A Fresh Approach to Healing
By Kathy Allan, RN, HN-BC, HTCP/I, SEP
It’s no secret that nurses are being traumatized on the job. We hear a lot about nurses who are burned-out, exhausted and suffering from compassion fatigue. The secret we don’t hear about is what happens to those patients who have a burned-out, exhausted nurse taking care of them. A nurse who is working a 4th or 5th 12 hour shift in a row, who has so many patients that she doesn’t have time to go on a break or eat lunch or go to the bathroom, a nurse who is so tired that she can’t think straight, a nurse who may have been exposed to Covid-19 because the hospital didn’t provide adequate PPE. What happens to those patients?
According to the Leapfrog Group, about 440,000 patients die each year due to preventable medication errors, accidents, injuries or infections. And this study was done before Covid-19 hit. It is a known fact that patient injury and deaths can be prevented when a rested, supported and non-traumatized nurse is in charge.
But how can a nurse escape trauma in a system that creates traumatization? How can that nurse practice nursing in a way the creates safety for herself and for her patients. So many nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are struggling to find the answer to this problem.
The demands of the present healthcare system have been likened to those of an alcoholic. The good news is that we know from years of experience that the family system of an alcoholic can be healed when families work the 12 Steps of AA. And now, those same 12 Steps have been adapted for healing healthcare.
The Twelve Steps of Healing Care©
Healing is a natural process available to everyone. It is an experience of feeling whole in spirit, body, heart, and mind. It is the awareness of our deep connection to ourselves, our patients, the universe we live in and, most importantly, to the Divine. Our body’s innate wisdom is awakened as we reclaim lost parts of ourselves and integrate them back into wholeness. Our capacity for health and healing is increased and our ability to create healing environments for our patients is strengthened.
The study of these simple steps is essential for progress in our ability to provide healing care. The principles they embody are applicable to all nurses, whatever their personal spiritual beliefs and wherever they practice. We strive for an ever deeper understanding of these Steps and we pray for the wisdom to apply them.
- We acknowledge that we work in a field of trauma and that it affects ourselves, our patients and their families.
- Believe that the Healing Power of the Universe, a power greater than ourselves, seeks to express Herself (Himself/Itself) through us for the healing of those we care for.
- Open ourselves to the Healing Power of the Universe and allow opportunities for Her (Him/It) to express Herself (Himself/Itself) through us.
- Conduct a compassionate assessment of all obstacles in ourselves that diminish our ability to provide healing care.
- Share the results of the assessment of our personal obstacles with the Healing Power of the Universe and with a trusted colleague or mentor.
- Ask the Healing Power of the Universe for help to heal our personal obstacles.
- Seek to remove all obstacles in ourselves that diminish our ability to provide healing care and rob us of the joy of nursing.
- Identify all practices, policies, procedures and programs that stand in the way of our ability to embody healing presence and provide healing care and we are willing to change them all.
- Make timely improvements to all of these practices, policies, procedures and programs so that the Healing Power of the Universe has greater opportunity to flow through us and affect the lives She (He/It) has entrusted to our care.
- Continue to make complete and thorough personal and professional assessments of our care and where healing care is diminished, we promptly strengthen it.
- Seek to deepen our conscious communication with the Healing Power of the Universe, praying only for the knowledge of Her (His/It’s) will for healing in the world and the strength to carry it out.
- Inspired by the results of these steps and with the help of the Healing Power of the Universe, we resolve to be instruments of healing, recover the joy of nursing and fulfill the sacred trust that our patients place in us.
Nursing is a Sacred Trust…and because we are the answer to the prayers of our patients and their families we strive to honor that trust in all that we do.
Bio: Kathy Allan RN, HN-BC, HTCP/I, SEP
Kathy is the Founder and Chief Encouragement Offer of Trauma-Free Nursing which offers a fresh approach to healing. She is a Board Certified Holistic Nurse who served as an instructor in the Healing Touch Program. In addition to Healing Touch, her energy medicine studies have included Rosalyn Bruyere’s Energy Medicine Training. Her trauma studies include graduation from the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute where she serves as an Assistant in their practitioner training program, the two year Touch Training For Psychotherapists, and two programs for healing developmental trauma: NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) and NeuroAffective Touch (NAT). To learn more about Trauma-Free Nursing ™ fresh approach to healing visit: https://traumafreenursing.com/