Stopping the Life Force Hemorrhage

Emergency nurses shouldn’t accept burnout as their fate.

That was the message from Mary Ann “Cammy” House-Fancher, the featured speaker during the annual Anita Dorr Memorial Lecture and Luncheon. With 45 years of experience, Fancher addressed what she calls the hemorrhaging of life force out of nurses during her talk, “Survive, Thrive or Prevail.”

“Going to work when you’re burned out is like going to hell,” she said.

What, in her estimation, can nurses do to combat this burnout and stop the hemorrhage? Fancher encouraged nurses in the audience to be the best they can be by using the three actions to help keep the passion alive in your life: continue your education such as at conferences like Emergency Nursing 2018, have a mentor or role model you can look up to and become a mentor yourself.

“To live the passionate life, one must live with love,” she said.

In addition, Fancher told nurses to live a healthy lifestyle, starting with an honest assessment of their habits and moods. She posed questions such as: Are you getting enough sleep? Are you in pain? Do you get irritated easily? Are you stressed? Are you overweight? All of these could be signs that you are not properly taking care of yourself, Fancher explained.

“You are the role model, but if you’re giving away everything of yourself, that’s not the best thing,” she said.

She left the audience with the following words of advice: “Learn to love without condition. Talk without bad intention. Give without any reason. Care for people without any expectation. And have a sense of humor.”

Also during the luncheon, the Judith C. Kelleher Award was presented to Col. Gwyn Parris-Atwell. ENA’s most prestigious award is given each year to an ENA member who consistently demonstrates excellence in emergency nursing and has made significant contributions to the profession and ENA.