As an RGN, I am fully aware of the physical and mental impact the role can have. Nursing comes with a great sense responsibility and can impact the lives of others immensely. Shutting off after a twelve-hour shift is proven to be very difficult, which I am sure many would agree.
A new study carried out by the Nursing Times has revealed that nine in ten nurses are feeling much more anxious than normal. Clearly this report is focusing on the current pandemic, however, is now the time we should always be looking at supporting our amazing nurses? Regardless of the current issues, nurses across the board are dealing with life changing decisions and responsibilities daily. undertaking tasks such as carrying out palliative care to an individual, whilst trying to mentally prepare a family member. No words could ever come close to what you witness and feel in a short space of time. I for one, am not ashamed to say nursing does affect my mental health quite often.
I think it is important sometimes to step back and remember, nurses are not robots…. these people are human beings with their own difficulties. These are the people facing the same difficulties as some as their patients, however as a professional these feelings are expected to put shut off at the start of a shift and brushed under the carpet.
After reflection is believe now is the time, we start looking at supporting our amazing health care professionals and understand it does not take a pandemic to acknowledge that they are heroes. The elderly lady you sit with and give up five minutes of your time too – you are a hero! The young man with severe burns too his face who feels alone, thinking that he will never find love, five minutes of your time will change this person’s outlook on life for ever. So please, if you are a health care professional, have a friend or family member who is, take some time with them. Ask them if they are OK and please, talk to each other.
Looking after your mental health
The mental health charity Mind has published a helpful guide about how to look after your mental health as a nurse. You can read it in full HERE.
RCN demands long-term fix for nursing workforce
The RCN has called for the Government to take a long-term view to support the nursing workforce. Read the full article HERE.