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Partnership in the Journey of Health | Love Your Nursing Life | Bobbi McCarthy

Bobby McCarthy
Author, Bobbi McCarthy
As the music starts pumping through the MP3 player speakers, the whole gym full of women take their positions and ready for the Zumba class to take off. My friend and I give each other a grin and laugh…this is our first class and though the gym is full of women of varying ages and shapes, but we are feeling a bit on display. As soon as the instructor starts moving her body and giving instructions, intimidation melted away and the music took over. An hour later we were drenched in sweat with big smiles on our faces! I will not say that we knew many of the moves or that we looked cute doing them but the class was soooo fun!! Wed. night we are going back for more.

One week ago today, my friend and I made a commitment to one another to hold each other accountable as we once again pledged to live a life of health and fitness. We both had slipped into some unhealthy patterns over time and needed a good nudging and a hand hold to make a plan and stick to it. So this past week we went to the gym, ate a more healthy diet, drank more water and attended our first Zumba class. During this week we called each other and checked in…all of this helped us to stay focused and motivated.

My husband and I do this partnership as well. In order for our marriage to be healthy and to continue to succeed we depend on one another to stay focused on what is important, to partner up on the household responsibilities and errands…we partner up with the family (grown children that they are now), and with any problems that arise. We also both make time to attend to the other’s needs and to make the other feel special and cared for. We are best friends, lovers and partners in this thing called life.

I also watch my amazing team of nurses do this partnership thing quite well on a daily basis in the ER. One of the amazing things about working in the ER is the bond that you develop with your fellow nurses. You must become a team in order for the work to get done and for the heartache of the job to not be so painful. The bonds that I have developed with these nurses in the ER are strong and meaningful. I call many of them friends and I mean it.

Of course in order to develop strong bonds with others we have to want the bond…we have to be present and be ready to stay in the moment for a little while…we have to be open to another person and that may mean experiencing pain, but it also means experiencing great joy. I have been blessed in this life with an amazing family that I cannot imagine my life without, wonderful friendships, much love and joy…and many people that I partner with on this ride of life.

Just a reminder to myself and to all of you fabulous nurses out there—our patients need a partner in their health care journey as well, and most often that partner is their nurse. We spend more time at the bedside, in their homes, in the office or on the phone with the patient than the doctor usually does so we are the obvious choice. I went into nursing because I wanted to help people. At that time it really was a blanket thought, one that I really had no idea what it meant.

Now I know that when I say I want to help my patient, I mean I want to be present; to hear their story and to care about why they are there. I want to deliver sensitive and appropriate, evidence-based care that is timely and accurate. I am ready and willing to be their advocate. I want to hold their hand and pray with them if they want that…I want to show them strong confidence and knowledge as I do my nursing interventions to aid in their recovery…I want to help them; to be their partner that day.

For me, I have another partner in life that aids me in succeeding and staying focused on what is important and that is Jesus…reflecting on the Easter holiday past. I am especially thankful to my heavenly Father for the gift of salvation and for the constant presence and forgiveness that he offers.

I pray that for all of you reading this posting that you are someone’s partner in something meaningful and that you are able to offer your partnership to someone else as well. For all of us nurses reading this…I pray that you would see your role in your patient’s lives as a partner in their journey to health, safety, life or death.

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