The Wellness of Nursing | CHCM
By Tina Martin

The Wellness of Nursing

Creative Health Care Management has long proposed the importance of the relationship with self as being foundational to supporting our colleagues and working collaboratively to provide exceptional care to our patients, their families, and the community.

In our seminal book, Relationship-Based Care: A Model for Transforming Practice, the authors note that the relationship with self is nurtured by

1) self-knowing, which is a necessary skill for emotional maturity, and
2) self-care – possessing the skills and knowledge to manage our own stress, articulate personal needs and values, and balance the demands of the job with our physical and emotional health and well-being. (Koloroutis, 2004, p. 5).

The Effects of Poor Self-care

Post-pandemic, we unfortunately have witnessed the effects of poor self-care. In unimaginable circumstances, healthcare was challenged like never before. The demands of the pandemic often required more of us than we could give. Many healthcare workers have been left broken. Many have left the healthcare profession completely. For those of us who have remained, it is time we come together, focus on our own health and wellness, both personally and professionally, so we have the strength to support each other and together provide exceptional patient care.

Definition of a Healthy Nurse

We have a personal and professional responsibility to care for ourselves. On February 9, 2024, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors approved an updated definition of a Healthy Nurse, which I propose can be translated to other healthcare professions as well. The definition reads: A Healthy Nurse is one who prioritizes striving toward positive physical, mental, social, environmental, and professional well-being. For nurses, self-care is our professional responsibility as noted in the ANA Scope and Standards of Practice, Standard 7 which includes “Demonstrates a commitment to self-reflection and self-care.”

It is our personal accountability to strengthen our relationship with our self. We own this. We cannot delegate our self-care to someone else. No one else knows what we need to strengthen our relationship with self. In our CHCM Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring workshop, relationship with self is the focus on the first day. During this time we propose the first step towards strengthening the relationship with yourself is being self-aware of your needs to fulfill your physical, mental, social, environmental, and professional well-being. The ANA Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation website has a plethora of information to inspire you to move towards a healthier YOU.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”


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