Because There is Still Choice Woven into All Chaos. . .
- Sarah Plummer Taylor -
How do we stay when what was difficult now suddenly feels impossible, is a question many nurses, including myself, are currently asking themselves.
Nurses were already drenched in a deluge of understaffing, high acuity, unsafe staffing ratios, and being the front line workers in a mass casualty event that played out over and over again in hospitals all across the country. Then, the RaDonda Vaught verdict was handed down–a flood tearing through the profession and threatening to sweep us all away.
Nurses are so weary and the water feels too high and the current too strong.
We are looking for a way forward, a way to stay in the ER, the OR, the ICU, and at the bedside. Each of us has that one case that affected us in an unexpectedly difficult way and left us reeling inside–blindsided by secondary trauma. Maybe the patient was too similar to ourselves or our family. Their trauma reminded us that next time, it could be our life that changes forever. Suddenly, we feel less safe in this world and live with a little less hope in an effort to shield ourselves from the possible future pain of it all.
RaDonda Vaught’s story affected nurses in that way. Her story is too close to our own. We can all remember how close we have come to making a med error, catching a med error in time to correct it, or being part of a med error that led to patient harm. We see ourselves as so clearly interchangeable to her story that we could be the understudy in this tragedy. Usually secondary trauma comes from the patient in front of us. This time, it came from the colleague standing next to us.
The answer to the question of how we stay is: We stay by choosing the same hope that we chose every day prior to the verdict. We stay by standing in the same hope that allows us to get in our cars and drive to work knowing that people crash their cars. We stay by honoring our pain and our trauma and doing the work to heal. We stay by being resilient steady light beams working in shaky, flickering, 40 watt systems. We stay by honoring that life is just as perfectly uncertain as it has always been. We stay by acknowledging that although everything has changed, nothing has changed–we had the power of our choice before, and we have the power of our choice now.
"I can't do this anymore," is something so many healthcare professionals have said so many times in the last two years.
Mooxli is returning to Feathered Pipe Ranch and has built a retreat to specifically help you heal, thrive, and return to your joy.
Sarah PlummerTaylor Marine Veteran, Social worker, 500hr-ERYT registered yoga guide, and author of, "Just Roll With It: 7 Battle Tested Truths for Building a Resilient Life" will be our keynote facilitator for the week.
Join Mooxli this summer in the Northern Rockies and Let your heart go wild again!