So, We Laugh. 

Wait a second. What is happening? Is this really happening? Now? With all these people watching? What do I do? What did I do to cause this? Oh my God, what will people think? I don’t want to be the bitch who causes a scene. Maybe if I just stay really quiet and still this will stop. Why are you massaging my shoulders? I don’t like it when anyone does that. Oh, what the hell? What are these nurses thinking right now? Do they think I want this to be happening? Can they see the shock and horror on my face? Do I want them to feel sorry for me? Can I just play this off as a weird joke? Am I overreacting? Is this okay? Why do I feel so weird? Is it odd I am a little scared? This just took a very bad turn. Maybe it’s okay. He doesn’t mean anything by this. Who am I to assume this is anything unusual? I don’t want him to hate me. I just want to fit in. I just laugh nervously and catch the charge nurse’s eye. She is not surprised. 

We laugh about this situation several times over the next couple of days. The next time it happens I am a little less shocked, but even more uncomfortable. I feel like I should say something, but I don’t know how. 

He’s MARRIED. He’s basically my boss. He would not be doing anything that is inappropriate. What kind of person misinterprets someone just being nice as something sexual? I am the one who is unprofessional. I’m not the kind of girl people randomly pursue anyway. I need to chill. Besides, no. Not ever in a million years. 

So, I laugh. 

I laugh about it with the nurses. They regale me with other shocking stories and examples of bad behavior. The doctor that asked the nurse to help him diagnose some problem with a patient’s penis by googling images and having her look at them with him, nevermind that he draped his arm around her shoulder.  Hang on. WHAT? How can he possibly think that is okay? How socially blind can you be? Cues! Can he not see the cues? Maybe he really did just want some help figuring out the diagnosis. I’m sure he meant nothing by it. He’s just a gigantic dork. He didn’t get many girls in high school. He doesn’t know. 

So, we laugh. 

We ignore the vaguely threatening tone when he discusses issues with us. “It’s a friendly chat.” He is on our side, as long as we a team player. He just wants to reassure me that we all want the same things here. This conversation can stay between us.  What happens when I tell you to leave me alone? Professional development should not have to be a secret. 

So, we laugh. 

You can tell the laughter is masking something else. I wonder if part of it is fear. 

As healthcare providers we rely on our team. When people like us and think we are fun to work with, the day is so much better. We depend on inappropriate humor to shield us from the horrors of our work lives. We spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our family and friends. We don’t necessarily want to maintain strict professional boundaries at all times. We need and want to be close to our work family. The lines have to be blurred. Does this mean we can’t stand up for ourselves? 

Nobody wants to be the uptight bitch who tattles about trivial things. We don’t want to be the narc who doesn’t sneak drinks to the nurse’s station. We would never dream of reporting someone for playing on their phone during a rare moment of downtime. The rules are made to be broken. 

So, we laugh. 

Sometimes we need physical contact with our coworkers. Sometimes playful banter (even wildly inappropriate banter) is what gets us through the day. 

So, we laugh. 

We all know how bad it can be if the people we work with or for do not like us. They will find fault with every decision we make. We will be written up for every infraction of “policy.” It’s easy to get rid of the people who don’t fit in. 

We need them to have our back when there is conflict. We need a resource. We are dependent on them for security and protection from other providers and even sometimes patients. 

So, we laugh. 

We don’t speak up when someone violates our personal space. We allow people to touch us in a way that makes us uncomfortable. We smile and pretend it doesn’t bother us. 

We don’t tell someone we are not comfortable perusing photos of penises with their arm around our shoulders at the nurse’s station. We sit there and wonder how we got into this situation. 

If we don’t laugh, it could mean this is serious. It could leave us feeling vulnerable when we are already in danger every day. If this isn’t funny and no big deal, it means it is hostile and we are victims. 

So, I am afraid we will continue to laugh. We will train our new nurses to allow “friendly” assaults on our bodies. After all, we are all on the same team. 

So, We Laugh. 

I am only a nurse practitioner

As I walk through the side entrance of the hospital, my white coat flapping in the Texas breeze, I am quiet and introspective. What will the day hold for me? Do I have the knowledge and skills necessary for assessing and diagnosing my patients? Will I know the current evidence based guidelines? Am I good enough to do this job? 

When my patients enter the hospital, they have a problem which is causing them physical or psychological distress. They did not come into my professional realm for a social call, they need me to intervene and fix the problem. Usually, by the time they are admitted to the floor, they have already been examined and assessed by a physician in the emergency room, and it was deemed necessary to admit them to the hospital for further evaluation and care.

I look over the information obtained in the ER and try to come up with a list of questions I need to have the answer to. I have to evaluate past medical history, family history, personal habits, current medication, and finally complete an interview which is followed by a physical examination. Sometimes, if I am lucky, there are symptoms and risk factors that are glaringly obvious and I know an effective treatment for the malady. Other times, most of the time it seems, I am handed a vague list of complaints which fail to give me a concrete diagnosis. Now, I have to evaluate the things I cannot see with the naked eye or hear through my stethoscope. Subjective complaints are the most difficult to assess. Is the patient telling me the entire story? Are they being truthful? What am I missing? How do I get more information? How can I get this quantified? Is this part of the story pertinent? What else do I need to know? How do I avoid offending or embarrassing this person that came to me for help? How do I bring up sensitive topics? How do I reassure this person that I care? How do I facilitate communication, while using time wisely?

Now, I am not usually seeing only one patient at a time, and all the information I need is not handed to me in a nice little package. I am waiting for diagnostic results and other professional opinions. I am also juggling the needs of the hospital, insurance regulations, personalities of the patients, their loved ones, other hospital staff, and a ticking clock. I make a decision based on the information at hand, and I have to trust my skills to obtain all the information.

I have taken my time to listen to the patient, asked invasive questions meant to probe and uncover the secrets their body keeps hidden in a shroud of mystery. I explain my plan of care and explain the results I am seeking from my interventions. I walk out of the room and sit down to record in the official medical record my findings. I have to maneuver my way through an electronic medical record that seems to have been designed to make finding the details of care difficult to find. I am granted peace and quiet, and no one ever interrupts me and breaks my train of thought. Oh, wait that is not true. I am constantly bombarded with questions and requests for my time, attention, and energy.

Constant terror that I missed some potentially fatal condition, or that I will not order the proper intervention or screening lies just under the surface. I find myself double checking and reviewing medications and test results. I discuss the case with my supervising physician. I waiver at times in my resolve. Then, I have to make a decision. I find myself reviewing the case with other members of the health care team and asking for their insight on the patient’s condition. I attempt to make sure the nurses concerns are addressed. I seek to educate and give them insight to the rationale for proposed treatment. I have to give them options and hope they are agreeable to the plan. I have no power to force compliance. So, my argument had better be convincing. I have to be able to communicate with people regardless of the language they speak, their cultural biases, and their education and intelligence level. I have to provide care that is accessible to everyone regardless of the barriers to knowledge. I have to find a solution for any roadblock. This requires extensive knowledge and comprehension of an unending list of resources and rules for utilization. It also requires the ability to overcome whatever social issues arise. I am tasked with having difficult conversations, while maintaining a professional manner.

One of the biggest issues I face is discharge planning, which actually begins the moment a patient enters the hospital. What has to happen in order for the patient to be deemed stable for discharge? What kind of follow-up care will they need? How am I going to plot a course of improved health for this individual? What are the financial implications? What resources are available? What are the rules for the care I seek? How do I properly justify medical necessity?

Oh! Don’t forget patient satisfaction scores affect every thing I do. If the patient is not happy with the proposed treatment, or if they feel something else would be more enjoyable, they can affect the amount of reimbursement the hospital receives in the future. How do I satisfy someone when they are sick? How do I explain the difficulties with pain control? Is it my job to somehow make you pain-free, when there is some part of your body malfunctioning? How do I make the patient understand they have to get out of bed when all they want to do is sleep through this process? How do I make them happy about the dietary restrictions for their particular condition?

Sometimes, I go and speak to a patient and spend a considerable amount of time with them, I explain my role and that I am going to be providing their medical care. Yes, I am operating under the supervision of a physician, and I would not have it any other way. After I have gone over every thing and I have documented the encounter adequately, and met with all the members of the healthcare team, I hear this statement, “The patient and their family are upset because no one has talked to them today.” I am sorry, but WHAT? I just spent an hour with this patient and their family IN THE ROOM. This is not including all the time spent with care coordination and other necessary actions. OH…. you want a DOCTOR. Okay. No problem. Now, I have to approach the physician who I have reviewed the case with, assured them I have it under control, and review and recap the entire case, explain exactly what I have done, and reiterate the entire conversation I had with the patient and the family. The doctor walks in the room and spends a couple of minutes, and magically every thing is right with the world.

I am left feeling moderately unimportant. I have spent time to pull up a chair, listened compassionately, and truly worked so hard to take good care of you. I feel like all of my hard work was for nothing. The patient and their family were not pleased with my efforts. They wanted a doctor. I get it. I really do. The problem is… if I am being honest, at times it hurts my feelings. I know it shouldn’t. I am able to think through it and brush it off, but I am left with a little bruise on my ego.

You see, I am only a nurse practitioner. I am not a physician. I am competent to provide medical care, and I know my limits. I have no qualms with admitting when I do not know the correct answer, and I am not afraid to ask for help. I crave and value the education my supervising physicians provide for me on a continual basis, and I am never offended when they provide alternative treatment plans or point me in a different direction. I am a physician extender. They are ultimately responsible for the care I provide. I respect that role. I respect my role.

I work hard to gain new information and to learn more about caring for patients. I like to gain new understanding from other specialities perspective. I look up the things I have never heard of or don’t particularly understand. I am exquisitely curious, and I am driven to constantly be better. My professional goals center on providing the best care possible for the patient. I am here to provide safe, competent medical care.

Due to my professional path, I am still a nurse. I have a complete grasp of the realities and responsibility of this role. I was also a unit secretary. I understand the complexities of the relationships between all the people on the team. Sometimes this is a hindrance. I held myself to high standards, and sometimes I find myself judging other people as harshly as I judge myself. I have to work continuously to encourage and promote open lines of communication. I want the other people involved in providing care to feel they can come to me with any issue or question that arises. This is difficult at times because I am entrenched in my own inner battle with my own insecurities.

I am not certain if the fear of making mistakes is normal for all healthcare providers, but I believe this fear keeps me on my toes. The balance between humility and confidence is sometimes difficult to achieve, and I fear I may fail to provide the necessary reassurance that I will do every thing in my power to meet your needs. It is difficult to be confident when every thing is so gray. I think this may be one of the most difficult parts of my job.

I have learned healthcare providers are just human. We are attempting to unlock the mysteries of your body, and there are infinite factors that must be considered. We are bound by limitations of medical knowledge, as well as the logistical nightmare of resource utilization. We can offer suggestions and proposed treatments, and we can attempt to forecast the results of those treatments. However, we are left powerless as to the actual outcomes. We do our best. We do what has worked the best in the most number of people possible.

Nothing is guaranteed, yet we are held responsible for the end result. If you live, God saved you. If you die, we killed you. This is a huge burden. The emotional toll it takes on me when there are bad outcomes has to be faced head-on. I have to process the feelings, evaluate the situation, and hopefully learn a lesson. Sometimes the lesson is simply a reminder of human limitations and the fact we are all mortal.

So, I live in constant fear and feel an enormous amount of obligation to provide the best care for my patients. I have to push my ego aside and bury my pride. I have to portray myself as competent to facilitate confidence in my abilities. I have to remember my limitations, while simultaneously trusting my skills and intuition. I will chase every resource available to improve your health or quality of life. Sometimes, the patient or their family’s wishes are in direct opposition to the best treatment. We are tasked to keep someone alive on life support when their quality of life is dismal. Or, we keep providing measures that simply prolong suffering when there is no chance of survival. These cases are distressing. Running a code on someone when in reality further care is futile seems like torture. However, we are not in charge of what care the patient receives. We offer advice and suggestions, everyone is allowed to make their own decisions. It is difficult to keep every thing in perspective when we are held responsible for the outcomes when the proposed plan of care is not carried out or the patient refuses to comply with instructions and advice.

Please do not forget the required tasks involved in maintaining licensure, hospital privileges, and employment. I have continuing education, certifications, privileges, and meetings I am required to attend. I have to juggle the business of being employed with providing patient care. I have to put my personal life on hold, and out of mind while I focus on life and death issues. I also have to make time for the people in my life who need me to be there. I cannot be preoccupied with work stuff. The amount of compartmentalization required to be a healthcare provider is enormous. I have to remind myself to put work on a shelf sometimes. It is difficult to not be consumed by it all. 

Please, just remember: The physicians and other members of your healthcare team are only human and we cannot perform magic. We do the best we can. I have to be remain constantly vigilant. After all, I am only a nurse practitioner.

I am only a nurse practitioner

Your Nurse Practitioner is only human…

  I may have underestimated the power of human connection. As a Nurse Practitioner, I am fortunate to get to meet and know so many different people. You can try all you want to keep an emotional distance. You can attempt to maintain “professional boundaries.” You can almost convince yourself these patients and their family do not affect you.

Sure, this is reasonable. It is all about self-preservation. You have to be able to leave work at work. Otherwise, you would be entrenched in stress and grief all the time. I have to be able to laugh while I am at work. I cannot allow myself to be mired down in the misfortune of the sick and suffering. I am not only a Nurse Practitioner, I am also human and I cannot help but to forge a connection with people.

It may be your wit and charm. Perhaps you told me a dirty joke I was not expecting. Your face may light up when you talk about your children and grandchildren. It does not matter what causes me to allow you into my heart, it just happens. We are humans.

When I am at work, I pour most of my energy into evaluating what you may need. I am filled with self doubt, so I agonize over every decision. (Well, as I mature and have more experience the agony is decreasing.) I hold myself to nearly impossible standards. Sometimes I am inexperienced in your particular condition. The panic sets in and I have to start reading. I rack my brain and try in vain to remember everything I have ever heard about this situation. I do not take my ignorance or inexperience lightly. I ask questions and I am very forthcoming about my need for assistance. My ego is not so fragile that I can’t ask for help. I work hard to remain teachable.

Keeping in mind when I am at work and I make a mistake, the consequences can cost lives or cause irreparable harm. I am invested. The boundaries have to be blurred a little. This makes it difficult when a patient is not responding to the course of action we have laid out. It is especially hard when we run out of tricks to try. Sometimes there is nothing we can do. This is the hardest part of my job.

Now, if you come to me looking for answers and I reach out to the experts and there is nothing else to be done… what now? I don’t get to sign off and retreat back into blissful ignorance. I am now tasked with explaining the situation and helping you decide on which actions are appropriate for further care.

I find this job especially cruel when I think you are going to do well. I see initial success in our last-ditch efforts. The Hail Mary pass seems to be working. Then, despite the successful catch, we fumble the ball. I am going to scramble to try to recover it. Sometimes the damn ball just disappears.

This is the worst part. Dying is part of life. We are all going to die someday. Yes, we can try to help people live as long and healthy lives as possible. There is going to come a time when I have to be willing to sit with you and discuss whether or not you want to continue aggressive medical care. If you tell me you are done, I have an obligation to honor wishes and to support your family through that transition. It goes against every thing in my heart. I want everyone to live happily ever after.

I can try to have boundaries and walls. I can try to keep work separate from real life. Sometimes, I will fail. In order to heal from this grief, I have to acknowledge I am experiencing it. I have to allow myself to feel. I do not want to become a cold, unfeeling person. This opens me up to heartache. I am okay with that. It also opens me up to feeling sincere joy when my patients do well. It is not all just another sad day, there are lots of victories. I get to feel them too. Yeah, it is exhausting at times. It is hard. I would not want it any other way.

Your Nurse Practitioner is only human…

I am not one-size fits all. Not even close

I have said it before. I will likely say it again. I am fat. Now, there are people who try to say things like:

“You are not fat. You have fat.”

I hate that. It makes me roll my eyes and want to scream. Give me a break. I am not in the mood to argue semantics. Do not undermine my intelligence by trying to put a positive spin on a potentially lethal medical condition. I deserve better than that. You deserve better than that.

Obesity is a medical condition. Morbid Obesity is a serious medical condition. I have that. It does not make me less of a person. It does not mean that I have zero self-worth. This is not some body dysmorphia issue. It is a medical fact. Here is the caveat. I am responsible for treating this disease.

For me, this is not due to something out of my control. I have made poor life-style choices. I ate junk food (I still do sometimes.) I have not been active enough (I am a little better, I need to work harder.) I did not put my physical health and well-being as a priority. Once again, this does not make me a bad person. Stop making excuses for me. I can do that all on my own.

As a morbidly obese nurse practitioner, I find the whole weight loss topic difficult to broach with my patients. I feel like I have no right to tell them what they need to do in order to get healthy. I am actually afraid that they are going to challenge me and ask exactly who I think I am? Well, let me tell you. I am an educated medical professional who has an obligation to try to help you achieve health and wellness. When I avoid this topic, I am not preserving either of our best interests. I am doing you a disservice.

I do not hesitate to admonish a patient for smoking, not taking their blood pressure medications, or not taking care of their diabetes. I lay out the worst case scenarios, and do my best to convince them that “you could die!” I ask questions to find out what the barriers to compliance are, and I try to help them find the tools they need to be healthy. So, why do I avoid the topic of weight loss? Why do I avoid asking them if they need tools to get healthy?

I have an obligation to be open and honest with myself, and my patients. I need to step up and take the time to find out why they struggle with living a healthier lifestyle. I never hesitate to make sure that my elderly patients who are losing weight have enough to eat, and to inquire about who helps the ones with mobility issues get their needs met.

I am not insinuating that I know the best method for everyone to lose weight. I am not insinuating that everyone who is overweight or obese is going to die. I do know without any reservation that there is no such thing as morbid obesity being healthy. Even if you have not developed any obesity related complications, I assure you, you will.

As a medical professional, I want to see my community thrive. I want to improve the health and wellness of my community as a whole. I want to improve my health and wellness.

Starting to workout and eat right is a daunting task. You feel isolated. You feel like you are on display. People do not hesitate to walk up and exclaim “OH MY GOD! How much weight have you lost?” It makes you feel like you are just a number. My self-worth has nothing to do with how many pounds I have lost. I get more satisfaction when I do something active that I could not do before. You are embarrassed when you are wheezing and out of breath after 5 minutes on the treadmill. You are going slower than anyone else. You do not belong.

This is why I think that promoting a community walking program will be beneficial for my town. We can promote activity and healthy lifestyles in a nonthreatening and fun way. We can help people with goal setting, and then help them on their journey to meet it.

So, I want to start a movement movement. I want to encourage and support people on whatever step of their journey they are on. I want everyone to have resources for their questions, and a safe place to voice their concerns.

I want to foster a community of encouragement and I want people to have somewhere to celebrate all their milestones.

IMG_5863
It’s way more fun to workout with friends- and it makes the selfies all the more epic.

I used to tell myself that I needed to lose weight so that I could work out. Does that make a bit a sense? I felt like I did not deserve to be helped. Everyone deserves a little help. Maybe all they need is a safe place, reasonable goals, and a few friends.

I am not one-size fits all. Not even close

Daddy Issues Part II

It’s the middle of January *2006. I have been a nurse on the night shift for about six months. My patient load tonight is insane. Part of it is my fault. I ask to keep the patient at the end of the hall even though the rest of my group is at the other end. The thing is, I am worried about him. He is in room *417. *details and names are changed for privacy.*

Mr. 417 has been in the hospital for several weeks. When I first meet him, he is a cantankerous grouch. He does not like being stuck in bed with the tube snaking out of his nostril and connected to suction. He is unable to eat, so we continuously drip nutrients like lipids, glucose, and vitamins into his veins.

I am still inexperienced, and completely naive about the seriousness of his condition. Yes, he is quite old, but has always been healthy up to this point.

I dote on my little cranky man, pick up extra shifts, and ensure that he is well cared for. Mr. 417 is excessively difficult to please. Everything has to be just so, and I have our routine down pat.

It is three in the morning. I have been running from room to room all night. I am doing a bowel prep for a colonoscopy in room 405 and the patients in 402 and 407 are call light happy. I am in Mr. 417’s room about every 20 minutes to check on him, and to try to find some relief for his discomfort- all to no avail.

I am busy giving a bed bath in room 405, and unable to check on him from 0235 until 0300. When I finish my tasks I hurry to check on him. What I find is a new nurse’s worst nightmare. I run to get my charge nurse, and we get an ABG and a CXR. Obviously in shock. I have to call a doctor and get some help for my patient.

I pick up the phone and dial the number. I ask the answering service who is on call that night. When she answers, I promptly hang up and burst into tears. I am one of those annoying people who cry at the first sign of stress.

Oh, the call light is going off. My patient in room 405 has tried to get up and navigate her way to the bathroom without assistance. The Golytely effects hit her rapidly. There is a very large problem all over her room. We do not have a nurse’s aide tonight.

I have to call the doctor. Let’s call him Dr. Snape. Everyone knows that is not his real name. In my hospital, he is infamous. This is a man who does not like to be woken up. Nurses dread calling him, and almost everyone has a Dr. Snape story. His reputation is legendary. He is also known as one of the best doctors.

I beg my charge nurse to call him for me. She refuses, however we do have an impromptu practice conversation. I take notes. I gather his chart, and make sure I have current vital signs, I&Os, and lab work available.

I take a deep breath, and with shaking hands call the answering service back. I sit there and silently rehearse what I am going to say. The phone rings, and the call is transferred to me.

I ramble my rehearsed speech, my words hurried and breathless. The patient’s name, room number, admitting diagnosis, admitting physician, and why I am calling. I do not stop speaking until I get all of that out, then my voice trails off uncertainly because I do not know what to do next and I have yet to take a breath for fear that he will interrupt me.

Dr. Snape is silent on the other end for a few seconds and I am shaking with anxiety. He starts asking questions. He wants details. Not only about tonight, but about the events that have led up to tonight. Who was his surgeon? What did they find? What medications is he on? How long as he been on them? Is he fluid overloaded? Did he smoke? What did he do for a living? When was his last set of cultures drawn? What is the plan from oncology? Where is his family? What does the patient want? Does he know how sick he is? Does he have children? I am fairly certain he asked me who the man took to senior prom. (looking back, it seems that after a minute, he was testing me.)

Then, this exchange:

“What was his respiratory rate before?” I nervously double-check my notes.

2000: 22

2100: 24

2200: 22

2300: 22

0100: 24

0300: 39

I respond “Between 22 and 24.” Without skipping a beat Dr. Snape asks “Wouldn’t that be 23?”

I have been on the phone, shaking, and speaking in rapid, unsure answers for what feels like an eternity. I miss the joke. “Ummm. Yes, sir. That would indeed be 23.” The nurses are gathered in a curious and supportive circle around me. There is a titter which feeds my anxiety. I wish I were anywhere else in the world at that moment.

When Dr. Snape asks who the respiratory therapist and charge nurse are- I am so relieved. I hurriedly respond “*Nurse Ratchet, would like to speak to her?” and without waiting for an answer, I abruptly put him on hold, transfer the call, and burst into tears. I am convinced I am an utter failure. I contemplate switching careers. Then, I rush off to take care of Mr. 417. I have to transfer him to ICU. I see Dr. Snape in the unit when I am dropping off the rest of the patient’s belongings, and I avert my eyes and scurry away.

The rest of my night is a mess. I worry about my patient, and I have a ton of things to do since my routine was interrupted. I go home that morning feeling like a terrible nurse, and wondering if I am even capable of this job.

The next day, I walk into the break room at the beginning of my shift, and find this in my mailbox. *It has been edited to leave out identifying information. *IMG_7835Well, that is weird. What does this mean? Isn’t that my job? Oh, well I am flattered. Obviously. I still have it after all these years. It lives in a metal box. Along with a copy of the recommendation letter he wrote for me when I was applying for a fellowship after grad school.

This night is one of the defining moments of my career. It is the beginning of my relationship with one of my mentors. It took me years to get over being too intimidated to speak to him, but once I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

Night shift nursing brings about a completely different relationship with physicians than day shift. You typically only see physicians when there is a crisis. For many of them, they have been awake all day working, and this is the time they should be at home asleep. It makes it difficult to foster overly friendly relationships.

However, given enough time and exposure, you eventually do. Over time I learned how to be prepared for my encounters with them, and that made their job easier, which helped reduce some of the stress. I learned how to see them as people instead of doctors. I like them a lot more as people. Totally less scary.

One day, after I had been working closely with him as part of my clinical training for nurse practitioner school, I mentioned that night. He immediately remembered. He did not know it was me though.

He was an awesome teacher while I was learning how to be a mid-level. He sought out chances to challenge me, and he was quick to correct and to give me feedback on the job I was doing. Now, to be honest, I hit the jackpot when I chose preceptors. I picked them for their willingness to teach, and they all gave their time and expertise generously. I am so grateful for these physicians and nurse practitioners.

But, this is about Daddy Issues. How on earth does that apply to this nursing story. Well, duh… because it is my story. Remember me? The girl with daddy issues?

I started noticing a trend to my relationships with a few of my mentors. Especially with ******* (you know, Work Mommy) and the one who became Work Daddy. The two of them were the ones that I sought out for advice. I respected their opinions, and felt that they understood my goals and aspirations. The joke became that they were Work Mommy and Work Daddy. (Don’t worry- Work Mommy has a story too!)

Now, while it was initially a joke, I see how it is applicable. As I mentioned in Daddy Issues Part I, parents are our first mentors (or they should be, anyway) and when your mentor is also somewhat responsible for you as an employee, it is easy to see how mentorship could be similar to a parental role. These are the people I come to when I need help. They are the ones who offer guidance and recommendations for my future.

It is their opinions I trust. I feel like they have my best interests at heart when they offer me advice. I am never afraid to tell them when I do not know something, and I am not afraid to take chances and risk looking foolish for asking questions.

Mentors are so important in life. They are coaches who develop skills. They are people who are interested in how your career affects you personally. In some instances if you are lucky, they become friends.  — although, that may change if Work Daddy finds out I called him Dr. Snape.

***I would like to point out that Alan Rickman is a very commanding presence. Also, Professor Snape did kinda turn out to be a hero in the end- He always looked out for Harry, and tried to protect him. This is where the pseudonym came from.

One last thing, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had with my mentors, and I would not trade any of it for anything. Quite basically, I am a lucky girl.

 *** update. Work Daddy is no longer my employer, however he remains a treasured friend and mentor. ~10/29/2015 ♥️LQ

Daddy Issues Part II