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15 Things Only Nurses Would Understand

15 Things Only Nurses Would Understand
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Nurses have a highly specialized role in society. They play an integral role in the medical field. It is undebatable that they don’t get enough credit for all the hard work that they do. Here are 15 things that only nurses will understand.

1. Life is fragile.

It is inevitable that we must all die. Yet as often as people pass away, most of us will only experience this tragedy a few isolated times in our lives. Nurses on the other hand deal with death and illness on a daily basis and understand all too well just how fragile life can be.
They get to hear the stories of people who were fine one day and then found themselves laying sick or dead in a hospital bed the next. Being a nurse is rewarding in many aspects, one of which is the daily reminder to say “I love you” as often as you can to the ones you hold dear to your heart.

2. There is power in showing gratitude.

The most amazing feeling any nurse will ever experience is when a former patient or survivor comes back into the unit to say thank you. When you are extremely sick, you will need a lot of care and patience. Chances are your loved ones will not have the time so you will have to rely on the kindness and compassion of nurses.

The best nurses are the ones who go above and beyond to provide the best care even to the most difficult patients. It makes the job all the more rewarding when a patient comes back after getting better to simply say thank you. This heartwarming gesture is a powerful display of gratitude and is one that nurses understand and appreciate all too well.

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3. Health is wealth.

With the majority of people coming sick to hospitals to treat food related illnesses, nurses understand all too well the importance of good health. It is not uncommon for nurses and doctors today to preach preventative treatment to patients by stressing the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. Like the old sayings, “ An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and “Let food be thy medicine.”

4. The importance of listening.

An important aspect of being a nurse is the ability to listen and show empathy. To provide the best care, you must be able to put yourself in the patient’s shoes and feel like they do. While nurses aren’t therapists, they must be able to listen like one. Sometimes the nurse may be the only one around when a loved one passes away, which makes them a crucial asset in delivering any last words or wishes.

5. The many uses for Vicks® VapoRub™.

Vicks® VapoRub™ is to a nurse, what duct tape is to a handyman. Whether it’s putting it in a face mask to relive bad smells in the hospital or rubbing it on sore feet to relieve the pain of being on your feet for long hours, the ointment has many uses that only nurses will know about.

6. Family members will ask you to diagnose them.

When you are a nurse, you probably have family members and friends always wanting to diagnose them.

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7. Nudity is no big deal.

To a nurse, seeing people naked is just part of the day’s job. A nurse learns to see the human body from a clinical perspective. There is only so many times you can give people sponge baths and catheters before you become immune to the novelty of seeing other people’s nakedness.

8. The importance of comfortable foot ware.

Nurses work some of the longest shifts of any industry. They move at top speed for hours at a time. When a patient’s life hangs in the balance, the last thing a nurse needs to worry about is the throbbing ache and pain in her feet. Nurses understand all too well the importance of comfortable and proper foot ware.

9. Caffeine is its own food group.

Nurses rarely find the time to slow down to a hearty meal. They learn to keep the body moving through high caffeinated drinks like coffee and energy drinks, always sipping on the go. Since most nurses–especially those who work in the E.R–don’t have the luxury of allocated breaks and lunches, they more than any other profession understand the importance of caffeine.

10. The joy of seeing a patient recover.

Every job has its rewards and for a nurse it’s seeing people leave the hospital healed. Knowing that you were a key part of the healing process is what makes the long days or nights so worth it.

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11. Seeing people for who they are.

When you see someone with a disease, it’s easy to see them as just their disease–cancer, AIDS, heart problems etc. However, a nurse has to look past the ailment to see the person.

12. There is power in positive thinking.

A nurse knows from first-hand experience the power of the mind. A patient with a positive mindset can often overcome the impossible. In the course of their carriers, nurses will witness personally the awesome power of the human will to live, as well as the mind’s ability to heal the body.

13. The value of insurance.

Healthcare is not cheap. Nurses see and have to treat too many people without insurance on a daily basis. They know too well the importance of keeping your loved ones medically insured.

14. There is no avoiding bodily fluids.

Most people have a definite “gross” factor when coming into contact with other people’s bodily fluids. A nurse will come in contact with pee, stool, blood, snot, saliva, vomit, and other “gross” fluids to varying degrees on a daily basis. Nurses understand that there is no avoiding bodily fluids.

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15. Know when to let go.

Family members of patients want nurses to do everything they can to keep their loved ones alive. While this is the goal, there are certain cases where there is nothing more you can do. Nurses know all too well that, sometimes, there is nothing more you can do and as such must help the patient and their families let go.

Featured photo credit: Nurse with crying baby via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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