Guest post written by Kelley Peterson. Kelley serves as a full time journalist for Solaris Hospice and helps develop the narrative for end of life care as well as preserve patient and family stories.
I am a list-maker. Anything and everything that I can write down on a clean sheet of notebook paper satisfies me, but I can’t just make one large list of several different departments. Each category must have it’s own headline and nothing can be misspelled. Perhaps that is my perfectionist mind-set kicking in, but behind every human, is a mind reeling with reason.
Therefore, I have a reason that I am addicted to lists. I am constantly worrying I will forget something important or forget what comes next on my agenda for the day. At times, I simply have ideas that I like to write down. The true concept of my list however, is not the list at all. In fact, I tend to remember everything I’ve written down and hardly ever forget something important.
I believe my sole purpose of obtaining a running list is merely an outlet to express my perfectionism. But, the art of perfectionism is sometimes a truly remarkable insight into a person’s mind.
Within Solaris Hospice, no matter the job title or task, I’ve noticed that I make several lists each day. Today, however, I realized something. It’s not about the job we do. It’s about the people we affect by completing such tasks. By simply marking off a task on my many lists, I am affecting the lives of employees, physicians, families, and most importantly, our patients.
Behind every Solaris patient is an entire Solaris family. Some of us work directly with these people and families in the field, but others like me are behind the scenes. No matter the job we are assigned to do, we must always do it with the mind-set of a perfectionist. If we remind ourselves daily that our simple notes, lists, and appointments are always for the better of our Solaris family, we will always succeed.
Each day is a new opportunity to become a better caregiver. Today, I challenge you to find an outlet for perfection. Just as I make lists, find something you can use to perfect your work ethics. And at the end of each day, remember to think of how simply creating a list can affect an entire network of people. Remember that while a nurse sits with a patient in pain, what we do behind the scenes can still make a huge difference.
We do not always have to be perfect, but we do have the responsibility of striving for it.