As nurses, we are constantly prioritizing. Most likely, we don’t even realize it. In the crazy world of hospital nursing, our prioritization changes minute to minute, maybe even second to second. The most critical patient should be cared for first, of course. And a patient’s request for an extra blanket takes the back burner when we’re running around wishing we could be in three places at once. But, what we, nurses, fail to recognize is that we need to take care of ourselves, too.
Here are three reasons why you should be your priority patient:
1. Your Overall Better Health and Sanity
We dedicate our entire lives to caring for others. People expect us to be selfless superheroes, always putting others’ needs before our own. And we do. But there comes the point where we can’t anymore. Our selflessness turns to selfishness, and we just don’t care anymore. And that’s ok. I think it’s our mind’s way of forcing us to shut down and restart. Rest, eat, drink, play. And return to superhero mode refreshed.
2. Your Family’s Health and Sanity
Admit it, guys (and gals), our family is incredible. It takes a special person to listen to our gory work stories and our complaints about how hard our job is. And, most of the time, they don’t even complain! Do them a favor, and allow yourself to reboot on occasion. Overworking can cause problems in our relationships. Trust me. We want to keep these special people around for love and support!
3. Your Patient’s Wellbeing
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.” And it is so true. What good are you to your patients if you are passed out on the floor from lack of food, water, and sleep? None! You are important! Address your needs, first, please.