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Nursing : best if it is lived rather than defined in words only
Rosalind Correa, RGN
Today I struggle to enjoy the job I am passionate about because nursing has evolved so immensely over the last 10 years. Technology seems to have taken over the hands on care, which leaves academic and technical training in the foreground and patients in the background. This leaves less time to treat patients holistically. Add the pressures of our current nurse shortage to this and the result for our patients is delayed healing and poor continuity of care. Management tries to keep staff costs down by providing less staff to more patients which further decreases quality holistic time and care .Nursing therefore becomes a task orientated affair. What I observed over the years was that healing had to do with a great number of things, not just surgery or medicine, but with bigger pictures which holds many factors.

Training as a nurse and complementary therapist has given me the skills to physically and spiritually care for others. As importantly, my journey as a nurse (and as patient) has helped me gain the qualities of understanding, patience, compassion and tender caring and the ability to listen carefully. I have now come to believe that nursing has a very deep significance in life. Formal education opens the door, but it has been the self-knowledge acquired through my own personal experiences and dedication that has given me the courage, strength and determination to make a difference.

One could merely treat the patient as a body that needs to be healed. Not only do we have bodies, but we are emotional and spiritual beings as well. When emotions are blocked or people feel trapped they often fall ill and may get worse despite the finest treatment. Nursing and our own instincts go further. An individual?s experience of pain is unique. Pain is a messenger, pain is information. If one does not listen to it and address it, the underlying message is ignored. By evaluating the information, sharing with the patient and supporting him, together we reach our goal of healing. The patient then knows he has the courage to face the challenge and he knows we are supporting him which makes the healing process easier.

For the past 15 years I have studied and read many aspects of healing and health care and have come to some conclusions, the most important of which is that it is not the body alone or the mind itself, but a combination of factors that affect healing. Through my own experience, I have come to realise that when I took on the responsibility to get involved in my own health care, instead of passively depending on the health care system, my recovery lead to complete healing in much less time. I believe that the body, mind, and spirit must be in harmony to maintain balance and achieve true healing.

Accepting responsibility for ones own feeling, thoughts and experiences and exploring lessons about ones self when reacting emotionally causes a good nurse to treat others as he or she would like to be treated. Nursing is a wonderful giftwhich involves human beings. It does not matter who, why or where they come from. It holds sacred life and health, the very essence of living.

Nurses with many years experience need more time with new equipment, ideas and guidelines. We are initially more dependent on our co-workers for support. In turn, seasoned nurses have much to offer co-workers who are newer to the profession. Individual responsibility coupled with effective communication and maintenance of a harmonious atmosphere is vital to healing and the enhancement of patient care.

By working as a team, communicating well and supporting one another, nurses can make the best of all the new technologies that are constantly being developed to help our patients while living up to our sacred trust which is the essence and ideal of nursing.

© Copyright Wholistic Research 2003
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