THE BLOG
01/20/2015 12:58 pm ET Updated Mar 22, 2015

A Nurse's New Year's Resolution

rolfo via Getty Images

This year, I'm going to be better. I'm going to try harder, and I'm going to make a difference in any way I can. I'm going to start with one patient or with one nurse. I'm going to encourage someone to go to school. I'm going to encourage a nurse to be a part of their professional organization. I'm going to be nice when I don't want to, I'm going to help someone when I'm exhausted, and I'm not going to pass by a single call light without stopping to address the need or at least turn off the light. I will offer more help to my coworkers, even if I don't think they should need it. I am going to try so hard not to complain.

If I close my eyes, I can picture every single bad thing I've ever seen as a nurse. These images project on the back on my closed eyelids, flashing fast and fervently, fleeting so quickly they're easy to dismiss and forget about. But I can see them all so clearly. Every single time I was too afraid to question another provider plays over and over in my mind, in an endless loop. These thoughts are compounded by every event I've witnessed where everyone's honest, hard work did not result in the outcome we all fought so hard for. I don't want my patient's fate to be determined by what provider they chose or what nurse they happened to get or what hospital they showed up at. I want health care providers to collaborate with each other and I want us to engage our patients. I want our patients to be more educated on every single process that affects them. I want patients to know their rights. I want our patients to be nice to us, and I want us to be nice to them. I want our patients to demand better care and better service. I want us to demand better everything. I want every single healthcare provider to step back and remember that the people in front of us are changed by the care we give them... and I want that change to be a good one.

I don't know if I can do all of this, or for how long, but I'm going to try. Because that's what we do as nurses, we try to be better than we were the day before. And my New Year's resolution is this... even when I don't think my efforts are making any kind of difference, even when I don't think anyone notices anything I do, even when I question whether or not I want to keep doing this, I'm going to refuse to waiver. I'm going to grind my heels into the ground and refuse to give up. I will keep forging forward, despite any setbacks I may be faced with. If I fall, I will get back up. If I see someone else stumble, I will help them back to their feet. Because that's what we do as nurses. Our business isn't books or airplanes or coffee. Our business is people. Our business is health. My business is women, and families, and birth and babies.

I don't want babies to be born too early. I want women to know better than to ask for an elective induction. I want my patients to be treated appropriately for any problems they present with. I don't want to see another mother have a cesarean birth without anesthesia. I don't want to see another mother with a dead baby in her belly. I don't want to ever see another mother bleed to death before my eyes or die from any other pregnancy-related complication.

I want so many things for me and my fellow nurses, and of course, for our patients. If we do not take action, if we don't fight for ourselves and for our patients, who do we think will do it? How many more bad things will we all have to witness or experience before anything is done?

Richard Branson once said, "There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you..." Think of everything we can do for ourselves and for our patients if we just did something. Don't waiver. We can all help each other back up when we fall, but we all have to keep moving forward. Because that's what nurses do. It has to be better than this.

Until my next delivery ♥

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