by Wendy Marks, DNS, ANP-BC
Spring is a time of renewal in nature. Flowers and leaves bud and bloom, birds busy to make their nests, eggs are laid, warmed and hatched, bees make hives, migratory birds fly back to northern homes.
Humans shed winter coats and boots and migrate outdoors to take in the warm breezes, air and sun.
The Unitary-Transformative paradigm informs nursing practice that humans and nature are symbiotic. External environments affect body-mind-spirit. Fresh air, the aesthetics of flowers, birds, and nature sounds affect our feeling tones by soothing our senses. Internal environments are harmonized with rest, nutrition, hydration, and happy thoughts.
Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory (2003) can be used as a guide to understand how patients, families and nurses engage in behaviors to promote physical, psychospiritual, and environmental wellbeing by providing relief, ease, and transcendence towards improved health or peaceful death.
Several Comfort Scales are available to help evaluate comfort in different settings.
Here’s a comfort scale designed for nurses:
You might take the test and then ask yourself where you need to seek renewal for yourself as a human in need of caring and comfort.
What are you doing to renew yourself? Are you going to take a walk outside? Smell and feel the warm, fragrant breezes? Hear the chirp of birds and see the new flowers, leaves and bees? Will you surround yourself with others who value peace, kindness, and love?
Make your values as a nurse healer visible and explicitly engage in health seeking behaviors, free yourself from the burdens of heavy coats and boots. Set sail in the Spring time breezes and feel the sun on your face as you enter a new day and transcend all that no longer serves you.
Kolcaba, K. (2003). Comfort Theory and Practice. NY, NY: Springer. www.thecomfortline.com