mocking, horizontal violence, nursing success, professional practice, renee thompson, rtconnections

My sister and I are both nurses but are very different. She works as a labor and delivery nurse – I’ve worked primarily cardiac, neuro trauma. She has an associate’s degree and has NO aspirations of ever advancing beyond perhaps a bachelor’s degree while I’ve been on the advanced degree path and finally just got my doctoral degree. She would NEVER take the risk of starting her own business and is content to stay at the bedside forever yet I quit a very secure executive level job to start my business and have done practically everything you can do as a nurse.
And, I live on the east coast and she lives on the west coast.
Although it may seem that we are worlds apart, where it really counts, at the core of what we do as nurses, we are the same.
Our similarities
We both spend lots of TIME with our patients; we cry with them, pull up a chair and hold their hands while they cry; we pray with them; we spend our breaks with patients instead of eating and we FOCUS on our patients above everything else.
I know many of you who are reading this do the same!
Every winter, I leave the frigid cold weather of Pittsburgh and spend a few weeks with my sister and her family in sunny southern California. My sister works nights. When she came home from work the other day, she was upset. She told me about how her colleagues sometimes make fun of her for spending “too much time” with her patients and even going so far as to mock her by pretending to pull up a chair while holding the patients hand and crying.
Listening to her talk about how these nurses were making fun of her and how she felt like she had to defend herself – her nursing practice, made me sad. It also reminded me of how people have made fun of me for crying when my patient died or coded, or told me that I didn’t need to spend so much time with my patients. Heck, people even make fun of me for eating too healthy!!!
It just reminded me that other people might judge you, make fun of you and even mock your nursing practice. But just like I told my sister, we each make a decision about the type of nurse we want to be. Once you decide, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your practice.
Action: Spend some time thinking about the type of nurse you want to be. What legacy do you want to leave? What do you want your patients to say about your care?
Once you make the decision – stick to it. No matter what anyone else says.
Tina and Me
My sister is a great nurse. She is kind, caring and compassionate. When I tell her stories about the patients I care for (I still practice as a bedside nurse), she tears up and when she tells me her stories, I do the same.

I told my sister to hold her head up high and know that she is making a difference in the lives of other people and leaving a legacy of caring, compassion and competence.
What type of nurse do YOU want to be?
Thanks so much for reading. Would love to hear from you!

Take care and stay connected!
Renee

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