Follow Up To My Last Post

I’ve had several people reach out to me after my last post to ask me how my shifts went now that I’m back to work and Covid is surging.  I’ll be honest.  I’ve had some of the most rewarding shifts of my career over this past week and a half.  By making the choice ahead of time to show up each night and focus on creating compassion and love, I’ve gifted myself a much more positive emotional experience than I would have had previously.

It hasn’t always been easy.  One of the things that I really focus on in my self-coaching and while I coach my clients is the power of our personal narrative.  This is the story we tell ourselves about what is happening around us.  The current story in healthcare goes something like this:  Working in medicine sucks right now.  It sucks because we’re busy.  The reason we’re busy is because people didn’t get vaccinated.  If people had gotten vaccinated everything wouldn’t suck right now. Those unvaccinated people don’t care about me.  They don’t care about how hard I’m working.  (I’m sure you can take it and run with it from here).

That story feels true to me.  There’s just one problem with it.  When I believe it, I feel like shit.  I feel used and taken advantage of.  I don’t want to show up for work and take care of a bunch of people who don’t care about me.  I feel overwhelming resentment.  It’s horrible.  It’s so easy to let my mind go there sometimes, but it doesn’t help me and my experience at work.

Do I wish that everyone was vaccinated?  Of course I do.

Is that the reality I’m living in?  No, it’s not.

One of the things that I realized as I was practicing compassion and love on my last round of shifts is that vaccinated or not everyone believes that they’re making the best decision for themselves right now.  That observation softened my judgements and that allowed me to do a better job of trying to understand and educate.  I even convinced a couple of people to get vaccinated!

The other thing I’ve been focusing on is the incredible gift of possessing a set of skills that make me one of the most valuable members of society right now.  When someone is super sick with Covid, I know what to do.  I can help!  All that overflowing waiting room means is that there are just more people out there who need the skills I bring to the table.  When I started to think about that, I felt powerful and strong.  I’ve heard that the thing most people want in life is to feel needed.  Well, my fellow healthcare friends, we are f%$king needed right now.

I chose this picture of Porter to go with this post because he has the look of longing that I feel in my heart for the end of this pandemic.  Until then, I’m going to keep focusing on the experience I’m creating for myself with my narrative. 

If you’d like help with this, please reach out.  I decided to offer my September coaching program for free to people working in emergency and ICU medicine and it feels wonderful to bring this work into other people’s lives.  It filled up fast with interested individuals. If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for my free training How To Feel Better On Your Next Shift and you’ll get updates on future program opportunities.