WholeNurse

Hello. My name is Phyllis Chisala. I’m a Nurse Manger at a London Hospital. I’m interested in Wholeness, hence my nick name, ‘WholeNurse’ Thanks for joining me on my blog. I’m a nurse and nurse coach. I like writing about wholeness and health issues especially issues that affect nurses. Wholeness is wellness Spirit, Soul and body. It is said that the first wealth is health. Any activity that promotes health is important to me. I write about nutrition supplements that support wellness. I’ll be sharing with you my journey through the nursing world from my training days to date, and all the lessons I have learned that brought me this far.

The wellbeing of the entire world begins with one individual, and that individual is you. To add to the well-being of your workplace, and so to that of the world, your own wellbeing has to come first. That’s not selfishness. You cannot give to others what you don’t have. Jesus admonished us to Love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
This is also evident in Paul’s words, “…who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received…if we are comforted, it’s for your comfort.” (2 Cor.1:4-6, NIV, 2004). It always has to start with you.
As a health worker, I believe there is an inter-connection between the nurse’s wellbeing and improving patient experience. When you feel cared for, you naturally care for others. When you receive comfort, you naturally comfort others.

In this blog, I tell my story of being bullied in the work place which led to me losing my confidence and having my professional life hampered. I lost my confidence because of the effects of bullying. I reveal all the effects bullying has on one’s life. This blog will also show you how you can help yourself to become more resilient using the SPECC model (Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Cognitive and creative, Social and systemic). This model provides clarity as to where you are at in terms of resilience.  Bullying is a monster which is so prevalent in many clinical work places. This can destroy a life. Learning how to be more resilient and more assertive and trusting the work God has done in you can prevent the emotional frustrations and stress that come from the long working hours and some toxic work places. Ones well-being contributes to the productivity of whichever health organisation they work for. Employees are the tools by which health organisations achieve their missions. If employees are not cared for in an organisation, the organisation is slowed down. Employees are the hands that give, the ears that listen, the hearts that feel and the voices that comfort, with only one life to offer. If opportunities to offer one’s life by giving service to others is stolen by the effects of bullying, never will that person have another opportunity to offer it again because we all only live once. It is important to be resilient and catch the bully and stop the toxicity in the work place.

I was born in Zambia to Zambian parents. When I was growing up, I never dreamed about becoming a nurse. My dream career was journalism, but I didn’t take a local language in secondary school which was one of the entry requirements into college. I also dreamed about becoming an air hostess because I wanted a career that would take me places. I loved traveling. But my dreams were not realised. When I finished secondary education, I took a gap year which ended up into years. I had no idea what I was going to do with myself.

The only careers available to me at the time were nursing, teaching and secretarial. None of them were interesting to me. Two of my aunties were nurses. One of them went to train as a nurse after years of working as a secretary. It was during my gap period when my aunt came on holiday. She told us stories about her time at college. She showed us pictures of herself in uniform. I liked the uniform bit but everything else, not so interesting. I one day got her nurse’s dictionary. I went through it and liked the terminologies I read. The uniform and the dictionary won me over. And the journey continues.

It’s so strange how at times we tend to run away from the very things that we were meant to do. I applied for a place in nursing school and I was accepted. The first three to four months were interesting because they were spent in class and I was learning new things, and my new nurses’ dictionary was doing its job.

It was time for my first placement. I was paired with a senior student nurse. We we were asked to give a bed bath to one of the patients who was involved in an accident and was paralysed from the waist downwards. He was doubly in continent and at the time we went to him, he was soiled. The stench that came off him when we uncovered him was enough to send me packing. As we washed him, I could not swallow saliva. I kept it in my mouth. After the procedure, I ran to the sluice room and vomited my stomach out, after which I went back to my room and packed my bags. I was going home. That was not what I signed up for. I don’t know what I thought nursing was.

Two of my friends found me packing. They were shocked to see I had given in so easily. They quickly went and told our group tutor. I was summoned to the office where I was given a lecture about not wasting my life and opportunities. The tutor encouraged me in her motherly manner. I decided to give it another goal.

The following day was easier because we were only asked to do damp dusting which was part of the nurses role then, and taking temperatures, and I thought, “now you’re talking.”

It became easier by the day and I went on to finish my three year training course.

Me, first on the left as a 3rd year student
You can only give to others what you have.
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

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