Unconditional Advocacy

It’s the day before the end of week 5 of this contract and a nearly 12 day stretch. This hospital has revealed more disturbing things to me in this last stretch than I’ve seen in years.

I hate conflict. A lot. I’ve learned many things over the span of my 33 years of nursing. I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely. I’ve learned to discern the difference between being upset because people are rude from being upset because people are just plain unsafe. I don’t run willy nilly to managers with every complaint under the sun because every complaint under the sun isn’t necessarily helpful.

So when I went to the managers this week, I went with a heavy heart, holding my breath at how they might receive what I had to say. But I had to! I am an advocate for the patients I meet. If I don’t stand up for them, who will? I confess, I wanted to be like Jonah and run the opposite way! Not because I know the Lord will allow these people to repent, just because I hate conflict, dread conflict that much! I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I know the God that I serve and I was obedient with what he tasked me to do. Maybe this is the reason I am here. The managers didn’t know that what I’ve been witnessing was even happening.

‘If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. ‘ Ezekiel 3:18-19

I won’t elaborate on the details of the issues I saw that prompted this turmoil. I will say very strongly, please shop around for the hospital you are using, for the surgeon, for the doctor! They are NOT all created equally! You guys! I can’t stress this enough! Research who you are using for your medical care! Don’t assume that someone with MD or RN behind their names is going to give you their best because of those initials.

I spoke the truth. Unconditional advocacy. My soul is peaceful once more.




Unconditional Dependence

Today is the first day of taking call at the new job. This is gonna be an unconditional acceptance kind of day. I mean, I think everyday should be an unconditional acceptance day, but call days are especially about unconditional acceptance.

Why? Because call days are when I am called to go above and beyond. My shift starts at 1pm and goes until 9:30pm. Then I’m ‘on call’ until 7AM. That’s a potentially looong day with overnight hours thrown in just for extra added challenge. I’m on call to finish cases that run late. I’m on call to do emergencies that occur overnight. My natural inclination is to huff and puff and cry about the unfairness of life that would have me getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning for that other person’s emergency fill in the blank  surgery. But sickness is never convenient, is it?

So here I am, praying myself into a state of preparation for what may or may not happen. Asking the Lord to carry me all day, however long the day ends up. Laying down my life at has feet. Unconditionally depending on my Savior. Oh Lord, not my will, but your will be done.

‘ but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40:31

Pray for me!


Unconditional Focus

Here I am in week 3 of my current travel contract in Florida. I’m still struggling with getting through the first and second day of the work week. I’ve been stressed out to the point of tears falling from my eyes, hard tears. So I asked God, “what in the world is happening?” The answer? I’m scattered into a bazillion directions, trying to multitask. I keep adding things to my brain, some good, some necessary. But just because they’re good things doesn’t mean I should keep adding things.

I’m no good at multi tasking. Never have been. I’m a ‘do 1 thing at a time” kind of girl. This is particularly challenging at the job. Surgery is a multi tasking kind of job. I’ve been at it for just about 26 years now. It’s been a really challenging road to walk too. But God has helped me to get a rhythm down that works for me. I’ve learned how to use my words to help me sort through the chaos and madness around surgery. This did not happen overnight. I shed a million tears to reach a stable place in my brain, job wise.

Now throw in the whole travel thing. The not knowing people, not knowing where stuff is, not knowing where to live, not knowing where to stay when I’m on call. All these things disrupt the stability. You know how wise people tell you to leave work at work? This week, I discovered that I need to apply this idea to home as well. I need to learn to leave home at home.

For example, it’s tax season. Monday, I decided to do my taxes “quick”. Ha! It didn’t go the way I thought it would. Essentially, I had myself so wound up about taxes that it affected the first half of my work day. And not for the good. It just took over my brain. I brought that anxiety with me. It made doing my job 100x harder. I did it on Tuesday as well, but with a different trivial thing.

That’s when it hit me. I’m scattered in a bazillion pieces. I’m trying to think about too many things. I’m distracted. What’s the opposite of distraction? Focus. I need to be unconditionally focused. How? By deleting things instead of adding things. What to delete? The number one distraction ~ the phone, with it’s 24/7, in your face on ness! What’s the plan to be unconditionally focused? Turn it off! Leave it behind for the 8 hour work day. leave it in the cottage for the 1-2 hour walk in the morning before work. Delete the noise. Restore some peace and quiet into each day, away from the ringing, the social media, the email, the marco polo. Delete. Delete. Delete.

I started yesterday. I left my phone in the locker for the whole shift. And do you know what? I was calm. I was focused on my co-workers, surgeons, anesthetists, and patients. I was present. I was not distracted. At the end of the day, the phone was still there. Nothing earth shattering happened. The sky was still in its usual place. I could breathe. It was good. It was really good.

‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ‘ Matthew 11:28-29

So yeah. Unconditional focus. I’m going to practice this.

Happy Thursday!