I just attended the annual International Caritas Consortium in Boston hosted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
It is wonderful listening to nurses telling meaningful stories about their caring work filled with love, kindness and gratitude.
On my flight home, I wondered again,
- How do nurses get to that place where authentic caring fills their practice and lives?
- Why is the path not a part of our practice DNA?
You have the answer to why the path is not clear on the tip of your tongue.
This is the mystery that I think nursing as a profession and each individual nurse needs to answer.
I know that we are all at different places in our professional practice and personal lives.
So I made a list of all the possible Stumbling Blocks / Beliefs / Mindsets we each could be encountering.
The Question: What stands in our way of inviting more authentic caring moments into our practice and helping others achieve the same?
Answer True or False as you read ….
- I don’t believe in the importance of authentic caring as the essence of nursing.
- I don’t believe authentic caring is within us.
- I don’t believe that we have the individual power or know-how to grow our authentic caring.
- I believe that authentic caring is important and comes from within us, ….
- but I don’t understand how it grows.
- but I don’t want to admit to other clinical professions that it is authentic caring that makes nursing’s contribution—to patients, the team, healthcare, society— unique.
- but I don’t see how it can be realistic in our current practice settings on a grand scale.
- but I don’t know how to collectively educate and lead nurses to self-develop.
- but I believe that nurses have to do this education and development on their own.
Wow… so many layers… and there are others…
These are my truths …
I believe that we can help each other find our authentic caring selves.
This is an individual and collective journey.
I believe that there are a hundred different paths to authentic caring and …
- It is through the nurse’s internal environment (inner self)
- It cannot be achieved just through the nurse’s external environment (structured programs in the work settings)
I believe that Nursing as a Profession and All Nursing Leaders (locally and nationally) need to megaphone the importance of Authentic Caring as the Essence of Our Practice…. while we as a profession figure out how to engage nurses collectively and individually in their personal self- development to authentic caring.
Until our Profession and our Leaders (locally and nationally) give a strong and unified voice to Authentic Caring as the Essence of Our Practice ….
- We won’t find ways to collectively make authentic caring practice realistic in our work environments.
- We won’t find ways to engage nurses collectively in their personal self-development.
We will remain dependent on each nurse to find their way. God Bless Those Nurses.