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How Nurses Can Make a Positive Difference in their Community and Careers

If there’s one thing this year has thrown into sharp relief, it’s the importance of making a positive difference, staying optimistic, and empowering your life through the good days and bad. Perhaps this year is one where you’ve primarily felt negativity rather than positivity, which is what makes it all the more important that you make a conscious shift to try and make as much of a positive difference as you can, both in your own life and the lives of others. 

If you’re feeling that the demands of this year are becoming too much and you would like to start actively implementing changes and making more of a difference, here are some ideas to get you started in both your nursing career and home life.

How Nurses Can Make a Positive Difference in their Community and Careers

Do What You Can for the Healthcare Industry 

This year’s struggles have thrown into light just how important the healthcare industry really is and how those on the frontlines have been fighting hard to protect everyone against the effects of the pandemic. As a nurse, you might have witnessed this first-hand, but even if you aren’t currently working on the frontline, you will know how hard it must be on your colleagues that are.  

With this year being labeled the year of the nurse and the importance of frontline staff being highlighted, you may want to consider the ways you can help directly. You could make any donations to causes that exist to help the frontline nursing and medical staff. You could even volunteer for any events which are created to help those working on the frontlines. 

In an effort to keep coronavirus cases low, you could offer to visit people in their homes rather than let them venture to the hospital to receive health care. Most importantly, though, you can ensure that you’re living your life safely day by day, to ensure that you’re not compromising the work of fellow healthcare staff during this difficult time. As a nurse, you will know exactly how to do this, but others may not. Be sure to educate others around you on the best practices to help keep cases low. 

If you want to take this one step further, you could even look at how your career can help. For example, if you were to become a nursing leader, you could help nurture younger, less experienced, or student nurses on how to excel in their own careers. By helping them, you are, in turn, helping the staff on the frontline. 

Make a Positive Difference By Making Donations 

With plenty of extra time spent around the house on your days off, it’s the ideal time to arrange your home in a better way, have a serious declutter and see if you have any key items you can look to donate to charitable causes. 

This could be large items of furniture, small household items, books, or clothes. There may even be charities raising money for relief funds or charities with a COVID-19 focus. Be sure to research the best charities whose causes you believe in so that your donation can always make a difference to you personally, too. 

You can take it the extra mile if you would also like to make a monetary donation, too, or perhaps even become a regular member. 

This will also help your own comfort and wellbeing while spending more time at home, as your household will be in a tidier, cleaner, and more positive state. Keeping a clean house will also allow you to keep you and your patients safe as well, which, in turn, is another way to help your frontline colleagues. 

Be Kind 

During a year where everyone is facing substantial difficulties, one of the easiest ways you can make a positive difference is simply to be kind — and it won’t cost you a penny! Be more patient, understanding, and compassionate to all people around you, whether it’s friends, family, co-workers, or strangers. With rules changing all the time, simple tasks are taking a lot longer, and it’s important to show kindness and patience to usual routines, which may take more time (such as deliveries). 

Also, be kind to others who are working on the frontlines during the current crisis, not just fellow nurses, doctors, and hospital staff. Remember about delivery drivers, postal workers, supermarket shopworkers, and emergency services, to name a few. They are all, just like you, playing a big part in helping everyone get through the pandemic. 

It’s also important to apply this idea to yourself, too. Be sure to be kind to yourself every day, especially if you are struggling. Indulge in self-care practices and wellbeing habits, which ensure you look after yourself and always feel your best. This will allow you to perform your duties in the best way possible and offer optimal health care services to your patients. 

It’s not just self-care that will help you be kind to yourself. The small acts you do in your free time can make a difference to your mental health. For example, if you have outside space at home, you could even take the time to give nature an extra helping hand. Plant some more flowers or shrubs in your garden, and make a more inviting home for wildlife. Grow your own vegetables and fruit, or use food waste to make compost for your garden so that you can reduce your waste in general. Doing all this can aid your mental health massively and offers a positive impact to the world as well. 

Take the Extra Time to Reevaluate

Your own life and wellbeing is one area you can always stand to make a positive difference with. If lockdown has had you conducting self-reflection or perhaps rethinking your way of life with everything thrown into perspective, you can begin to initiate positive steps to make the right changes going forward — whatever that personally means to you. 

Think about any habits, routines, or big changes you would like to make. You could think about new hobbies, your relationships with those close to you, or you could think about even bigger changes like career moves. Perhaps after seeing the effects on the frontline, you might feel inspired to offer your services as a nurse there rather than in another department. You might even prefer the idea of educating student nurses to allow for the next generation to come in and help. Maybe you’d even like to relocate when it’s safe to travel. 

Positive change can often come simply from making the decision to act. Even if you’re not sure what reevaluation means to you yet, simply making the decision that something needs to change can be very liberating and allow you to feel more positive. 

Although spending more time at home during this difficult time is frustrating, it can also be an opportunity to implement the right positive changes and concentrate on those areas of life which need a helping hand. 

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