A nurse recently emailed me the following story that I would like to share with you:
“A man was invited to visit heaven and hell. He first went to hell where he saw a beautiful table covered with wonderful foods. There were long-handled spoons with which to eat the food, and this was the only way you were allowed to eat. The tortured souls wailed and anguished with hunger despite all this food because the spoon handles were too long! He then went to heaven where he saw the same kind of table and the same long-handled spoons. Yet, these souls were quiet and well-fed because they had learned to feed one another with the long-handled spoons.”
In relation to the ICU, every associate comes to our floor with various gifts, tools, and knowledge that impact the patient/family experience. If we only tap into our own resources without gaining assistance from others, we will not just negatively impact and frustrate the patients and families but ourselves, too. We will become overwhelmed, stressed, and fatigued attempting to accomplish the task alone. Contrarily, if we “feed” into each other’s work by offering and providing assistance, we will ease the load for everyone as well as enhance the morale on the floor. Therefore, I leave you to ponder two final questions:
What type of unit do you want to work in: a “hellish” one or a “heavenly” one? How will you use your “spoons” today?