• The Anatomy of Story

      Badger, Terry A.; Reich, Jennifer L.; Koithan, Mary; Reed, Pamela; Badger, Terry A. (The University of Arizona., 2011)
      The current and estimated future shortage of nurses presents a threat to the health of both nursing professionals and those in their care. Stress and burnout are contributors to turnover among nurses and needs to be addressed.Story as a potential self-care strategy has the potential to promote health and wellbeing among nurses, which may increase satisfaction among nurses and decrease turnover in the profession. This study used a qualitative descriptive design with content analysis to: 1) describe the use of story and story sharing/telling in nursing practice, and 2) describe how story contributes to the nursing workplace.Findings revealed that stories are inherent in the practice of professional nursing. Nurses share a common bond and connection through sharing stories about the nursing profession. This connection spans generations, care settings, specialty, levels of education, training and experience.Nurses also use story as a way of remembering and processing information and to teach and mentor each other through the experiences they encounter in work settings. This sharing on the job and outside of work settings is more memorable and valuable to nurses than what they learn in the classroom or through textbooks and case study presentations.Story creates ease for nurses through validation of shared human experience. When an individual feels heard both the storyteller and listener benefit from the understanding that is gained from the exchange. The greatest barrier to this exchange within nursing practice is time. Nurses believe that there is a limited amount of time due to the complexity of the work environment, demands on their time, and the structure of the healthcare system.This study provided empirical findings for what has been theorized with respect to story and nursing. Nurses use story in their daily work and personal lives. The findings of this study provide support for the use of story to promote wellbeing in nurses and to improve environments in which nurses' work. Directions for future research would include the development and evaluation of programs for nurses that incorporate story into education and for self-care.