My journey toward health began 4 years ago when I took a job doing chronic care management in a primary care practice. My duties are varied, and include aspects of patient education, case management, medical social work, health coaching, care coordination, transitional care management and patient advocacy. We risk stratify all patients, and I follow the highest risk patients longitudinally. Early in this job, I realized that my lack of self-care in many areas put me at risk for becoming a highest risk patient myself later in life. Also, my obesity and lack of healthy habits diminished my credibility with patients and physicians as someone who could coach/assist people towards health.
In late 2016, when I read the information on the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge, I was energized to begin taking action towards becoming a healthy nurse who walks her talk with patients. I’m a member of the American Holistic Nurses’ Association, and have always believed in the adage, “healer, heal thyself,” yet needed the extra motivation and support of HNHN. I began with diet changes leading to an 80 pound weight loss in 2017. I read about Transcendental Meditation (TM) on the HNHN website, as one technique for mind/body health and stress/fatigue reduction. This led me to take the TM for Nurses training, and begin a practice of TM in the summer of 2017, earning 23 CNE credits in the process. TM has improved my quality of life in multiple ways, and supported me in my physical health goals.
In 2018, I’m moving on to fitness, and other quality of life goals that will make me a more balanced, centered, resilient person. I joined the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study in Dec. 2017 so that I will have accountability in 2018 toward my goals. Thanks to HNHN for inspiring and supporting me on a journey towards health!”
Marcia Free, BSN, RN, CCRP
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