using Ch 3 ( https://connect.springerpub.com/binary/sgrworks/76…, ), Ch 4 ( )
1. Reflect upon why you chose to pursue a career in nursing.
2. Think about and describe what makes you feel good about your work. (I am a pain management nurse in an outpatient facility)
3. What is the “science of happiness?”
4. Discuss the 4 pillars of a meaningful life.
Part 2: Please respond to the following discussions with substantial detail that provokes further discussion.
Discussion 1: Samantha
1. I became a nurse because I knew I wanted to help people and could support myself while doing so. I had a soft spot for the geriatric population after caring for my grandfather in the last years of his life. This is what drove me to want to further my career as a Nurse Practitioner for the Adult Geriatric population. I love that this career provides opportunities to work in different areas of the medication field and with different populations. Also, I knew working with the public would create the opportunity to have a rewarding career in making a difference in someone’s life every day. I also always loved learning new things and nursing is a field that is dedicated to continuing education.
2. There are a few things that I can think of that make me feel good about my day to day work. First and foremost, having the ability to educate patients on their medications, diet, and activity level to help them keep blood sugars in control can be so rewarding. Seeing a newly diagnosed diabetic patient with an uncontrolled hemoglobin A1c make the suggested changes and follow up in 3 months with an improvement in A1c and overall feeling better is what makes me feel good about what I do and the help I can provide. Another thing that makes me feel good about my work is now working in an outpatient practice where I follow patients for years and can help them through the good and bad parts of life with their diabetes care. The last thing that comes to mind is when Type 1 diabetes patients join our practice after being followed by a pediatric endocrinologist for years, they go through a transition. Initially, their parents are very involved in their care and then as they become more independent, they eventually start to come to appointments alone and really take charge of their health and it is wonderful to see.
3. The American Psychologist Association President psychologist Martin Seligman chose his theme of his presidency to investigate and research what makes people happy. The article entitled “The New Science of Happiness,” by Claudia Wallis reviews the research that was conducted, and data collected on what creates happiness. The findings were surprising based on what most people would think would lead to happiness such as wealth or career. The occurring theme from each study was human contact and relationships are what causes the most happiness, (Wallis, 2005).
I found the study conducted by Nobel-prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman most relatable. The study utilized a new tool for measuring happiness and created a list on the data collected the top 5 positive activities included: “sex, socializing, relaxing, praying or meditating, and eating,” (Wallis, 2005). Researchers found it surprising that women did not have taking care of their children higher on the list based on the findings of a previous poll where 35% of women states their children/grandchildren brought them the greatest happiness. Personally, I do not find this surprising. I would think the positive activities that create my happiness allow me to be a better mother and enjoy the time I have with my children. I feel that taking care of my needs helps me be a better caregiver in general.
4. According to the TED talk speaker Emily Esfahani Smith, the four pillars of a meaningful life are belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling. The sense of belonging in relationships where you bring value and feel valued. This can be in all relationships throughout one’s life but is important to feel this sense of belonging in at least one. The second pillar is purpose; the sense of purpose is not only in what you do for a living but, as Emily Esfahani Smith states, it is not about what you want out of life but more about what you can give throughout your life. The third pillar is transcendence or feeling connected to a higher power. I know I feel transcendent when participating in my religion whereas someone else may experience this when doing something that they love, such as painting. The final pillar is storytelling. I was surprised by Emily Esfahani Smith’s definition of storytelling as a pillar as I assumed it was allowing someone the ability to tell their story, but it is rather the story that you tell yourself about yourself. The wonderful thing about storytelling is the ability to make changes in your life to edit your story or change it.
Overall, I found this Ted talk to be informative and inspiring to live a more meaningful life.
Discussion 2: Diane
1. As I mentioned in my intro that nursing is actually my second career. My passion was always in healthcare. At young age I was always chosen to be partner with new students to get them adjusted to their new school environment. It matter to me that they felt comfortable and happy to come to school. As I got older life took over and I ended up into the finance world. I was good with customer service and developed the skills to listen and have patience with people. When the opportunity presented itself, I resigned to follow my passion. Although currently I am in administration, working at the bedside and caring for the patients were rewarding to me. I still have the same passion and care for the patients and their family members but at a slightly different capacity.
2. Since I work in nursing home the majority of the patients become long term residents so you tend to develop a rapport with them and their families. Even in my first career I tend to show empathy for situations that the customers were going through and tried to find different ways to assist them so not only would they have a better banking experience but decrease some of their stress. In nursing I have kept the same behavior when dealing with family members and patients. The only difference now is that I feel more comfortable and satisfy in my career. As Todaro-Franceschi (2019) explained that if you are content at work then most days you should not have any ill feelings about going to work (p.38). I feel for the most part that I do not dread going into work or feel like calling out sick because I do not feel like dealing with the staff, my peers and patients. Although I work on dementia unit, working with the recreational team to develop ways to keep the patients encaged makes me feel good about the work that we do. Also working with the recreational team, we both have a common goal much like when Todaro-Franceschi (2019) discussed the teamwork that was needed to address the patients’ wishes (p.38) which resulted in purposeful action because of the compassion we felt. Granted the majority of them would not remember the next day or the next hour but at the moment seeing them get excited over a game of bingo or doing arts and craft is a good feeling. At times their behavior is difficult and they are not easily redirected so when they participate in activities, it distracts them from having outburst. The families that are either participating or observing them get to create or have memories that have positive moments. This makes me feel good because the patients get to have a better quality of life even though they might not remember the moment but at least their families will. Todaro-Franceschi (2019) discussed that besides being content that individuals that are self-actualizing demonstrates creativity which plays a factor as well (p.40). Based on that explanation, I would say that I am a self-actualizing person and content with my career choice.
Todaro-Franceschi, V. (2019). Compassion fatigue and burnout in nursing: Enhancing professional quality of life (2nd ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
3. This article provided examples of different psychologist’s view points and the tools created on how happiness can be measured. Wallis (2005) discussed that psychologist Martin Seligman invited a couple of other psychologists to meet with him in Mexico because he wanted to perform a deeper dive as to what drives people to feel happy. Ray Fowler and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi were both invited and after a week, they decided that there was enough material to promote positive psychology. Wallis (2005) explained that Seligman found that if someone had optimistic trait, they would be found with being happier. Wallis (2005) discussed that Seligman was also interested in a tool created by Edward Diener to measure the different levels of happiness. Seligman wanted more attention to be made put on the tool as well. Wallis (2005) explained that Seligman put a conference together to discuss positive psychology. Seligman and other researchers also believe that performing acts of kindness and gratitude would increase a person’s happiness. Wallis (2005) mentioned that psychologist Robert Emmons agreed that gratitude exercises can be beneficial to one’s happiness. There does not appear to be one specific response to the science of happiness. Wallis (2005) discussed that happiness is subjective and the science contains a mixture of pleasure, social involvement and meaning. The author ended the article with suggesting to the reader to perform a gratitude exercise like being grateful and spreading kindness to see if any of the researchers found what might improve one’s happiness.
4. TED (2017) discussed that happiness by itself does not equal a meaningful life. The speaker in the TED video, Emily Esfahani explained that belonging, purpose, transcendence and storytelling accumulatively defines the meaning of life. Esfahani discussed that the sense of belonging stems from love and the importance of being value but also to ensure that you value others. She explained to pay attention to acts of kindness that normally can go unrecognized such as when someone offers to pay for something and you reject their offer. Even though it is not intentional to hurt the person’s feeling but rejecting their offer makes them feel bad. The second pillar discussed was purpose. Esfahani explanation was similar to the article written by Claudia Wallis. Wallis (2005) discussed that if you matter to someone else, it can make you feel as though you have a purpose and Esfahani explained that serving others can help you feel as though you have a purpose. Esfahani explained that purpose can be found from a negative experience and sometimes over time the negative experience can change the person’s perspective of themselves and then they can find their purpose. The third pillar discussed by Esfahani was transcendence. Esfahani explained that transcendence do not happen as often but when it does it you are not paying attention to where you are. Esfahani went on to explain that when you are focus on what you are doing at that precise moment, time does not exist when in transcendence. Lastly, Esfahani called the fourth pillar storytelling. Esfahani explained that the storytelling is from the individual perspective of themselves and their life. She discussed that storytelling can be used to bring clarify to the person’s life because they are telling their own story to themselves. Esfahani explained that using the four pillars instead of searching just for happiness, you can find a more meaningful life.
Discussion 3: Angelica
1. I often find myself questioning why I decided to become a nurse. Most of this questioning comes about during a hard shift. As I reflect, I chose to pursue a career in nursing because I genuinely care about people and wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. I felt that nursing was the best way to provide care because we are the ones closest to patients. We provide constant hands-on care, and we get to see how our interventions play out.
2. I feel good about my work when I can actively see a difference in a patient from when they are admitted to when they leave the hospital. When I know I had some kind of positive impact on their path to wellness makes me feel that my hard work (and sometimes my unhappiness) is worth it all. It is especially rewarding when a patient tells me they can tell that I really care about what I do. Sometimes, I feel like I get so caught up in checking off tasks that I don’t come off as caring as I intend to be. However, when a patient makes a point to comment on my work, it is much appreciated and definitely gives me a mood enhancer for the rest of my shift.
3. The “Science of Happiness” is new research regarding what makes us happy. Originally, researchers had mainly concerned themselves with all that ails the human mind, including mental illness. However, the focus has switched to the conditions that make human beings flourish (Wallis, 2005). It was discovered that general things like wealth and good education do not actually increase our happiness.
Researchers have been met with many challenges while trying to understand our happiness, what makes us happy, and if we can get happier. Several tools have been created over the years to measure happiness. However, they are often met with challenges because happiness is a subjective emotion. Nonetheless, the most fundamental finding from the science of happiness remains that almost every person feels happier when they’re with other people (Wallis, 2005). It comes down to looking inward at our own selves and discovering what gives us joy.
4. The four pillars of meaningful life according to Emily Esfahani Smith are belonging, purpose, transcendence and storytelling. Belonging is being in a relationship where you are valued for who you are, and you value the other person for who they are. You genuinely have a relationship and you’re not just in a group because of how you look or something you might like. Belonging is a choice, and true belonging springs from love. Smith relays, purpose is less about what you want than about what you give. Purpose is using your strengths to serve others. For instance, as nurses, we use our compassion and empathy to take care of those during times they can’t take care of themselves. Transcendence is when you are lifted above the struggles of daily life and you feel connected to a higher reality. As Smith relays, this can be done through writing, through religion, or through art. Finally, the last pillar is storytelling. This refers to the story you tell yourself about yourself. Its creating a narrative to help you understand what made you become you. The good thing about storytelling is that we can change the way we tell our stories and interpret them differently than how we felt in the moment experiencing them.
Seeking the four pillars of a meaningful life are what creates our lives. While we try to understand and give meaning and purpose to ourselves, we end up finding ourselves and understanding what makes us who we are and what brings us joys.
Expert Solution Preview
As a pain management nurse in an outpatient facility, I have chosen to pursue a career in nursing because I have a strong desire to help people and make a difference in their lives. Additionally, my personal experience of caring for my grandfather in his last years of life and witnessing the impact that healthcare professionals can have on individuals and their families further solidified my decision to enter the nursing field. Nursing also offers a diverse range of opportunities and the ability to continue learning and expanding my knowledge through continuing education.
1. Reflecting upon why I chose to pursue a career in nursing, it is ultimately my passion for helping others that led me down this path. The opportunity to be there for someone during their most vulnerable moments and to provide care and support is incredibly rewarding. The geriatric population holds a special place in my heart, and being able to make a difference in their lives through my work as a Nurse Practitioner for the Adult Geriatric population is fulfilling.
2. As a pain management nurse, there are several aspects of my work that make me feel good. First and foremost, being able to educate patients on managing their pain and improving their quality of life brings me a great sense of satisfaction. Seeing the positive impact of lifestyle changes, medications, and therapies on patients’ pain levels and overall well-being is incredibly rewarding. In addition, working in an outpatient facility allows me to establish long-term relationships with patients, providing ongoing care and support. Witnessing their progress and being a part of their journey towards better pain management is truly fulfilling. Lastly, seeing patients take control of their health and become more independent in managing their pain is a wonderful experience. It demonstrates their growth and resilience, and it reaffirms the importance of the work that I do.
3. The “science of happiness” refers to the field of research that explores what factors contribute to individuals’ happiness and well-being. It aims to understand the psychological processes, behaviors, and environmental conditions that promote happiness. The science of happiness encompasses various disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, and positive psychology. It seeks to identify evidence-based strategies and interventions that can enhance happiness and overall life satisfaction.
4. The four pillars of a meaningful life, as discussed by Emily Esfahani Smith in her TED talk, are belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling. Belonging refers to the sense of connection and acceptance in relationships and communities. Having meaningful and valued relationships is crucial for happiness and fulfillment. Purpose involves having a sense of direction and meaning in life, which goes beyond personal achievements and focuses on contributing to something greater than oneself. Transcendence is the ability to connect with something larger than oneself, whether it be through spirituality, nature, or creative expressions. Finally, storytelling refers to the narrative individuals create about their own lives, shaping their perceptions, and influencing their actions. Being able to edit and change this narrative allows for personal growth and the creation of a meaningful life.
Discussion 1 – Samantha:
Samantha’s reasons for pursuing a career in nursing resonate with many nurses. The desire to help others and make a difference, combined with the opportunity for continual learning and growth, are common motivations in the nursing profession. It’s inspiring to hear how Samantha finds fulfillment in educating patients and witnessing their health improvements. Her experiences with diabetic patients highlight the importance of patient education and empowerment in achieving positive outcomes. By addressing the patients’ needs and promoting self-care, Samantha ultimately enhances their overall well-being and quality of life.
Discussion 2 – Diane:
Diane’s journey from finance to nursing showcases her unwavering passion for healthcare. Her ability to empathize with patients and provide compassionate care is evident in her approach to working with patients on the dementia unit. The impact she has on patients and their families through recreational activities demonstrates the importance of enhancing quality of life even in challenging circumstances. Diane’s ability to find satisfaction in her work and collaborate with the recreational team further solidifies the idea that teamwork and a shared sense of purpose contribute to a positive work environment. Her dedication to creating positive moments and memories for both patients and their families is a testament to her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
Overall, both Samantha and Diane exemplify the passion and dedication that nurses bring to their work. Their experiences highlight the importance of empathy, education, and teamwork in providing high-quality care and promoting the well-being of patients. Through their narratives, we see how nursing can be a fulfilling and rewarding career choice.