Narrative Nursing

What’s Your Spark?

What makes you smile?

When is your heart happy?

Do you remember the last time you danced in the kitchen “just because?”

012016 - What's your spark

Where do you find joy?

What makes your brain tingle and your soul sing?

What things can you do to nourish your spirit?

Welcome 2016!

Do you make resolutions?


I do (sometimes). But I usually keep them to myself until I’ve had time to accomplish them.

A couple of years ago I decided to give up french fries (one of my favorite foods). It was months later that anyone in the family even realized I had gone weeks and weeks with out indulging… but I did work around it with sweet potato fries. 🙂

Some resolutions are big and important, and some are kind of silly, but you can’t have a New Year with out talk of resolutions!

Statistically most people make – and break resolutions within the first few weeks of the year Studies tell us that support is one of the factors that makes a difference in achievement of these annual goals.

Around here each inch individual usually chooses a word to focus on and shares that with the family, then we can offer support and encouragement all year long. Of course it’s up to the person to work out the details of what that means and how to achieve it. For us, it provides a nice balance of accountability and encouragement.

No matter your view of resolutions, I do hope you will make 2016 a year of self care. I hope you will recognize the value of you as an individual – beyond the many roles you fulfill on a daily basis.

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Narrative Nursing would love to be part of your journey this year! Are you starting 2016 with resolutions?

Why or why not?

Would you like to share a “focus word” with us?

A Moment to Celebrate!

It’s the time of the year when our thoughts naturally turn to resolutions – things we want to do better next year. Promises and vows. All that good stuff.

But I’d like you to set some time aside right now for a different look back at 2015 – and forward at 2016.

I’d like you to take a moment and think of a few things you did really, really well.

I know, nurses are typically really, really humble. I think it might go along with a caregiving, compassionate personality type that’s seems to be often drawn to the sacred field of nursing. Nurses aren’t usually the ones who want to make a name for themselves. Rather, they’re the ones who get their satisfaction from a job well done. Oh, you may immediately begin to think of all the things you’ve not done well, but I’m going to ask you to please stop. Take a breath. Then, think of one thing you did this year that you know you did very, very well. Even something simple. Then string it together with another thing, then another. Come on… you can do this!

123015 - imageSome things you are especially proud to have been a part of.

Ways you contributed to making life better.

Something you already know you will get to be proud of next year.

A single moment where you know you were giving it your very best.

A person who had a better day because you were there.

You, faithful nurse reader, have done things well in 2015.

So, let’s take this idea of a job well done. We all want to do good. We all strive to do the best we can. And often? We succeed! When this happens, it’s a time for recognition. And celebration. And sharing.

Please share a few lines of something you’ve done and that you’re proud of. This is not bragging. Please! This is just taking a moment to recognize that you are accomplishing your goals…that you are, indeed, a quality caregiver. And that you deserve to be proud of the job you’ve done.

Thank You Note!

122315 - pictureIf you’ve heard me give a live presentation, or you’ve heard the story behind “I’m Here,” you may remember that the book is dedicated to my favorite nurse from my recovery, Barb. From the first moments of writing “I’m Here” I knew it would be a way for me to tangibly express gratitude – not only because she was a great bedside caregiver, but also because she was someone who greatly influenced my recovery. I know this will not come as a surprise, but not every one of your patients is going to dedicate a book to you!


Again, this was a show of gratitude… something that patients, unfortunately, aren’t always very good at. Part of this is understandable… after all, patients are usually sick or injured and recovering. Plus, many folks have trouble putting feelings into words and may simply not have the vocabulary and communication skills to express their thanks.  Yet, it’s not uncommon that I visit with nurses and hear stories of patient’s later sending flowers or a treat of some kind for all the nurses who took care of him/her.


Whether it was to you, personally, or you as a group of professional caregivers, please describe a sincere thank you that you’ve received from a patient. Verbal, written, as a tangible gift or even just a smile, please write a few lines about a time when you knew there was true gratitude flowing from a patient.

And – as we near the end of 2015 – please allow me to speak for all the patients who couldn’t express their gratitude and say “Thank You.” With all of my heart, thank you.


Holidays in the Hospital

Working over the holidays can be stressful. Being a patient over the holidays can be down right miserable and depressing.

What do you do special for your patients that are alone or lonely during the holidays that helps alleviate some of the isolation they may feel? How does going the extra mile for them impact your mood?

Holiday Hours

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. It’s Holiday Season!120915 - picture

Of course health care professionals don’t always get the same days off – emergencies and illnesses happen 24/7.


What are some ways you and your family work holiday events around the crazy schedule of your career?

Hey! Look At My Toenail!

I watch in fascination as this happens in front of me regularly. I must confess – I’ve done this on more than one occasion myself.

The conversation goes:


“Hey! You’re a nurse right?!”


“Look at this…(insert gross ailment) on this (personal body part).

What do you think that is?”


I’m always amazed at the grace you nurses show when responding!


Now the fun part:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever been asked to do by friends or strangers who happen to find out you’re a healthcare pro?!


First Time Fears

 I get to hang out with student nurses and, therefore, first year nurses quite a bit. (It’s one of the joys of my job!)

Those first few days on the floor can be harrowing.  What do you wish every first time nurse knew before stepping solo as a medical professional?

A Clown By Any Other Name

A friend of mine was recently at a doctor’s visit and tried joking around with the medical staff. I’m not sure if my friend wasn’t really that funny – or if the healthcare providers didn’t get the humor – but either way – it didn’t go over to well.


How do you respond when a patient acts goofy? Does it worry you – or do you go along with the joke? Ignore it?

How Would You Answer?

I had a friend recently approach me with this question.

“My new friend Susie is a nurse. Every day she has a new story of drama and trauma she has faced at work – from the patient or their family or co-workers. How can I help her deal with all this stress?”

How would you answer her?