Long shifts, no breaks, not enough time to think of a sandwich, much less eat it - that’s the lot of a nurse. But Beyond the Bedpan’s not one to moan - you put your feet up and tell us how your week’s been
Are we back here again? Seems all you lot want to do is talk about how stressed you all are and how hard you work. Actually, we suppose you’re right to be a little concerned this week after reading stories like “Stressed nurses’ heart attack risk revealed”, “Heart disease linked to overtime” and ““Nurses age three times quicker than other professions ”.
OK, maybe we made the last one up, but it’s only a matter of time before a study proves it.
So what can you do to combat all this stress and *whispers* hard work? A bubble bath? Some relaxing whale music? Perhaps a stiff drink? A group yoga session in the park?
Well it’s not far off. One article suggested that taking a leisurely walk at lunch might help you to relax. You seemed to think the author was living in la la land. One bemused reader asked: “When would a ward nurse ever get the time or chance to take a brisk walk at lunch? Half the time we don’t even get lunch”. Another thought that exercise was a little low down on the list of priorities: “Erm if I’m lucky enough to get a full 30mins I need to eat love…not walk; I’ve been doing that all flipping morning on the ward!”
Just how stressful is being a nurse? Less stressful than a bomb disposal expert? More stressful than a chocolate taster?
Online ranking site shareranks has a comprehensive list that we feel sheds some light on the matter. It ranks nursing as number eight on its list. Just above the President of the United States.
Interestingly, being a “murse” - which is what male nurses are called, apparently - only makes it to number 14.
But never mind just feeling the stress of your shift, it seems that most of you can’t agree on how long these stressful shifts should be to begin with. It appears this is a topic that just won’t, erm, finish it’s shift.
One commenter said: “A mixture of early, late and day shifts in one week, with night shifts thrown in at random, do nothing for our health and wellbeing, never mind the work life balance.” Another agreed: “Sleep days should be re-introduced, it is soul destroying to finish nights on Monday morning and have that as your day off.”
One person asked the £50 question: “If nurses and students are working like dogs are they able to provide the highest quality of care to their patients?”
So nurses and murses, is it more important that staff are happy and healthy or that patients are looked after properly? Can you have one without the other?
Beyond the Bedpan has it easy, of course, we breeze into Nursing Times Towers once a week, spew some words onto the internet and then flounce off to have a G&T and a sit down. But we think we’re alone.
Long shifts, overtime, emotionally and physically draining work, ever increasing workloads and more and more responsibility take their toll. How can you be good at your job when you’ve got all that to deal with?
But at least one person has their priorities right. “Some of these comments are pathetic and so badly written as to be incomprehensible. This reflects on the image of the entire nursing profession and many of those working in it.”
Smarten up your act, nurses, it doesn’t matter if you’re knackered and in bad health. Always spell-check.