How long have you been a nurse do you currently work in?
I’ve been a nurse for 20 years and work in neurology and neurosurgery unit.
Tell me your biggest pet peeves about nursing.
All the systems we have in place that prevent me from having the time I need to connect to the patient at the bedside.
The amount of waste hospitals create and the lack of interest administration has on minimizing the carbon footprint.
The punitive approach administration uses to communicate with nurses.
When physicians avoid having end of life discussions with patients.
What do you love most about nursing?
The connection I can make with another human and the difference I can make in easing their suffering!!
What throws you off balance and how do you know you are out of balance?
I feel tension and anxiety in my body. I have less patience with others and can be quick to anger.
What brings you back into balance?
I do yoga 3 times/week and I sing with a group one evening a week.
Writing – it is an important creative outlet for me. I love stories and working as a nurse gives me plenty to write about.
Alison took her nursing stories on the road and opened up the world of nursing to the public. She was a huge hit and had many sold out performances in San Francisco, throughout the country and into Canada.
If you missed it, you can still buy her DVD. Trust me; your friends and family need to see this because she captures the life of a nurse with her humor and truth.
watch a clip of Alison here http://www.nursealison.com/Alison_Whittaker_VITAL_SIGNS/About.html
What advice would you give to new grads starting out?
Nursing skills are important but remember to connect with your patients. I feel that taking care of patients is a practice. I have to continually remind myself to be present with my patients.