Relationship with self is a critical component of our care delivery system, Relationship-Based Care. How we care for ourselves helps ensure that we are fully present and engaged with our patients, families, communities and colleagues.
Given the turbulent times in our current health care system, the voice of the nurse is needed now more than ever. Nurses have long been leaders in advancing prevention and health as far back as Florence Nightingale, a leader in eradicating hospital-acquired infections during the Crimean War, Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross and Lillian Wald, the founder of Public Health Nursing. Today, society is demanding that our care be more affordable and that we create greater value, thus challenging us to shift our focus and investments from delivering “sick care” to advancing prevention and wellness.
We ourselves must be healthy if we are to serve others well. As nurses we are focused on human experiences and responses through nurse- patient relationships that are generous, compassionate and accepting of others. I hear from patients and families every day how your healing presence relieves their fear and advances their comfort and healing. We must remember to show ourselves the same loving kindness.
Making time in our busy lives to quiet our minds, get enough rest and exercise, and balance our work and personal lives is essential. Simple techniques to build resilience through heart-centered breathing have been shown to relieve tension and bring clarity. Whether we enjoy meditation, reiki, walking, biking or simply taking a moment to celebrate the beauty around us, creating renewal in our lives helps keep us whole.
Take time to celebrate the difference that you make in the world as part of your self-care practice. Your fully engaged presence is the greatest gift you can give your patients and yourself.
Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN
Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services