When you ask most people in healthcare why they chose their careers, they will tell you that they wanted to help others. That internal drive to serve others can get buried in the daily grind, especially for clinical staff working shorthanded. The joy in the work we do gets lost.
As a nurse myself, I recall the frustrations I felt when being pulled in several directions at once. I’d have a list of tasks a mile long, and constantly felt I wasn’t able to do enough. I felt deflated at the end of the shift.
One Positive Thing
Fortunately for me, I had a nurse leader who helped me re-frame my thinking. She’d stand by the timeclock at the end of a particularly grueling shift and hold up her index finger. That was my cue to say one thing that brought me joy in my work that day. In all honesty, it wasn’t always easy, especially when I felt like I was flying from one task to another all day.
The wisdom in this simple act is immense and worthy of replicating. By stopping me before I left, and helping me focus on one positive thing, I was heading home with an affirmation that, regardless of how busy we were, I was still making a difference.
In coaching nurse leaders today, I encourage them to use the same technique. Ask your nurses what brought them joy today in their work. In doing so, you’ll be helping them to re-connect to purpose and end their day with more joy in their hearts.