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Combining Nurse Leader with Advocacy

In my personal and professional accountability, I consider my perfectionist character as both a source of strength and weakness. It is strength because my drive for perfection makes me very meticulous with my work, especially when dealing with my patients. For me, a caring nurse is not just a nurse who will show compassion to his or her patients. She or he must do all means possible to provide quality care to his or her patients. And with that comes the intense responsibility of doing nursing duties in accordance to the highest standards of practice. Anything that is sub-standard, for me, is unacceptable. I think you are not a good nurse if you settle with mediocrity. As a nurse, you should always aim for excellence- both for yourself and your patients. Making sure things are always right and proper can also be a source of weakness. My strong desire for things to be as perfect (may be in performing nursing procedures or carrying out tasks) has the tendency to eat a bigger chunk of time in my schedule. Personally, I prefer a no-mistake shift and it takes me quite a little bit longer to accomplish tasks than the usual.

As for my career planning, it has been my ultimate goal to pursue higher education studies. A BSN certificate would provide another set of doors of nursing opportunities for me. Although it took a while for me to finally get in touch with my dreams of advancing my nursing career as I got extremely involved in work and other duties, now I am more than ready to embark the road of BSN and embrace changes that my decision has brought upon. I know my nursing career will be fifty times better once I get the BSN degree. There is only one side: my research skills are not yet at par with what nursing institutions and organizations are looking for. I am not yet a veteran and highly experienced nurse when it comes to conducting research. But I am very much willing to hone and improve my research skills. This BSN diploma would elevate my opportunities in research-related nursing activities and I am very much looking forward to that.

In terms of my personal journey disciplines, I make it to a point that I am always updated with the latest breakthroughs and updates in nursing, whether in practice, profession or education. In my free time, I soak myself in as many journal and magazines as much as I can. I am regular subscriber to nursing journals, getting my monthly fix for updates and latest studies. I also try to visit nursing websites and online blogs for nurses. It is actually fun reading online diaries of fellow nurses. Although I personally do not know the owner but I can definitely relate to his or her experiences. I believe there is education in another nurse’s experience.  Academic nursing journal or a spontaneous blog of a nurse in real life, I get in touch with my nursing roots as much as I can. There is life is more than my current work and I like to absorb my brain with updates regularly. Since in my free time I still dedicate to do nursing-related enriching activities, I have to admit I lack a tremendous amount of pampering myself as a person outside of being a nurse.  Being nurse is a demanding task so it will help tremendously if I get to treat myself every once in a while. It is always good way to relax those tired muscles and recharge batteries.

As for my reflective practice reference behaviors, I have always found working with nurses from different backgrounds a fulfilling experience. In fact, I used to have a high school dream of working as nurse to a different country, perhaps in South America or in Africa, and try to extend my nursing care in its best form. I find that if you get along with people (whether patients or fellow healthcare team members), you will find living life a little bit easier, maybe because you find it easy to blend with others despite the huge differences in background, religions, ethnicity, and etc. I am constantly amazed with the cultural differences because along the way I learn a lot from the person. A nurse from Asia is totally different from my cultural background, but I know we can make a good team because we have one goal: to improve the quality of life of the patient. Encounters with nurses with different race/ethnicity/religious preference also enable me to understand patients whose race/ethnicity/religious preference is the same as the nurse. However, it frustrates me that patients would refuse my care and request for a nurse bearing the same background; or a nurse who has more intensive experience in the practice. It is not healthy for me to absorb negativity because I know I should not take it personally. But I use those rare incidents to motivate me to take my nursing career another notch higher.

Using my current leadership skill, I will advocate for team reflection in my unit. This requires participation of all members in the unit and hardcore honesty. In one study by Sue Nash, MBA, BSc, RGN published in NursingTimes.net, her research indicates techniques that can be utilized by nurses to enhance team working, and one of those is team reflection. This activity must be incorporated in to our monthly meetings and must be implemented without any trace of intimidation. Fresh nurses who just joined the unit might be embarrassed to say what is on their mind. But that should not be the case. In order for team working to be efficient and effective, everyone should know what the other is thinking in terms of the unit goals and practices. This will not only help the team to achieve progress but it will also bring a different level of work satisfaction to other nurses working in the same unit as I do.