On Being a Christian Mother and a Pediatric ICU Nurse

There may be no greater revealers of my deepest wrestling with my humanity than the roles of both a mother and a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse. Everyone says becoming a parent changes you, and it does, in countless indescribable ways. Every healthcare professional says being close to sickness and death changes you, and … Continue reading On Being a Christian Mother and a Pediatric ICU Nurse

How to Support the Nurse in Your Life: Guest Post for American Journal of Nursing

I've been thinking a lot about why it can be so challenging for very well-intentioned friends and families of nurses to support us when our work takes its toll. My guest post for the American Journal of Nursing blog, Off the Charts, provides some suggestions for support that nurses may not always know how to directly … Continue reading How to Support the Nurse in Your Life: Guest Post for American Journal of Nursing

The Messy Untangling: On Sorting Through the Hard Feelings after a Rough Shift

Today, I’m feeling it. The untangling after a particularly intense shift on all levels. I walked into a shift with a family whose child had taken a big turn for the worse and they had no guarantees that moving forward with certain procedures and therapies would turn things around for the better. We could only … Continue reading The Messy Untangling: On Sorting Through the Hard Feelings after a Rough Shift

A Shared Sense of Rest: On Therapeutic Presence and the Power of Quiet

She was not my patient, but I had briefly met her earlier in the day, and my co-worker asked if I might be free to go in her room and just be with her awhile while my co-worker caught up on charting. The patient was having an anxiety attack, and the Ativan we had given … Continue reading A Shared Sense of Rest: On Therapeutic Presence and the Power of Quiet

How is Work: The Question I Struggle to Answer as a Nurse

It must seem odd, why I hesitate. It’s a pretty standard question in standard conversation. “How is work?” But I hesitate every time, and I think at times I stare at the person questioning me. I’m trying to gauge how much they want to know. Do you want an easy answer? “Work is busy. Our … Continue reading How is Work: The Question I Struggle to Answer as a Nurse

Staying in the Hard Thing: When Glory becomes Gritty

I seem to live in a perpetually tired state nowadays. If I’m looking for the easiest, most honest response to “How are you?” my default answer will be, “I’m tired.” Tired as a mom of two littles. Tired as a nurse to critically ill children. Friends and coworkers nod in empathy, and praise Jesus for … Continue reading Staying in the Hard Thing: When Glory becomes Gritty

When Wine and Pedicures Aren’t Enough: Deeper Level Coping as a Christian Nurse

Recently, I have been meeting some soon-to-be-brand-new nurses who have wanted to hear from me about how I cope with the hardest things I see as a nurse. It is a deep and necessary question every nurse has to work through if you want to truly open your heart to the reality of others’ suffering … Continue reading When Wine and Pedicures Aren’t Enough: Deeper Level Coping as a Christian Nurse

Not…Yet: On Growth, Patience, and Self-Compassion as a New Nurse

When I first started voice lessons, my hopes weren’t too high for myself. I certainly was not going to become that self-deceived girl on American Idol who thought she could sing, only to convince all 29.3 million pairs of ears listening in America that even warbling would be considered a long shot. Let’s be honest. … Continue reading Not…Yet: On Growth, Patience, and Self-Compassion as a New Nurse