Nurses are not great at rewarding themselves for hard work. Nor are they very good at accepting praise for doing a good job. “Caring” is just part of the job you’ll often hear them say. However, this year nurses have gone above and beyond impressing even the likes of Boris Johnson, during the English Prime Minister’s COVID admission to hospital. Though they probably won’t ask for it, nurses deserve some serious self love and here 5 reasons why.
Looking after yourself and your mental health as an agency nurse is imperative to prevent burnout but to also increase resilience and control over your life and all its moving parts. But sometimes we need a reminder to concentrate on ourselves and that’s exactly what the month of October is. It’s Mental Health Awareness Month! Now is the time to focus on you and what is really important.
You’ve been wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) all year
Though most nurses are thankful and even feel lucky to have continued access to PPE, it doesn’t make wearing it from 8-12+ hours a day easy. The elastic straps from the N95 masks itch and the sweat and grime which gathers under masks and face shields cause painful pimples and rashes.
Sounds familiar? We give you permission to fill your online shopping cart with hydrating face masks, expensive exfoliants and nourishing moisturiser to make you glow and feel clean again!
You’ve probably worked more overtime than you ever had before
How many times has the ANUM or NUM looked at you with those eyes over the last few months, asking if you’d do some overtime? Probably a fair bit and it’s hard to say no when resources are so stretched.
Give yourself the permission to enjoy a long sleep in during a day off or before an afternoon shift. Don’t feel guilty if you haven’t showered and it’s 1pm. And give yourself a breather if you just want to shut the blinds and watch an episode of Emily in Paris in the middle of day!
You’ve been on the frontline
While the public has been told to socially isolate, not touch each other and to distance themselves from others in order to stay healthy, nurses are on the frontline everyday fighting the invisible but relentless opponent that is both contagious and harmful, particularly in those who are vulnerable.
It’s due to this bravery and courage that nurses deserve the best piece of cake, the coldest drink and the best seat in the house at the reunion party when isolation rules are relaxed. Go ahead - spoil the nurse in your life (or ask to be spoilt) because my goodness they deserve it.
You’ve been their rock, support and family when their family couldn’t
It’s heartbreaking to see (and to feel) the emotional pain and turmoil patients and their families experience when they can’t see each other at the bedside due to COVID. Patients are having to go through the toughest battles of their lives surrounded with equipment and strangers instead of their loving families.
Having to step in and effectively become a persons next-of-kin is a frightening privilege. Am I doing enough? Can the person feel the love I am trying to convey from their families?
Nurses, this emotional experience is humbling but confronting. Give yourself time to feel, reflect and be comforted yourself.
You haven’t seen your friends and family in months
This year, your “work family” has probably been your only social outlet. Due to social restriction rules at the beginning of the year you haven’t been allowed to see your family or friends especially if they’re interstate or overseas meaning the only chance you have to physically see another human is probably at work. Though technology through video calling has enabled us to connect like never before, we still crave hugging and connecting with those we love. Savour the time you have with your family and friends. Have a laugh and enjoy each other's company. It goes a long way to putting you in a great headspace!
In the Year of the Nurse, it’s now clearer than even the power of the nursing workforce. phenomenal men and women risking their lives and those of their families to provide care, comfort and support to those enduring their own crisis. You’ve worked hard and it’s now time for some self love - don’t be shy now.
Co-Founder The Other Shift