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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

An Attitude of Gratitude

Published November 10, 2014 10:11 AM by Pam Tarapchak

There's a lot going on in the world today that's scary. Words like Ebola, ISIS, shootings, bullying, cancer, depression and death are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things that probably keep us awake at night. While these thoughts can become all-consuming given the technology-driven world we live in where our phones, tablets and TVs provide us with uncomfortable images 24/7, perhaps we should start spending more time trying to find the positives in life.

Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and for many reasons we always make time to be grateful on that day when we're sitting around the dining room table. But I think it might help us deal with the reality of life if we try and practice gratitude every day of the year. In the car. At your desk. Before you go to sleep at night.

It only takes one thought. I'm thankful for my kids, and my house, and my health. I'm thankful that I have friends and my co-workers and my job. And if you take just that one minute, then perhaps that one minute will spread throughout your day and into tomorrow and perhaps next month. And if you show gratitude toward others, it becomes contagious.

Another way to show gratitude is to reach out to others in your life, to your patients and even to strangers. Smile. Listen to someone's troubles. Hold the door for the next person. Sit at the bedside of a patient and share stories. Send a card for no reason. Appreciate all the people in your life and goodness will come back to you.

I'm not trying to make you believe that if you're thankful, nothing bad will ever happen to you. We face challenges every day, lives filled to the brim with trials: financial troubles, health issues, loneliness. As nurses, you work long hours, handle difficult cases and face hard decisions every day to ensure your patients receive the best care. But if you can recognize the good things in life and be grateful for them, then perhaps the bad times might seem more manageable.

With all the negativity that has been swamping the healthcare sector recently, including nurses with Ebola, quarantines and stressors on healthcare professionals addressing infection control measures, maybe it's time we start to share our gratitude with others. We should all be thankful we live in a country where healthcare advances save lives every day. And I'm thankful for all the nurses who tirelessly care for their patients, those who teach the next generation and the individuals who handle the management of nursing initiatives throughout healthcare failities.

What are you thankful for? I'd like to encourage you to share your gratitude with ADVANCE and then we'll compile a "gratitude wall" online later this month. Through sharing, we can all start focusing on the positive things in our lives and, by doing so, can face the challenges with a stronger point of view.

Share your gratitude with me at ptarapchak@advaneweb.com.

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2 comments

ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses : An Attitude of Gratitude

November 28, 2014 7:50 PM

ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses : An Attitude of Gratitude

November 19, 2014 7:21 PM

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