Yet for me, it represents something far more critical–it is the final step in the nursing process. EVALUATION is the finale–or maybe the revamping of your care plan.
Since we are talking healthy living and fitness, your care plan is really your plan of care. If you have practiced due diligence–thorough assessment, diagnosis, realistic planning, AND implemented your plan, you are ready to see how it’s working for you.
Was inventory/assessment of my lifestyle accurate? Did I diagnose my situation correctly? Did my plan work? Was it too ambitious or not ambitious enough? Did something keep me from implementing it? EVALUATION is the phase in which you will answer these, as well as other questions which surfaced.
If your plans fell short of expectation, what needs to change? Do I need to get up an hour earlier to exercise? Can I leave my children with the sitter another 20 minutes, to walk–better yet, run around my favorite park? Even if you don’t complete the trail or park, 20 minutes of exercise at the end of your work day before heading to the sitter–differentiates stressed out mom from a revitalized one (I know this from experience).
Commitments are strange. Many of us make these covenants in good faith–MOSTLY TO OTHER PEOPLE. Unforseen circumstances aside, we manage to keep them. Even if it means we are mildly to decisively inconvenienced, who wants to be known for breaking their word? Why then, is it ok to break trust with yourself?
Working as a nurse, caregiver to my late mother, and later as a mother myself, two recurring lessons come to mind. There were many; but these remain the most pervasive as well as evasive. I have found that illness & sickness are not necessarily synonymous; and if you don’t know how to care for yourself, you really can’t care for, or about anyone else. The latter may sound a bit trite, and REALLY selfish. I know you’ve heard it before. Yet as with most of my posts, I include my results.
Nursing treats the human response to illness. That’s what separates our discipline from medicine. Because of this distinction, and because we are with the patient consistently–we witness what family, friends, and physicians do not. What is that? Human capacity and response. Illness isn’t usually a choice (though we may be major contributors to it). For example, how many of us have awakened with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, and low-grade fever, yet still go to work? We feel ill–but refuse to be handled by it. Sure we may treat our symptoms–Tylenol, cough drops, or other OTC medication. Yet we go on. Need further distinction between these apparently interchangeable terms? See my last post under “A little strength training please…”
Caring for oneself is not really common; and in many instances is looked upon with disdain. I’m not really talking mani-pedis, spa treatments, shopping, or a day of “pampering.” These have their place; but there is more to taking care of yourself. However, you have to want more–more than a temporary fix.
I have found–both personally and professionally–that refusal to be handled by any situation, begets a change. This doesn’t mean you have license to be demanding, caustic, or insensitive to the circumstances. It means seeking alternatives. If your PLAN fell short in EVALUATION, don’t be handled by it, change it.
The nursing process is a dynamic one; ever evolving–never stagnant. It is upgraded, re-thought, and revamped constantly. It is what takes the PLAN of care from process to progress.
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.
Need specific help with your fitness plan? Staying on track? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org