#79 Navigating the Rough Waters of Being a Nurse When a Family Member is Ill featuring Roberta Young
It was a delight to interview Roberta Young about her article Being a Nurse in the Family. Roberta explains what led up to co-authoring the article in My American Nurse in January of 2020 with her colleague Teresa Anderson.
During the episode we discuss these unique situations and how the experience can be leveraged to improve or change how one chooses to practice as a nurse. Even though the conversation centers on nurses’ experiences, we acknowledge other clinicians also have similar experiences.
Early in the interview Roberta shares during the pauses in her career over the past few years she took advantage of that time to reflect. During that time, she realized she can get swept up in leadership roles, working long hours and giving of herself. She concluded she would be a better leader if she lived intentionally, maintained balance in her life, and paid attention to herself.
Roberta reveals one of the things that has come out of her work in creating work life balance and defining her values and what matters most is a sense that she can write and document meaningful stories.
Roberta shares her thoughts about storytelling and how we remember through stories. She explains a powerful story will have a larger impact than going through why something is important. Story telling can also help you heal and learn from the experiences you have.
Roberta shares her experiences when her mother was ill and as the nurse in the family when she was in awe of her colleagues and other times frustrated or disappointed. She shares how as the clinician in the family you can have a positive impact on clinicians caring for your loved ones during disappointing times.
It was also noted during the interview that clearly defining and stating out loud the roles and responsibilities among family members is an essential element of care coordination and managing family dynamics.
Roberta also shares using some reflection questions clinicians can apply what they are learning in or from their experience to their clinical practice.
Roberta recognizes as a leader that being compassionate and supportive with staff during the times when their families need them balances out, especially when clinicians are given the opportunity to rest, take care of themselves, and can come back healed.
We discuss the tensions/polarities that naturally show up in these situations such as self and other, work and home, and candor and diplomacy.
You probably already realize this is a phenomenal and important discussion for anyone who is a clinician or healthcare leader. Go ahead and listen now!
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