The Happiness Factor

Are you happy?

Are the nurses in your unit happy?

What would make you happier?

I know!

Engaging in professional development is a good way to start.

Yeah, bitching and moaning is a good way to pass the time.

But it doesn’t DO anything to address the problems. If you complain to the car that is stuck in the mud, the car does not suddenly move. The stuck car does not realize its mistake and fixes itself and gets back onto the road.

In this way complaining about hospital management does nothing to fix the problems. But we love to complain, don’t we?

Stop your complaining and find a way to engage with the hospital as a whole, and the other nursing professionals in the hospital.

Why, yes, this is an ad for shared governance.

I’ve been involved in shared governance since 2015. And there have been a LOT of changes in healthcare since then. States are slowly coming around to the idea that expanding Medicaid is actually a good idea to help citizens in their states, instead of the black mark against themselves by some conservatives. We’ve been staffing and providing care through a pandemic, the likes of which have not been seen in 100 years. I’ve been involved at every level of shared governance, from the unit level to the corporate level. And involved in all the meetings to restructure it in light of all of the current challenges.

How else is the bedside nurse going to speak the truth to the powers that run the hospital?

A quick google search for what makes a nurse happy will result in at least a page of nurses who are happiest when engaging with their professional development and nursing practice.

Which is, drum roll please, shared governance.

This morning I sat with a small group from the hospital shared governance at a restaurant, including the chief nursing officer of the hospital, and we ate breakfast and talked about what shared governance could do for the hospital. And how to engage other nurses.

A question I did not ask is am I happy?

And the answer is yes, I am happy. I also know I am happiest when I am working. Call, shared governance duties, it is the same. I view it as taking care of people, which is my duty as a nurse. These could be patients, they could be fellow nurses at the hospital, this is my way of taking care of them.

Find your happiness factor.

You might be surprised at what it is.

It isn’t money. It is never money.

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