.
*I am a magnet for money. Prosperity of every kind is drawn to me.

Because nurses are in such high stress environments, morale can get low. Setting your mindset to cooperate with the abundance of the universe is a helpful habit that can help nurses cope. Even though there are times when I don't fully believe the affirmation, I try it on anyway...just like trying on a beautiful dress...and sometimes I'm so surprised at how it makes me feel that I leave it on the whole day! (In many cases it's much better than what I had planned to "wear" in the first place.)

Questions: Do you use affirmations in your life? Post your answer as a "Comment" below.

Take Care Of Yourselves Nurses!
Theresa Waller, RN
714 293 5398 Call Anytime