Rejuvenation Is A Must — Do Not Run on Fumes, That’s When Mistakes May Happen.
I got back earlier in March from the most amazing vacation to the Bahamas. The trip was a destination wedding for a close friend and it was a beautiful much needed refresher for me. My phone barely worked over there, I wasn’t on a time schedule to do anything, the sun was shining, the drinks were flowing, the food was delicious and everything was all in one place, fantastic! I was also able to stay an extra day on the back end of the trip to unwind solo, while everyone I knew flew back to the states. Oh em gee, let me tell you, it was great! There are plenty of pictures too on my instagram of the gorgeous bride and that awesome week, if you're interested in seeing more of those.
I work very hard physically and mentally, as I’m sure you do too, Kim Kardashian would be very proud of us, but it admittedly takes a toll. A toll that can wear us down or one that we can manage well in between life circumstances. It’s our choice but it requires action. I realized long ago that I needed to take time to myself to refresh, recharge, and rejuvenate or my trajectory would be nil. I used a biblical concept to refocus myself on a higher power for strength during a very low point in my life. I truly believe that a person can’t live on the proverbial edge of life and expect to never fall off that edge. I’m speaking of all the emotions in life that come with being stressed and overworked. In general with advancements in technology I think we live in a heightened state of stress and worry. I implore you to work on this if you feel like you're not a catalyst in your own life. Do you feel like things in life happen to you or do you feel like you trigger things to happen?! We will dive deeper into this in other blogs but I had to bring it all the way back to basics, then re-build an understanding and a foundation for everything. I used to feel like one simple little thing could push me over the edge, I didn’t like that feeling. High stress, plus other unhealthy behaviors started to form in my life and it plagued me. It piled on my shoulders, affected my work and I had to make a change. I don’t live like that anymore, I can’t and I won’t, I know that now and it’s all about balance.
I take time daily to myself to read, meditate, walk, recharge and refocus my mind. I prioritize my physical health and my mental health before everything. What are some things that you do to fill your tank when you are feeling drained of energy?! I like to go for drives in Winston, my Jeep Wrangler, on beautiful Florida days. With gas prices as high as they are now of course my drives have gotten a little shorter but it makes me happy so I will continue to do it. I find myself at the beach a lot just to think and appreciate nature. I laugh a lot with friends and family over great food and spirits. I listen, dance and sing my little heart out to a ton of different types of music. When I can splurge on a vacation, a concert or two, a luxury, I do that too! Whatever it takes for my peace of mind, because I can't pour energy into anyone or anything else if my tank is empty. Periodt. I’m grateful now to also have this blog as an outlet for my thoughts and personal creativity. It’s something I do not take for granted, not one bit.
Heavy on my heart this week is actually a guilty verdict resonating hard through the nursing community. A Tennessee jury found former nurse RaDonda Vaught guilty of two felony counts of neglect in the her role with a medication error and the subsequent death of a patient in 2017. My heart goes out to this nurse regardless of the situation because I’m a nurse. I understand the workloads we're under right now, I have had the confusing orders, I have had the multitude of interruptions, and I’ve had to help out with other patients that I’m less familiar with. We are human. This nurse was charged criminally though and faces years in prison which is a little different than how things have gone for nurses in the past, even if death is involved. In most cases the investigators find multiple people, and systems within the organization at fault not just one nurse.
I am not here to report the entire case nor make any judgements. I will link some good articles below with more specifics if you are interested in knowing more but ultimately the jury found her guilty of negligence. She bypassed several safety measures we are taught as nurses to perform, she administered the wrong medication to the patient and the patient died. The nurse did come forward upon realization and report the error appropriately to her place of employment.
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses stated “Decades of safety research, including the Institute of Medicine’s report To Err Is Human, has demonstrated that a punitive approach to healthcare errors drives problems into the shadows and decreases patient safety. In addition, catastrophic errors are often the result of many factors, and the ability to safely report errors allows for root cause analysis and correction of systemic problems. Vaught immediately reported her error to her supervisors and took responsibility for her actions. This criminal prosecution and verdict will negatively impact the timely and honest reporting of errors. In addition, this case has further demoralized an already exhausted and overworked nursing workforce in the face of existing nurse staffing shortages.”
I agree with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. We are still trying to hold it together as a profession from a hard hitting COVID pandemic, when we are reminded that we still have massive responsibility to carry with our nursing licenses despite being under such dire constraints at work. I would pay attention to these changes in our profession and hold your licenses a little tighter from here on out. We do good work and we do no harm.
UPDATE ON THIS CASE: