The Psychology Of The Nurse
The mind can be as definitely developed and strengthened as the body.
The man who has suffered for years an organic disease will never have
the same force as he who has never been seriously ill; but his
constitution can be built up and made as efficient as possible within
its limitations. Many a man or woman who has an organic heart disorder,
through treatment and the proper exercises gradually increased, can very
approximate through many years the output of a normally strong
person. The individual weakened by a tuberculous infection can
frequently, by following a prescribed regimen for a time, by wise,
scientific diet and rest treatment and the help of the out-of-doors,
then by carefully increased physical activity, finally live the useful,
average life. But it takes scientific care to evolve the weak body into
a strong one; and in some cases, at best, it can never stand the same
strain that the uninjured one carries with ease. However, even damaged
bodies can be made very productive within their limited spheres. Also
the naturally perfect physique can quickly become unfit through neglect
or infections or misuse.
In the same way, and just as definitely, can the mind be developed and
strengthened. Some are by nature keen, alert, brilliant. They may
develop into masterfulness; or they, too, may degenerate, through abuse,
or from the effect of body infections, into uselessness. The germ-plasm
has foreordained some individuals to psychic disorders; but training and
mode of life can modify many of these defects. And the average mind,
like the average physical organs, can be made more efficient through
partaking of the proper mental food, through careful training and wise
No more urgent necessity faces the professional woman than this of
training her mind to its highest productiveness. Argument is not needed
to convince intelligent people today that the accomplishment of life
depends upon mentality.
Let us look into the very A, B, C's of mind development, and as nurses
undertake to equip ourselves to master our profession from the ground
up. The first essential is ability to think clearly.
Steps to Clear Thinking:
1. Accurate perception, with attention to the thing that reason chooses.
2. Association of ideas.
3. Concentration, acquired by the help of emotion and will.
4. Emotional equilibrium, which refuses to allow feeling to obscure
judgment by leading reason astray.
6. Automatic habits, which free the mind of all unnecessary crowding.