A New Year…

What Will 2022 Bring?
What Will 2022 Bring?

CEO's Corner - January 2022

I remember the holidays one year ago. We were disappointed to not see family for the holidays, but we were determined to make the most of it. I remember trying to make Christmas special for my daughter and her friend, who is from the Czech Republic and was unable to make it home to her family for the holidays.

We baked, we bought an enormous Christmas tree, and we zoomed with family and friends. As New Year’s Day approached, I was excited to put 2020 behind us and looked forward to 2021.

I thought to myself, it couldn’t get much worse than 2020, and the optimist in me thought that we’d finally be rolling out vaccines and we’d be putting the pandemic behind us.

I thought to myself, it couldn’t get much worse than 2020, and the optimist in me thought that we’d finally be rolling out vaccines and we’d be putting the pandemic behind us.

Well, here we are a year later, with an even more transmissible variant right around the holidays. This year has been so challenging for everyone, but the toll on our frontline staff and nurses is staggering.

To be clear, there were significant issues in healthcare before the pandemic. What the pandemic did was amplify them to the breaking point. Nurses are burned out, exhausted, depressed, anxious and past the breaking point.

There are no reserves left to continue down the path we’ve been on for the past 20 months. Something has to change, and quickly.

AMSN continues to advocate for you, for your colleagues and your patients. We are pushing for mental health services for nurses, for appropriate staffing, and for the resources you need. We are advocating for system change and accountability, and we’re not satisfied with calls for increased nurse resilience.

AMSN is working on a research study on moral injury. Moral injury is defined as “psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral, and social impact of perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations" (Litz et al., 2009). With this research study we, along with our partner organizations, are seeking to collect stories of moral injury in nurses so that we can identify and address the system level issues contributing to moral injury.

We’re also launching a study of post-traumatic growth in med-surg nurses so we can understand how nurses can recover from the pandemic and find their way back to nursing. If you’re interested in sharing your moral injury story with us, please visit Practice: Research Studies. We’ll have more information on the post-traumatic growth study in the new year, so stay tuned.

I know it’s been a really tough 20 months, I know you’re exhausted, burned out and have very little, if anything, left to give. I hope you had a break over the holidays and spent time with those that bring you comfort and joy. I hope you have some hope left that 2022 will finally turn a corner.

AMSN is with you every step of the way, and won’t stop advocating for med-surg nurses everywhere.

REFERENCE
Litz, B., Stein, N., Delaney, E., Lebowitz, L., Nash, W., Silva, C., & Maguen, S. (2009). Moral injury and moral repair in war veterans: A preliminary model and intervention strategy. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 695–706. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.07.003 

 

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