Quick Tips for Working and Living Better

For registered nurses across the board, the benefits of self-compassion include sleeping better at night, a clearer calmer mind, increased job satisfaction and better rapport with patients; this is the upside of cultivating emotional intelligence, of which self-compassion is a key component. A study published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice discusses the importance of empathizing with yourself first, before relating well to someone else. The study postures that a positive internal dialogue helps registered nurses perform better—not just on the job, but in their personal lives, too.

So what is said in this internal dialogue, and when is it necessary? Examples cited by participants in the study revealed that when errors were made, or registered nurses received criticism from patients, their first instinct was to beat themselves up over it; however, with self-compassion, they were able to reframe the incident, rectify it and remind themselves that all human beings make mistakes.

How to “Reframe” the Incident that’s Upsetting You

In the permanent staff and travel nursing career path, RNs rub lots of shoulders, and sometimes, however unintentionally, they rub them the wrong way. These questions help “reframe” an event and begin the process of self-compassion:

  • Is there anything that could have been done differently?
  • Was reconciliation with the offended party attempted?
  • Has everything humanly possible been done to ensure the error won’t happen again?
  • Was the incident put in writing, critical and negative comments included, so it could be taken and reevaluated at face value? Was the way the incident might have unfolded with better results also penned down and considered?
  • Did the registered nurse take ownership of the mistake, then confront and deal with the reason(s) it most likely occurred?

What Happens if Nurses Fail to Cultivate Their Emotional IQs

A good travel nursing blog helps R.N.s blend personal and professional aspects of their lives and, in the case of this installment, reminds, not just of self-compassion’s benefits, but the pitfalls of ignoring emotional intelligence. Since empathy is a critical part of a nurse’s role in caring for patients and their families, an R.N. without compassion for herself may be unable to give it to someone else; this can lead to nursing career burnout and physical repercussions, like increase in stress hormones that may weaken the immune system, prevent a good night’s sleep and ultimately impact the nurse’s ability to perform well.

It’s a given that highly trained nurses already possess cognitive intelligence, but career advancement is in danger of slowing should emotional intelligence fail to make the grade! Our contributors hope the best for our readers, wishing them success and compassion in all endeavors.

Footnote: Access the full article, Self-compassion and emotional intelligence in nurses in the July issue of the International Journal of Nursing Practice.