As more speaking and writing opportunities have presented themselves post-TEDx Talk (and the YouTube video hasn’t even been published yet!), I have found myself doing some soul-searching about who I am and what I want to come of all this, as I am graciously given a growing voice for and amongst nurses.
- I am not the Healer, but I am a voice. I don’t have any illusions or expectations that I can be the inspirational speaker that will heal hurting hearts. But I do want to give voice and clarity to the inner struggles that I feel so many healthcare professionals carry, so that we can know ourselves better as people working amongst the suffering and the dying. I want this voice and clarity to help our loved ones understand how they can support us better. I want this voice and clarity so that when we are together at work as healthcare professionals, we can be more honest about what is – or isn’t – driving us in our patient care decisions. I want this voice and clarity so that the general public can understand the complexity of the work we do, beyond the challenging staffing issues (which are already challenging enough!). I want my voice as a nurse to elicit the voice of other nurses and healthcare professionals who have more insight and experience to share than I do.
- I am not the nurse who has got it all figured out, but I believe deeply in the ability and absolute need to sustain meaning and deep passion behind patient care, even in the most turbulent times. Every day I feel my own internal battle against cynicism, burnout and apathy. But I refuse to believe that is my inevitable end point, and at the risk of overthinking everything, I will fight for an enduring and authentically compassionate nursing practice.
- I am and forever will remain the nurse who will squirt you with a saline syringe or spike your coffee with a rude amount of salt when you aren’t looking. Because everyone needs that in their life once in awhile.
As for the TEDx Talk, we are awaiting final approval from TED to publish the video and then it will be available on YouTube. I’ll be sure to post the link when it becomes available!