Friday, June 26, 2009

The Nurse as Coach

Life coaching has become big business, and now health and wellness coaching is hot on its heels as the next big wave of wellness for the masses. So, why would a nurse make a good coach? What would give a nurse an edge when it comes to coaching willing clients through the process of getting well, maintaining wellness, or increasing one's aptitude for health, wellness and well-being?

Nurses are trained to examine patients/clients in a holistic manner, taking into consideration myriad aspects of an individual's "biopsychosocial" self. From the beginning, nurses are trained to look for areas of both strength and weakness, and nurses are then taught to assist patients in learning new skills which will allow them the maximum amount of independence and quality of life possible.

Coaching and nursing seem to be a match made in Heaven. Coaching is all about helping people to maximize their health and well-being, create a wellness plan, be held accountable for their actions, and produce concrete results in their lives.

As a case manager and a visiting nurse, I have worked with the sickest of the sick, those with multiple life-altering illnesses, and underserved inner-city populations struggling with cycles of poverty, poor health, chronic illness, substance abuse, and institutionalized racism. On a personal level, having removed myself from that front-line world for more than year, I am now ready to work with the well, with those who are motivated and anxious to improve their health, those strongly desiring to take their level of wellness and personal well-being to the next level. Coaching seems to be one of the ways to do such work, and it feels like the right fit at the right time.

Nurses are coaches, for all intents and purposes, and grafting professional coach training onto a nurse's education seems to be a fail-proof avenue to create a new way to make a meaningful living in the world while serving others. If there are any readers out there who have had a positive (or negative) experience with a health and wellness coach, I would love to hear about it. And if there is anyone who would like to experience coaching with me for a very low introductory rate, I am very willing to work with any person committed to their health and open to engaging my services as I power up a new and exciting vocation.
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