Our Stories: More than interesting…essential!

By Peggy Mark, system vice president, chief nursing officer

“Story makes the implicit explicit, the hidden seen, the unformed formed, and the confusing clear.” – Chou & Huang (2013)

Next year we celebrate the 200th birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.  Her work and her spirit form the foundation of our profession. There is still so much more to learn. 

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820.  As a young woman, and against her parents’ will, Florence made the decision to dedicate her life to nursing.  When she was 34 years old, having already proven herself as a strong nurse and effective leader, Florence was asked to organize a group of nurses and go to Turkey to care for the sick and injured British soldiers in the Crimean War.  Conditions there were deplorable, with many soldiers dying of disease and infection.  From 1854 to 1856, Florence and her team of nurses radically changed the environment, the care and the face of nursing forever. 

While clearly understanding the importance of cleanliness, sanitation, nutrition, hydration, warmth, light, touch, education and caring, Florence Nightingale was most likely the first nurse to recognize the essential nature of reflection and the importance of storytelling. Sharing stories could heal the patient’s spirit and the nurse’s spirit as well. 

Florence’s story is just one story that changed our lives forever. Every one of you has a story that will – in some way, big or small – touch every one of us. We want to hear from you about you.

I am excited to announce the kick off of “Why We Care”, a new opportunity for nurses, PCTs, HUCS and all direct patient caregivers to share your stories. We want to hear why you chose your profession in the first place, what you enjoy about your work, and what you love to do when you’re not at work.  Your unique story will help us all build stronger relationships, deeper insight, additional knowledge, better resilience and most importantly, greater joy. With the amazing partnership of Ben Sutherly and Jason Benning from our marketing and communications team, along with the incredible talent and enthusiasm of our own NICU nurse, Josh Lumpkin, you can hear our first story today! 

Going forward, Josh will be taking the lead in gathering our stories. You may see him walking the halls of your hospital heading to an interview. Please welcome him, help him find his way – and let him know if you have a story you would like to tell.

Two hundred years ago, Florence Nightingale said, “I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.” One of the best ways to rejuvenate and sustain our heroic work is to stop for a moment and share our stories.

Let me know if you would like to share your story (mwmark@premierhealth.com; 937-499-9073).

Back to the November 2019 issue of the Nursing Newsletter

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