Sample Nursing Essays on Caring for Self

Self-Care Activity

The activity that I chose is a full spa day coupled with chiropractic care sessions. My day started with an appointment with a massage therapist at 10:00 am. The sessions ran from a simple 30-minute Swedish massage to deep tissue massage to relieve the regions of chronic discomfort.  An hour of relaxation in the sun sipping a glass of fresh fruit juice followed. Later in the afternoon, I visited the chiropractor for back pain and muscle strength check-up. I often plan a self-care date with myself at least once per month to ensure that I have a balanced life. I do this cognizance of the fact that I need to care for myself physically and spiritually before I can take care of others.

Why I Picked This Activity

I chose this activity from my long to-do list and from many other activities I have had in the past. I have experienced some back pains in the recent past, as well as what I would describe as stress build-up. I work as a telemetry nurse, and I passionately love working with high-tech equipment to assess life signs. I work with patients suffering from acute disorders, including heart diseases and diabetes. As a result, my daily work involves communicating with patients and dispensing medication to those in critical condition.  However, telemetry nurses face many challenges and risks due to the critical nature of the profession (Boykin, Schoenhofer, & Schoenhofer, 2001). Every day I come across patients suffering from acute disorders who require special care. Some are too weak to walk, so we have to lift them up and down now and then. Similarly, telemetry nurses face short-staffing problem everywhere, which subjects them to long working hours. The combination of these factors puts me and others in the department in constant stress. If allowed to stay for a long time, stressful situations can cause tension in the body and eventually lead to burnout.

The Meaning of Self-Care

As the American Nurses Association (2015) puts it, the nurses owe the same duties to themselves as to others, including the duty to promote health and safety. They are expected to preserve their integrity and wholeness of character and demonstrate competence in their work. Self-care also means that nurses must consider their personal growth even as they seek professional growth. ANC code of ethics considers personal growth more important than professional growth, given the unique situations in the nursing practice. Whereas professional growth helps nurses to have a deeper understanding of how to apply their knowledge in their work, personal growth allows them to preserve their integrity and have a strong moral foundation.  The provisions of the ANC code of ethics emphasize that nurses must attend to their emotional and psychological wellness in order to provide care for others effectively. In nursing practice, nurses’ physical safety is considered as ethically important as emotional and psychological safety.

Nurses are the primary caregivers who always sacrifice their wellness and health in order to take care of others. The American Nurses Association (2015) describes self-care as behaviors that counter physical and emotional stress. These behaviors include nutritious eating, regular exercise, and other self-centered activities that relieve stress and enable nurses to carry on with their practice of taking care of others effectively. Given the emotional strain and stress prevalent in the nursing profession, nurses must give self-care a priority. Self-care has been reported to relieve nurses of the burden of stress, allowing them to provide compassion for others (Mary, Juanita, & Sally 2005). It builds a nurse’s capacity to show empathy to others, which leads to quality and improved care.

How the Activity Nurtured My Wholeness and Well-being

The activity was a self-healing opportunity that nurtured my wholeness and well-being drastically. Before the activity, I noticed that I forgot things fast. The memory lapses were a clear indication that my body was slowly wearing out. The activity helped in restoring the normal functioning of my body and keeping my brain sharp (Mary, Juanita, & Sally 2005). In particular, the massage helped me to relieve the stress and overcome the back pains that could not give me peace at work. The activity also allowed me to maintain a work-life balance, which is necessary for a demanding career like nursing.

My appointment with the chiropractor helped me to discover what triggers negative thoughts and how to overcome them. More importantly, I learned to often think of the positive aspects of a situation. Even when someone triggers negative thoughts, I learned to become more understanding and emphatic towards others. Chiropractic care helped me to always stay in the present moment in order to avoid being overwhelmed by past events, which lead to unnecessary stress (Mary, Juanita, & Sally 2005). My chiropractor wrapped up the session by encouraging me to have more self-care activities in the future that can enrich my life. Engaging in an activity that gives me more pleasure than pain outside work is the right path towards self-healing.

 

References

American Nurses’ Association. (2015). Nurse’s Code of Ethics. Retrieved from https://www.princetonhcs.org//media/princeton/documentrepository/documentrepository/nurses/code-of-ethics.pdf

Boykin, A., Schoenhofer, S. O., & Schoenhofer, S. O. B. (2001). Nursing as caring: A model for transforming practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Mary Ann Stark Ph.D., R. N. C., Juanita Manning-Walsh Ph.D., R. N., & Sally Vliem MS, R. N. (2005). Caring for self while learning to care for others: A challenge for nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(6), 266.