Spring is in the Air

Robin on the grass
Growth and Renewal

I love spring. I love the budding and blossoming trees, the sprouting flowers and the return of green grass and landscapes.

I don’t love the rain, but the rain is necessary for growth and renewal. The rain nourishes the living world and is critical for the return of nature that has been dormant.

I’m a complete optimist. I always look for the good in situations and have a positive outlook almost all the time. I vividly remember a year ago thinking that spring was coming, and we’d be done with COVID because the vaccines were becoming available.

Man was I disappointed when 2021 turned into a repeat of 2020, and in many ways was actually worse than 2020 because everyone was tired and frustrated with ongoing public health measures, leaving nurses, healthcare providers and essential workers at risk for doing their jobs, exhausted, underappreciated and traumatized.

The pandemic has resulted in significant research interest in the concept of posttraumatic growth (PTG). PTG is defined as “…positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances” (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004).

Posttraumatic growth has been studied following disasters and highly challenging life experiences, so it’s not a surprise there is now renewed interest in this topic.

In several recent studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, results have demonstrated that nurses have experienced moderate levels of posttraumatic growth (Chen et al., 2021; Mo et al., 2021; Peng et al., 2021).

To understand PTG in med-surg nurses, AMSN is funding a research project to examine PTG in our practice setting.

These studies demonstrated that social support and psychological comfort/psychological support improve the occurrence of PTG. To understand PTG in med-surg nurses, AMSN is funding a research project to examine PTG in our practice setting.

The project will be beginning in the next month or so, and we hope you’ll consider participating. More information will follow on our website and via our newsletter and emails.

We’re committed to the emotional and physical well-being of our members and gathering this data will inform future programs and services for AMSN but will also allow us to focus on evidence-based advocacy efforts on behalf of our members with employers, patients, and legislators.

In much the same way as spring is a time of growth and renewal, our hope is that med-surg nurses can experience posttraumatic growth and flourish professionally.

Chen, R., Sun, C., Chen, J. J., Jen, H. J., Kang, X. L., Kao, C. C., & Chou, K. R. (2021). A large-scale survey on trauma, burnout, and posttraumatic growth among nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Int J Ment Health Nurs, 30(1), 102-116. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12796

Mo, Y., Tao, P., Liu, G., Chen, L., Li, G., Lu, S., Zhang, G., Liang, R., & Huang, H. (2021). Post-traumatic growth of nurses who faced the COVID-19 epidemic and its correlation with professional self-identity and social support. Front Psychiatry, 12, 562938. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.562938

Peng, X., Zhao, H. Z., Yang, Y., Rao, Z. L., Hu, D. Y., & He, Q. (2021). Post-traumatic growth level and its influencing factors among frontline nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Front Psychiatry, 12, 632360. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.632360 

Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15(1), 1-18.

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