Wanted to share the two of my favorite speakers that were at this years Edelman conference. The conference was a nurses week gift from our hospital to it’s nurses. Today I’ll write about LeAnn Thieman, author and inspirational speaker. Tomorrow I’ll write about Erik Wahl, amazing painter, who doesn’t sell his paintings, but instead gives them to charity to auction off and raise money.
LeAnn Thieman, author of several books and editor of the Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul, gave a great presentation about work life balance. In order to survive the nursing profession, nurses need to take care of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. She gave some examples: Physical: deep breathing, and exercising-even if it’s just in five minutes intervals; Metal: Positive Attitude and Laughter, she suggested posting a laughter board with funny pictures and quotes so when we are having that bad day, we can go to that board and have a good laugh; Spiritual: Forgiving ourselves and each other and believing in a higher being. It would have been great to have our unit managers on attendance. Nurses love what they do, and want to continue with their profession even as they get older, but the current shift hours are preventing older nurses from staying on. She suggested that hospitals split shifts between an eight or six hour day, thereby allowing those older nurses who do not want to retire the ability to continue working and mentoring the new nurses coming in. Many nurses are retiring because their body can’t take working twelve hours.
LeAnn also talked about her incredible experience of being a part of the Operation Baby Airlift in Vietnam. She was only going in to bring home six orphans. The fall of Saigon changed all that and she was able to bring back over 200 babies back to the United States to be adopted by American families. I purchased and was able to have LeAnn sign two of her books. We left her presentation inspired and revved up to keep working at as nurses, or as LeAnn put it- Nursing: A calling to minister to others.