As the summer marches on, I find myself almost as busy as I am during the school year. This summer I have spent time beginning to develop a partnership with a local hospital to help move their nurses through our RN- BSN program and of course there is the obligatory revamping of courses previously taught, and advising students on academic issues and Fall class enrollment. I am also trying to write two articles that I had hoped to have completed before classes commence August 31, but alas one article may be more realistic. The research article on the outcomes from a Reiki class I taught over the summer, may have to wait until Fall.
I still marvel at how nurse educators do so much: teach, research, write, practice, community outreach. I think in some ways we are different from other academic specialties, and there is research out there to demonstrate that nursing faculty tend to work about 25% more then other faculty. We put more time in due to clinical demands, but we also work more over holidays and summer. I wonder how it is that nursing faculty are generally paid far less then say business faculty, and yet we give so much more. Where and how has the idea of “service” and giving perhaps turned itself around on our profession, and lead to feelings of burn-out and stress when we simply cannot “do it all’?
I do want to say that I have been able to vacation, spend time with family, and focus on my self-care even as I have been prepping for Fall. This past week I was so relaxed, in such a place of peace and ease on the lake at our summer home, that I began to be concerned about how I can replicate this state of being during the school year, when demands increase. Do I need to “say no” more often? Do I need to focus on asking for more help? Do I need to be better organized, and more cognizant of my own state of mind and what I need each day to best care for myself? Do I need to “give less”, and if I do so, which areas end up getting less?
If any educators are out there on summer break, I would love to hear about your successes and challenges in this area.