Sometimes, no – all the time – I feel devoid of creative thought, as a nurse. I go to work, do my job, come home,  and then…what? Multiple days off in a row without a consistent amount of people and activities to fill them with can get…confusing? It’s as though the insane productivity that I feel at work can’t be matched – or even hinted at – when I’m not. I spend a lot of my time alone, which is nice in comparison to the chaos of the unit, but I’ve been finding it difficult as of late to break out of the walls of my immediate experience. Creatively, all I can think of and reproduce is exactly what I see. Is this a side effect of being a nurse, or is this because I’m not looking, working, striving, enough creatively?

Personal life aside, this has been something I’ve pondered about nursing as well — the lack of creativity. I’m not saying I’m unhappy with my job, I’m saying it lacks the opportunity for me to create. Creative problem solving is a huge part of what it takes to be a nurse, but I hate to say it — different ways to calibrate a monitor for effecting blood pressure measurement or how to effectively contain feces in a bag to keep it from exploding don’t really rank high on my creative “boast list.”

I read a book recently about Buddhism. In a discussion about work, it said that all jobs/work should contain three elements: beauty, good and gain. Nursing definitely has good and gain (it benefits others, and pays me money), but I’m have a bit of a hard time trying to find the beauty in it.

Not the beauty of helping a patient survive a terrible illness, or assisting a family in the mourning of a loved one — I’d describe that more as good — I mean beauty, like…how it felt for me when I admired the print copy of an ad campaign I had made for the health department I used to work at. Or, the creation of an effective student-run clinic that I organized to increase the capacity of a free clinic where I volunteered. The beauty of creating – that is what I miss, and am looking for.

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