Advent is for those who grieve, in a culture obsessed with happiness at all costs, especially during the Western version of the Christmas season. Advent is for nurses like me and my colleagues who said one final goodbye this past weekend to a patient who’d become the sweetheart of our unit, a joyful light … Continue reading Advent is for Those who Grieve
Preventable traumas are the hardest for us to see as pediatric ICU nurses. Gunshot wounds, permanent disabilities and deaths from senseless violence, child abuse because of a broken system letting cases fall through the cracks, car accidents from DUIs resulting in kids being the innocent victims. I have come face to face with all of … Continue reading A Plea from a Pediatric ICU Nurse in Response to the Saugus High School Shooting
Would you give me permission to tell you without overstepping my bounds, personal, professional that this is not your fault. You were only trying to take good care of your baby; you didn’t know, you didn’t know. I see the protest in your eyes, Someone has to be to blame, and that someone is … Continue reading what I wish I could heal as your nurse
There are certain patient cases that never leave you as a nurse. They are the experiences that hold - and shape - the indescribable art of nursing as you learn how to read significant cues, listen to the unspoken, and hold another's heart while also holding your own as it comes undone. American Journal of … Continue reading AJN’s Nurses Week 2019 collection of favorite articles
The readjusting back and forth between intensely challenging nursing shifts and everyday normal life is a real thing to navigate. It still catches me by surprise every time, how hard it really is. I am in the thick of a full 12+ hours of trying to manage chaos and logistics in a unit full … Continue reading No Ordinary Sunday
For all nurse educators, managers, leaders, bookclub facilitators, or bedside nurses looking for a guided way to talk about work-related grief with other nurses: I have created a new TED-Ed lesson based on my original TEDxTalk, "How Grief Can Enable Nurses to Endure." It includes some introductory prompts allowing for people to share about their work-related … Continue reading TED-Ed Lesson on “How Grief Can Enable Nurses to Endure” now available!
I had the privilege of delivering the keynote speech to our hospital's recent cohort of RN Residency New Graduate Nurses as they have completed orientation and will now be working independently in their respective units. One of the things I was most excited about was the opportunity to also briefly address the many friends and … Continue reading Keynote Speech to RN Residency New Grad Nurses: The Best and Most Vital Thing You Can Give Your Patients
On Sept 30 of this year, I had the incredible opportunity to give a TEDxTalk with TEDxPasadena on "How Grief Can Enable Nurses to Endure." This talk is for all healthcare professionals, but nurses in particular, who have grieved with and for their patients and families, and have went home wondering what to do with … Continue reading TEDxTalk – YouTube link is live!
Life post-TEDx Talk is slowly returning to a more reasonable pace, which means I finally have more time to start writing again. This latest guest blog post for the American Journal of Nursing is about an issue I have been wrestling with for awhile: Why do we nurses still seem to have a hard time … Continue reading Guest Post for American Journal of Nursing: Learning New Skills of Supporting One Another as Nurses
Meeting a family for the first time, on the day they will say good-bye to their child for the last time. Taking care of the child's physical needs until it's time to be the one who turns off all that has been sustaining those needs. It is one of the most profound interactions a nurse … Continue reading Intimate Strangers: Article for AJN’s Aug 2017 Reflections column