Nursing From Within - Check out Elizabeth Scala and her new book.

Elizabeth Scala has been a nurse since 2005, working as a psychiatric nurse, community wellness nurse, and research fellow. Currently, she works as a holistic entrepreneur as she helps nurses make the inner shifts so that they can fully enjoy their external environments. She recently published a book called Nursing from Within – see details at the end of this post.

What do you love most about nursing?

I love how flexible it is. As a nurse you can do any and everything. Even in my own short-lived career, I have already had three different roles. And now, being a nurse entrepreneur- well, the sky’s the limit! The nursing profession really is very flexible. If you find yourself in a role you no longer enjoy, you can do something about it and still remain a ‘nurse’. Making changes, learning new things and enjoying a nursing career are all choices at our fingertips. I love the ever-evolving role.

 Tell me your biggest pet peeves about nursing.

I guess it would have to be the ‘lack mindset’. I see nursing as a highly fear- based profession. I always hear things like “We don’t have enough resources. There isn’t enough time. We don’t have staffing.” Don’t get me wrong; I used to say these things too! And through my own journey of healing, I have come to realize that mindset creates perspective. To me, the nursing profession as a whole embodies a fear-based mindset and therefore prolongs this lack mentality thinking. 

 What throws you off balance about working as a nurse and how do you know you are out of balance?

In terms of nursing, nothing at this time throws me off balance. Yet, in my own life, I know I am off balance when I am feeling cranky, overwhelmed or stuck. I am very aware of my own energy and this awareness helps me realize I have a choice in regaining balance.

 What brings you back into balance?

I have a whole host of self-care practices. Many of them I do on a daily basis, so there really is no ‘out of balance’ or ‘in balance’ for me. However, if I am really far ‘off’ it is usually because I have not had enough sleep or am taking on too many ‘tasks’ that are unnecessary. Going back to listening to my true heart’s desires and saying ‘yes’ to what I want and need brings me back into balance.

 What advice would you give to new grads starting out?

Be yourself. The interesting thing about being a nurse is that we are rarely alone. While the support can be a good thing, it can also have a negative side. Sometimes nurses can fall victim to ‘group think’. When this happens we lose our sense of self. Our true identify can become stifled. The one thing I encourage is that you remain true to your authentic self. Listen to your heart. Follow your gut. Be the nurse that you want to be.

Nursing from Within™ is an innovative and uplifting guide for nurses at all levels of the profession. Learn how to shift your inner perspective so you can enjoy the work of helping others, regardless of how stressful or challenging the environment you are working in may be. Are you ready to rediscover the joy and passion of nursing? ‘Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds’ is available now. Get your copy today by visiting Elizabeth Scala’s site, or purchase directly from Amazon

When CPR Annie died, I had a lot to learn.

I met Roberta in the early nineties when she told me I failed to save my patient Annie.  It went something like this:

 

photo by Nicki Dugan Pogue

photo by Nicki Dugan Pogue

Eileen:  “Shock 360 joules, Epinephrine 1mg, CPR, stop compressions, check for a pulse, no pulse but she has a rhythm, she’s in sinus bradycardia.  Give Atropine 1mg.”  Roberta: “Sorry, you didn’t save her.”

 I was sweating, petrified and humbled, along with everyone else in my first Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) class.  Roberta had a clever and effective teaching style. Luckily my patient Annie was only a mannequin.  Lesson learned.  I still remember, whether you call it EMD or PEA, a rhythm without a pulse gets treated like Ventricular Fibrillation while you put your detective hat on to find the underlying cause. 

 So since she is such a smarty-pants…seriously, she is the smartest nurse I know.  I thought I would interview her for the blog.

Here is what Roberta has to say:

How long have you been a nurse and what areas of nursing did you or do you currently work in?

I have been a nurse for 35 years. I have worked in the critical care, oncology, and PACU.

 Tell me your biggest pet peeves about nursing.

Seeing nurses working who do not care about their patients’ outcomes or about the quality of care they provide. When I hear things like “I don’t care about the quality metrics or patient satisfaction” I get very sad.

 What do you love most about nursing?

Having the privilege of caring for patients in some capacity during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives.

 What throws you off balance and how do you know you are out of balance?

Tight deadlines. I am committed to quality work and do not work well under tight deadlines. I need time to deliver a quality product. I know I am off balance when I get frustrated that I cannot deliver the quality of a product that is possible if I had a bit more time.

What brings you back into balance?

Time and time off, particularly when spent scuba diving.

 What advice would you give to new grads starting out?

Be patient with yourself. Do not expect to be the expert on your first day (or even your first year.)

Ask questions over and over again until you understand the answer. Do not settle for mediocrity - Strive for excellence.

If you are taught the right thing to do and see others not doing the right thing, question it (in a kind and gentle way.)

Trust your gut; you are probably right

photo by Derek Keats

photo by Derek Keats