Tapping Into Our Nurse Within


By Elizabeth Scala

Being that we are in the healthcare field and surrounded by the practice of medicine all day- I bet you come into contact with as many “teachers” as I do. As nurses we are teaching all day: educating patients on their medications, instructing family members how to do dressing changes, training brand new nurses how to work beside us. If you’re a nurse- there’s a “teacher” inside of you.

I’ve gone through quite a bit of education myself- undergraduate, graduate, coaching certifications, Reiki trainings. I’ve studied under many teachers. I’ve looked up to and listened to and been advised by and tutored to. But recently I am realizing- I haven’t gotten as acquainted with the one teacher who has all of the answers.

When you go through certain types of training- you start to train under one mentor, as I have for certain things. You may have heard of the terms: guru, swami, expert. You may have studied under one person or seen others live a lifestyle of tutorship to a mentor or guide. Well, I’ve had an interesting experience with this that I feel is relevant to nursing and our practice as professionals.

Without boring you with too much detail, I’ve felt a sort of push-pull relationship with one of my own trainers. Sometimes this person is available, other times they are not. They answer my emails and then they don’t. The other day we were scheduled to train together and suddenly I was cancelled on. I started feeling disappointed, let down, invisible, and unworthy.

During the month of February, I decided to take a much-needed break from my work. My time was spent reading, writing, listening to music and performing self-Reiki. I was slowing down and getting to know myself. I would journal about each of my experiences and learn from things that were occurring. I decided to put this into practice the other day after my teacher had unexpectedly cancelled on me.

What did this mean? Why was I upset by it? How could I learn from it?

And you know what I came up with- I came up with what I am sharing with you in this article about nursing, teaching, and our work as caregivers.

So often we are out there teaching everybody else- as I mentioned above, teaching our patients, their families, our staff, our own loved ones, etc. And so who teaches us? Quite often we turn to external sources of information or other people for answers: finding resources in books, listening to lectures, and asking other people for help.

What I am proposing is that we are nurses. We have those inner teachers, who so lovingly and professionally teach our clients. We have our inner wisdom. Why not teach ourselves?

This has been one of my “lessons learned” from this time of reflection I have engaged in and continue to enjoy. Yes, it is necessary to have supports, guides, and teachers in our lives. But let’s not forget that there is one teacher who has the key to unlock all of the answers for you: yourself.

Please share a comment below on some ways you have tapped into your own inner teacher. What has helped you listen to your inner guidance? How do you sort through all of the extra noise and information to really hear the wise teacher- the nurse- inside of you?