CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2014 - (Page 24)

Bench Strength The Final Step: Remembering to Revitalize Developing your "Bench Strength" in Case Management BY WENDY DEVREUGD, RN, BSN, PHN, FNP, CCDS, MBA I t is spring - a season of renewal, change, and perennial regrowth. Spring is a time to allow a breath of fresh air and sunlight into our lives, to inhale the scent of flowers, and to replant. It is said that it is also a time for spring cleaning in our homes and in our lives. So, what if we "spring clean" in our careers, as well? In part three of three articles presented in CMSA Today, we continue to address the steps of Recruit, Retain, Renew, Recognize, and (finally) Revitalize - steps that help us to build "bench strength" in case management by innovation and use of best practices. We must continue to treat those we care for and nurture in our lives, but we must also strive for minimal burnout on our part. As caregivers, we also need to be filled up in order to be able to continue to give. This last step of revitalize is critical, because regardless of how we try to plan, control, listen, educate, nurture, and help people, there are circumstances that may interfere with the best of our plans. There are so many experiences that may discourage and divert us from our core character and career that on occasion we need to re-connect with why we chose our particular path to begin with: our patients. Initially, I had intended to write this column on the various ways CM leaders can engage employees through recognition programs that revitalize and re-engage their employees. Then, last week, I attended a conference where I was fortunate to listen to and meet the keynote speaker, Rich Bluni, RN, author of the 2009 novel, Inspired Nurse. He spoke with humor and told stories of his experiences, some of which made the audience cry. According to Bluni, "Sooner or later all nurses ask it," referring to the question: "Why am I doing this?" As he notes in his 2009 novel, we should be looking for things that equal purpose, worthwhile 24 CMSA TODAY "Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing." - Wayne Dyer work and making a difference - so what are these things? While listening to Bluni, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I was missing the mark for this article. Revitalizing is not always about what we leaders can do to "inspire" our employees, but also about what we can do to support them to self-inspire. Bluni did that for me. He spoke about the importance of remembering, acknowledging, and thanking your mentors, as well as asking the question, "Whom can you mentor?" But most importantly, he spoke about the inspiration of telling stories - the process of remembering the "whys" in your chosen career and the patients and people that have inspired you. In a moment of synchronicity during his presentation, I suddenly recalled a story I wrote many, many years ago about a patient who inspired me and helped me reconnect to "why" I became a nurse. Maybe this is the reason I found it? I will share this story with you here in the hope that you will carry on Bluni's mission to help start your own department "storybooks," ones that continue to inspire and revitalize YOU with meaning. I would like to share this story, which I wrote about a brief encounter with one of my Issue 5 * 2014 * DIGITAL patients who profoundly changed me in the simplest of moments. I have remembered her always. I wonder if she knows the legacy she gave me. My 75-year-old patient had terminal cancer. I was on the night shift and was very busy delivering all the patients' scheduled medications (for this patient it was her "Morphine Cocktail" scheduled to be taken every four hours). "Do You Know the Meaning of Intimacy?" Someone Once Asked Me. "Yes!" I said, "and Here is Why." "No...! Don't give me that medicine. ...Please. It makes me act crazy, and then everyone thinks I am a wild woman! I may be dying... but I'm not in pain right now. All I want is for you to sit with me; here now at night in this lonely hospital room and just talk with me awhile." Even as the shift was very busy, I set down my meds. (In retrospect, there are profound moments when even a harried nurse should tarry.) Somehow she let me know she was in charge of her destiny, not me... and I should listen. A soft click of the bedside lamp gave shape to our faces as I leaned over and rested on her bedside rail.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2014

President’s Letter
Association News
CMSA Corporate Partners
The Community-Based Care Transitions Program
Ready or Not
The Final Step: Remembering to Revitalize
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Systems
Index of Advertisers

CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2014