Self-care in practice
“Escape as a Self-care Strategy” (Editorial, May 2021) resonates with me deeply. I'm an ICU nurse who was diagnosed with PTSD due to a workplace assault. Self-care is a huge component of my painful recovery, and I have since launched a group to promote it. I see self-care as our psychological personal protective equipment, which must be severely lacking as I see fellow nurses posting on social media about burnout, breakdowns, exhaustion, frustration, and helplessness.
Thank you for the encouraging words and spreading the message of self-care. I felt understood and comforted reading this piece, and I will share your helpful suggestions with my colleagues.
—CECILIA YEUNG, BSC, RN
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Answering a cry for help
While I was with my grandson and son-in-law at a Blue Angels airshow one hot day, I saw a man sitting nearby who looked pale and diaphoretic. When I asked if he was okay, he didn't say anything but his appearance told me he needed help. Eventually, he whispered to me that he had diabetes. I assured him everything was okay, told him I'd be right back, and stepped away to look for a concession stand. I got him a soft drink and a cup of ice, and, as he drank, I asked him some questions about his health.
When the medics arrived 10 minutes later, I told them what I knew and what I had done before they took him to the hospital. I never asked his name. It didn't matter. He needed help, and I was there. Any nurse understands that our profession is not confined by where we are, but who we are.
After 35 years, I retired from nursing in 2018 due to chronic back and neck problems. Since then, similar situations keep happening, but I do not believe they are accidents. There are two types of people in this world: those who run away from situations and crises that require action, and those who run toward them. The world needs more people running toward trouble, not away from it.
My wife encouraged me to renew my nursing license last year, and I did so because I could foresee circumstances in which I might be volunteering as a nurse somewhere. Even though I am no longer actively involved in patient care, I haven't stopped being who I am.
—MICHAEL CAMPBELL, ASN, RN