Nurses Lose the Ego – Toolkit to Survive Nursing

by Angela Brooks

Anyone that has worked with people understands the behaviors of the Ego. Ego is the hidden imaginary part of humans that contains a great big attitude. The Ego's focus is Me, My, Myself, I …all about me.

What is a nurse? Nurses are highly trained and skilled professional who cares for the sick and infirm. A nurse helps to educate patients in issues of healthy living and wellness well as any current or chronic disease process and treatment. A nurse performs treatments and procedures as prescribed by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

A highly skilled person who takes care of other people surely would not have an ego problem, right?

I am sad to say that nurses eat one another. Gobble them up like they were fine sushi. They stroll through the halls like an Octopus stretching their many arms out patting their patients and tripping their co-workers.

Over the years I have witnessed countless conflicts, arguments and problems that have created unrest in the unit or have created unsafe situations for staff and patients. It is so critical that in caring for patients, we need to be selfless and focus on others, rather than ourselves. The ego destroy individuals, ruin reputations and hinder personal growth and success.

A few years ago I overheard a commotion that directed my attention to the nurses' station. The voices that were raised were now screaming at each other. Walking toward the noise to see what the problem may be – I stopped as two women popped into plain view throwing punches at each other. I quicken my pace as soon as I heard material rip and open hand slaps landing on now – very red skin. After separating the two, contacting supervisors and gathering a report from all the witnesses – the egos that were allowed to spin out of control were over exchanged words as if they were in high school. Their ego's won over the professional.

How about the nurse who gets the promotion and her fellow nurses become narrow minded and bitter. Instead of encouragement – they become snippy, back biting, gossipy, and plainly slimy.

What can you do?

First you have to understand that your own emotional center belongs to you – and you are the only one that can control it. You were born with it – it is mixed into your DNA.

What people think about you is their own personal reality. It does not make it true. Most of it comes from their own backgrounds, and how they handle situations.

Do not take things personally. If someone stops talking to you – or acts as if they are mad at you – do not assume you know why. Some people plainly enjoy being miserable. It is their issue. Self pity and self misery is like a heavy suitcase, they will drag all their problems around in that suitcase and they just tucked you in the bag.

Learn how to positively approach those individuals. Ask a few questions like "are you ok, you seem upset." After all – it is rather arrogant to think that people spend that much time thinking about you.

Nurses get over yourself. Think about all you have to offer to your patients and co-workers. The ego is darkness, once you learn how to move out of the darkness into the lighter areas of life you will find a very good YOU. Instead of spending time looking for your co-workers bad points find something good about them that you like – ok – maybe that you sort of like and focus on that one area. Give people encouragement, be the person who lifts them up. It is simple to tear someone down – it takes someone special to lift those around you be that person.

Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd

Angela Brooks is a mental health nurse devoting over 25 years to the nursing field. Executive Director with young living , She is the author The Nurses Voice, and is a contributor to the nursing magazines "Scrubs Magazine" and "NurseTogether.com".

She is the founder of angelabrook.com, a company dedicated to helping empower nurses who works in the mental health field. Not just for nurses – but those that nurse others in life. She is the nurses voice, the voice for those unheard.

 


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Angela Brooks is a retired nurse after 25 years in mental health. She used her lunch breaks to build her business part time on the night shift. Her car became a mobile university as she listened to business training, coaching calls on CD and phone webinars. She blogged while she was at her sons' baseball practices.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ton September 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

So true! Needed a post like that right now, thanks.

2 Denny Hagel September 11, 2011 at 3:08 am

I think to not take things personally is probably the best advice for all people in all situations, the key is to understand that with the opinions of others comes their entire world experience that has nothing to do with you…this is especially helpful when raising teens! 🙂 Great article Angela!

3 Solvita September 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Great advise here! Thanks a lot for sharing Angela – it is important for nurses to have this kind of support!

4 Marissa Rapier September 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm

As soon as I submit this comment, I am sending the link to my niece. She is a nurse. There is no doubt she will find some benefit from your experience. thank you!

5 Anne (Annie) Berryhill September 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm

You nailed it Angela…its not for nurses only for sure! In my world..there are some unbelievably HUGE egos! I guess it is part of the human condition!

6 Llibg October 1, 2012 at 8:43 am

 I think the suggestions you make are most important.  Many people suffer pain alone and just need someone to talk to “a friend”.  Angela your approach is very soft but very solid thanks for the comments.

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