As a nurse, sometimes it's very difficult to balance our professional development and our personal lives.

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As a nurse, sometimes it’s very difficult to balance our professional development and our personal lives. The factors mentioned above are part of the duties that a nurse has to attend to and is still expected to balance it with their professional development and family concerns. As a nurse, I attempt to make a conscious effort to incorporate ethics, social justice, public policy, global health, and current public health concerns as a part of my nursing practice. There are some areas that garner my attention daily such as ethics and social justice because I encounter patient issues related to those concerns more often. However, when truly reflect how I’m involved in public policy, global health, and current public health concerns I realized that I haven’t acknowledged my efforts.

Ethics is very important part of any nurse’s practice. I exhibit ethics by practicing HIPAA every day. I never discuss patients’ situation on social media or have inappropriate conversations in areas or with individuals that would comprise the patient’s identity. In my personal life, I assist my family and friends navigate the healthcare system.

Social justice I practice daily by ensuring all patients whether they have private insurance, or state insurance receives the same competent and compassionate nursing care. I also champion for the vulnerable populations because they either lack the resources, education, finances, or family support to overcome health disparities. In my personal life, I don’t support any retailers, designers, or food chains that support racism, sexism, discrimination, or sexual orientation. It may be a small thing but it’s important for me not to support those who don’t support others.

While I’m not active in any public policy committees at work, this is quite different in my personal life. I have worked on presidential campaigns that were in alignment with my views about healthcare. I’ve contacted my Congressman about my apprehensions about policies that I disagree with then applied peer pressure to other people in my life to make telephone calls as well. Alverno has made me more aware that I need to become more active in public policy at work. These policies are being made by business people who are not aware of the impact these changes have on the patients.

Out of all the areas mentioned global health is my weakest. I’ve always admired nurses who volunteer their time to help provide care to people who are in a healthcare crisis half-way around the world for example Ebola or Sars. This is something I’ve always wanted to do once my life was settled, maybe I will have an opportunity. Before I’m able to volunteer during a global health crisis I need to investigate more opportunities to learn about global health and how I become active.

At first, I did not recognize how I integrate that latest public health concern into my private and nursing practice until my son fell ill on Thursday. This past winter was the worst Influenza season we had in years. I’m the Flu champion at my facility my responsibilities include estimating how vaccine to order for the elderly, children, pregnant women, and regular healthy adults ages 18-64, making sure all the employees are vaccinated by a certain date, making sure all the nursing stations and reception desks are supplied with masks and hand sanitizer. In my personal life, I ensure my family members received the flu shot every year, encouraged them to stay home from work and school when they are sick, encouraging good hand hygiene, and wearing masks when they are sick.

During the last seventeen months, Alverno has helped me developed a global perspective and effective citizenship that I was unaware was absent. I’ve learned about the impact of social determinants of health on populations and health comes.

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