I remember the day Nurse and Author of “Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul” LeAnn Thieman called me to discuss the profession of nursing – it’s a conversation where I can still recall the details, crystal clear. We explored the shared passion of advancing healing and healthiness within the profession. LeAnn and I both believe nursing is the best profession not only here in the United States, but the world. We also know first-hand that being a nurse is hard. In the course of a shift, a nurse can likely see, experience and handle more than most people do in a lifetime. Nursing is emotionally tiring and the call for help is loud and clear. That is why I am so excited to share with you the start of work that we at Medline, in partnership with LeAnn, will be doing for clinicians around self-care. Our goal is to bring to you stories, tips and moments that will lift your step, fill your cup and help you in a holistic manner.
Nurse burnout is real. In a survey of nurses, 20 percent noted having symptoms of depression, an incidence twice as high as the general population. We must address self-care in the nursing field to help clinicians avoid burnout and deliver better quality of care. Why? Because one of the best ways to care for the patient is to take care of the nurse.
To help introduce you to LeAnn and her insights, we set out to answer a few key questions to drive home the importance of dialogue and action on this topic.
Martie Moore: Why is self-care critical in today’s complex healthcare world?
LeAnn Thieman: These are unprecedented times of challenge and opportunity in health, healthcare, wellness, workforce changes, recruitment, retention, leadership, stress and balance. We have patient-centered care but we rarely see ourselves within the center of our own care and how that translates to caring for our colleagues and our patients. We round with patients but we don’t round with ourselves, conducting our own assessments of care, making sure we are doing the right things to stay nurtured and balanced. So, when we examine the state of healthcare reality as a whole and then bring it to our own level of personal experience, we find that in the “role of care” there is a lot vying for our attention. We need something simple and yet profoundly transformational so our individual and collective journeys of caregiving, nursing, learning, and leading can take on a new vibrancy, a new transformation of excellence in growth and engagement, resulting in hope, health, healing and balance throughout the entire organization.
Martie Moore: It often seems like nurses care for everyone but themselves. What sort of toll can this take on clinicians and the industry?
LeAnn Thieman: In these challenging times when 40 percent of nurses report burnout and 20 percent plan to leave their jobs this year, I left my 30-year career at the bedside to nurture my colleagues, to give them tools to care for themselves physically, mentally and spiritually every day. Continual changes in healthcare and increased acuity of care has resulted in nurses having to do more with less…again. Many feel exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually.
This led to SelfCare for HealthCare, a 12-month transformational initiative aimed at helping physical, mental and spiritual health.
Martie Moore: What impact can self-care have on a clinician?
LeAnn Thieman: I am a firm believer that a nurse of strong mind, body and spirit will deliver better patient care, resulting in better outcomes, satisfaction scores and ultimately, reimbursements.
We’re very excited for this new collaboration and bringing you new insights and thinking around how to improve care for staff, patients and the community.