As a nurse, the first thing we must do for ourselves in terms of health is to know our limitations. Nurses are givers. We are teachers who will worry at 10pm about the newly diagnosed diabetic we saw today during a homecare visit who was nervous at the thought of giving their next insulin dose. Which happened to be the first they were giving on their own. We worry about the patient we spent 12 hours with in the ICU, whom touched our hearts, even though they spoke no words, did not open their eyes or even make much movement. We worry about the new young mother who we cheered on as she gave birth in an empty room because she had no support system around her. We worry because we care. We worry because we chose this profession that allows us to be a part of the most intimate moments of a complete strangers life. We worry because caring, offering grace and providing a listening ear is simply who we are.
Because we are givers, we must educate ourselves on the risks of burnout. We must know the warning signs that we may see in ourselves or our fellow co-workers so that we can provide that same grace and understanding with ourselves and those that serve alongside of us.