In this episode, Karen and I talk about mentorship, relational practice, the importance of community and connection and her incredible journey in nursing that started through experiences as a patient. Karen is one of the most incredible people I know and I can’t wait for you to learn more about her.
Karen Lane is a Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Instructor with nearly 20 years of experience as a healthcare provider, and many years of lived experience as a patient. She has worked almost exclusively in the area of mental health and addictions where she has provided care to diverse populations of individuals and families and worked within a range of multidisciplinary teams. Karen holds a Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Nursing from the University of Calgary where she studied the impact on family systems of a mental health diagnosis.
More recently, Karen has been teaching as a clinical instructor with Athabasca University in their Nursing program within the Faculty of Health Disciplines. In her teaching, she is focused on relational practice in an online environment, and providing trauma-informed education. She volunteers as a mentor with the University of Calgary’s NurseMentor program, and also as a member of the Nursing Advisory Committee for Woods homes. She is a wife, mother of a 6 year old daughter.
Listen in as we talk about:
[1:55] The most significant experiences from Karen’s journey in nursing
[6:25] How being a patient influenced Karen’s approach to being a nurse
[10:50] What prompted her shift from clinical nursing to teaching and mentoring
[15:55] Educating nurses on burnout
[20:35] Using relational practice and trauma informed education with her students
[22:40] The positive impact her approach has had on her students
[34:55] The power that comes with sharing your story
[40:15] Karen’s favorite teacher
[41:55] What Karen is most proud of
Connect with Karen:
- LinkedIn: Karen Lane https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenlanecalgary/
Connect with Tiana:
- Website: https://tianafech.com
- LinkedIn: Tiana Fech
- Instagram: @tianafech
- Facebook: @tianafech
- Book: Online Course Creation 101: A step-by-step guide to creating your first online course
HOW BEING A PATIENT INFLUENCED HER BEING A NURSE
“The professions that attract those who are very heart-led give it their all; they invest all of themselves in it.”
Karen’s personal experience as a patient has profoundly influenced her approach to working in the field of nursing. Having gone through her own health challenges, she has developed a deep sense of empathy and understanding for individuals struggling with their well-being. Her journey allowed her to appreciate the importance of vulnerability and the need for support during difficult times.
She recognizes that when individuals are unwell, they require not only medical care but also emotional and psychological support. Her perspective has led her to value holistic care, acknowledging that health issues can affect various aspects of life.
Karen’s privileged upbringing, with access to exceptional healthcare facilities, loving parents, supportive friends, and accommodating teachers, has made her acutely aware of the disparities in healthcare access. She understands that not everyone has the same advantages she had, and this realization has driven her to seek out and address gaps in care.
As a nurse, Karen is dedicated to providing compassionate and personalized care, taking into consideration the unique circumstances of each patient. Her commitment extends to working towards equitable healthcare access for all, ensuring that those without the same privileges she had are not left behind. In both the fields of nursing and teaching, Karen recognizes the importance of delving deeper into an individual’s life, understanding the broader context of their well-being, and fostering an environment of curiosity and empathy in her practice.
EDUCATING NURSES ON BURNOUT
In her role as an educator and mentor in the field of nursing, Karen frequently addresses the critical issue of burnout among her students and colleagues. To initiate these conversations, Karen emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and open space for dialogue. Many of her students are practicing nurses pursuing advanced degrees, and their busy work schedules often leave little room for discussing the challenges they face. Karen’s seminars and discussions provide them with the opportunity to share their experiences and feelings, fostering a sense of validation. She acknowledges the multifaceted demands placed on her students, including work, family, and academic responsibilities, emphasizing the need for self-care and stress management.
In addition to personal strategies for combating burnout, Karen underscores the significance of situating the issue within a broader systemic context. She highlights the systemic factors within healthcare and education that contribute to burnout, demonstrating that it’s not solely an individual failing. By contextualizing burnout within these larger frameworks, Karen helps her students recognize that it’s not a personal failure but a shared challenge. This broader perspective allows her students to explore methods for managing burnout, both within and beyond their control, and to develop strategies that align with their unique needs and circumstances. Karen’s approach not only promotes self-awareness but also fosters a sense of community and collective resilience among those she educates and mentors.
USING RELATIONAL PRACTICE AND TRAUMA-INFORMED EDUCATION WITH HER STUDENTS
Karen implements relational practice and trauma-informed education in her teaching, creating a dynamic learning environment. Her course includes live video conferencing, pair work, and online forum discussions, encouraging student engagement. She emphasizes trauma-informed care, teaching her students to approach patients with empathy and create safe spaces for discussion.
Furthermore, Karen builds personal connections with her students, acknowledging the challenges of online learning. She values their contributions and approaches sensitive topics with empathy, helping students navigate complex subjects. Her dedication to inclusivity and support positively impacts students’ learning and well-being.
- What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? How to write
What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? Great Bear Rainforest, B.C.
What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently
Book: Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
Book: Lessons in Chemistry Your Goals by Bonnie Garmus
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? Her grandparents and Florence Nightingale