Two issues that are major players in the nursing world are loss and grief and lateral violence (aka nurses eat their young). For new nurses, these can be problems that make or break a career. For those who are burned out and having trouble coping with caring for others, it can be a major turning point as well and not always for the best.
Author Amy Glenn Vega has provided two terrific nursing novellas to illustrate these issues and how one hospital core unit copes with them. Led by their nurse manager, Donna, the staff grows and learns together how to improve their own situations as individuals as well as how to come together as a TEAM and support each other.
Vega is not a nurse, but she has experience in the world of health care and she captures the characteristics and behavior oh so well. In Lions and Tigers and Nurses, Vega leads the reader through a very typical scenario of lateral violence between the older, ready to retire nurse and the newby who can’t do anything right or please her preceptor to save her life! After an inservice on lateral violence, each begins to see how their own behavior feeds into the situation and with the careful guidance and persistence from their leader, the whole staff learns some valuable life and career shaping lessons.
In Broken Heart, Vega brings to life the topic of grief and loss and the many forms it tak es on in the lives of nurses. From caring for aging and dying patients, to personal losses as well as sudden death. In order to help our patients deal with these crises, nurses also have to learn how to cope and maneuver through the various stages of death and dying.
Both books offer nurses a glimpse into how to improve their own careers and situations as well as to earn some CEUs in a new format. The books are easy to read with lots of dialogue. I’ll guarantee you can find someone similar to a nurse you have known in these characters and be able to identify with the situations described.
Using storytelling as a teaching tool could be a great way to bring some harmony to your staff. These books might make a great holiday gift for someone who needs a special message about their behavior or a message for your nurse manager about how to help with issues on your unit?
They are both great reading for any new nurse struggling with whether to stick it out or find something else to do.