I’ve been thinking about my life as a nurse these last four decades. I have been contemplating Unexamined Codependency in the nursing profession, as well.
Fortunately the time has come to face this traditional nursing way of Being, and in facing it straight on, we disarm the monster that haunts the nursing psyche.
A nursing colleague of mine told me years ago the unit was so busy, that no one got to eat or drink. When the nurse said she wanted to take a break to drink some water, the response was: No one else is getting a break.
The martyr syndrome, the poor me I am suffering, I have more to do and I don't need any help because I can do it better than you syndrome-- is alive and well in the nursing arena where some still choose to play.
Except because of this all prevailing attitude, it isn't any fun, anymore.
So what is the solution?
A nursing colleague was fired for giving information about alternatives to a Liver Transplant. When the patient chose to hire Hospice and go home, the surgeon fired the nurse in front of the entire staff.
This does not bode well for the patients of the world, for nurses, the majority of whom are women, or for the Health Care System. Nurses are bullied by doctors, nurse administrators, Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Companies, all because Corporations have taken over health care. All because misogyny is alive and well in America.
This isn't what I thought would happen when I entered the nursing profession.
So I mapped out the nursing psyche and called it what it was-- the wounded healer, the unrepentant codependent, the abused warrior whom even God had forsaken.
The un-healing climate of most hospitals and clinics might have something to do with it. These places have become a business and therefore, very business like. Naturally, an individual can choose to ignore the Corporate Takeover of Medicine and concentrate on calling in the angels with her patients. But to ignore the noise and the machines and the toxic medicines can be like living in an Ivory Tower of truthlessness. Something's got to give.
And that's the point: Giving. Giving of self for others selflessly. Negating the complaining. Rising above the drama. Being there only for patients and their families. Serving. Loving everyone, even the abusers.
And rising above the potential for burnout. We've all experienced burnout at some time or another by taking too much on before we learn to say "no." Sudden crises at home can disturb equilibrium. All of this and more can help us to establish a greater sense of Self. Or lose all sense of Self. The choice is entirely ours but please know that no one has to be a victim.
Unless you want to be.
Thus it is time to own our Personal Strength and Power. OM