In This Issue
Oregon AWHONN Salutes You
by Donna Talain, RNC-OB, BSN, MBA
Mother’s Day is coming up (May 14) … And so is National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12). In our line of work, both these events seem to go hand and hand. Every day is Mother’s Day, and every day, we celebrate being in the most trusted profession. Through our work as amazing, compassionate nurses, we help women become new moms or help repeat moms welcome new additions to their families. Doing this daily can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout, but as National Nurses Week approaches, we’re reminded that there is a reason nurses have been ranked “high” or “very high” in honesty and ethics for 15 years straight (Norman, 2016).
Every Day is Mother’s Day
Whether you work in OB, Women’s Health, or Neonatology, every day is Mother’s Day for us. It’s most obvious for Labor & Delivery nurses who are there the very moment a woman becomes a new mom. As Women’s Health nurses, you might be preparing women to become moms, and as Neonatal nurses, you’re helping moms BE moms as they learn to care for their newborns. We are blessed with a perspective of Mother’s that most people don’t get. Through our work, we can touch the lives of so many moms and influence – even through the ever so brief period of time we have with our patients – the kind of mom they become. Through our words, our compassion, our caring, and our gentle touch, we make a difference. We might never see it or hear about it, but know in your heart that what you do makes a difference.
Every Week is Nurses Week
We can’t get away from it. We’re nurses. That’s what we do. And we do it proudly. Every week is Nurses week for us. Each of us has our own reason for becoming a nurse. Each of us has a unique story. Some of us are new, and some of us are seasoned. Regardless of how long you’ve been a nurse, you have or will experience some degree of compassion fatigue. Caring for others day in and day out can be taxing on the soul, especially if you don’t take steps to care for yourself. Not only are we using our energy to care for our patients and their families, we have our own families to care for as well. If it’s not a stranger asking for our attention, it’s our families and friends.
That’s why the American Nurses Association has designated 2017 as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse.” This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit.” The ANA is even offering a free webinar, “A Nurse’s Guide to Preventing Compassion Fatigue, Moral Distress, and Burnout” on May 10 at 10 AM PDT. Visit https://learn.ana-nursingknowledge.org/products/Nursing-The-Balance-of-Mind-Body-and-Spirit-CE to sign up.
Our job requires us to care – truly care – for our patients. And if for some reason, you’re finding it difficult to care, then take a step back, renew your balance, and do what’s right for you. Compassion fatigue and burnout are real, but they don’t have to destroy us. There’s a reason nurses have consistently topped Gallup polls for honesty and ethical standards. In 2016, 84% of Americans rated nurses as “high” or “very high” in honesty and ethics. Since 1999, nurses have topped the list every year but one (Norman, 2016). It’s because when we truly care about our patients, it shows. We fight for them, we feel with them, and we fret over them. We’re nurses. That’s what we do. And I'm proud of all of us!
Happy Mother’s Day and Happy National Nurses Week to all of you!
Norman, Jim. (2016, December 19). Americans Rate Healthcare Providers High on Honesty, Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/200057/americans-rate-healthcare-providers-high-honesty-ethics.aspx?g_source=Social%20Issues&g_medium=newsfeed&g_campaign=tiles
Central Oregon Chapter Meeting
Mid-Willamette Valley Chapter Meeting
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.