Have you seen the Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
? If you’re like me and need inspiration and guidance to get – and stay – organized, you may want to check it out. In the show, Ms. Kondo has a set strategy for encouraging her clients. Part of the process involves asking oneself if an item ‘sparks joy,’ and even if it doesn’t, to thank the item before passing it along, whether to the trash or donation pile.
What if we employed a similar tactic to our professional lives? Does nursing still spark joy for you? When I was in the clinical setting full time, there were many days that did not ‘spark joy.’ As I look back, I realize that over time, those days became more frequent and that burnout and compassion fatigue had real effects on my health and well-being.
Earlier this month, I did a presentation on Work/Life Balance for nurses at a local hospital. During my research, I discovered some eye-opening statistics:
- Registered nurses suffer from depression at almost twice the rate of those in other professions (Letvak et al., 2012).
- Female nurses are four times more likely to commit suicide than the average woman (American Society of Registered Nurses).
Wow – the numbers surprised me at first, but the more I think about it, it makes sense. We deal with life and death every day, make decisions and provide care that is life-changing for others, and then return to our own busy lives, often without debriefing or processing the events of our days.
One of the beauties of our profession is that there are so many opportunities. If your current specialty, setting, or role, doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ consider reevaluating your goals and make a change. You’re too important to ignore.
And if you do make a career change, be sure to say ‘thank you’ to whatever path you are moving on from. We learn from where we’ve been and for that we should be thankful.
American Society of Registered Nurses. Nurses at Risk. Retrieved from https://www.asrn.org/journal-nursing-toay/291-nurses-at-risk.html
Letvak, S., Ruhm, C., & McCoy, T. (2012). Depression in hospital-employed nurses. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 26(3), 177-182. doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3182503ef0
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