Mental health staff nurse
Being a nurse is not just a job, it is an identity. You can’t leave a hospital and not be affected emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. Everyday we are faced with new situations, people and challenges. We need a space for our voice to be heard, shared and valued.
We need to reflect and have the support from other professional expertise and experiences to learn, not only as individuals but as an organisation.
Continued professional development is crucial but equally continued personal development is also as important. It takes confidence, character and commitment to ensure we deliver high standards of care to all of our patients as well as care for ourselves and our own lives.
Personal and professional strengths and weaknesses will develop through connecting with people from all over the world who want to inspire, engage and learn.
Social media is now ingrained in our daily lives, our phones are rarely out of our hands when we have a free minute. The internet is easy to access and the best way to engage in topics of interest with likeminded people. I have only recently joined Instagram, however in such a short space of time I have been inspired and empowered by the health and well being improvement tips people have shared.
Professionals working in care often sacrifice their families , social and health. But we do it because it’s who we were meant to be, and have chosen to help others selflessly.
Sometimes the balance of life and nursing takes it toll and you doubt if you can sustain the constant challenges, but I truly believe with the right platform, community and support we can achieve great things together and make a positive difference to the lives we share this space with.
What a story, I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks. You should be so proud of yourself for you’re strengths, determination and commitment to not stay in a situation that you are not happy in. You believed in yourself when many wouldn’t have. You struggled instead of merely just surviving. Such an inspiring story from an incredibly brave woman. I have worked within the nhs for only 8 years but I know that the best nurses are the ones that have had their own hardships. They somehow know how to genuinely connect with others and offer the best understanding and kindness. This skill and quality cannot be taught in universities or on wards. It’s through stories like this that will encourage genuine people who want to care for others into the field of nursing.
Perhaps we are seeing less people with such empowering stories because the university degree is getting too academic. Caring for others is not complicated it just has to be to provided by people who simply whole heartedly care.
Congratulations to you.
Thank you for sharing this amazing journey you have been on and may you continue to help and inspire others to do the same.
Comment on: Learning from family and nurse narratives
I have just read the Francis report. It clearly and concisely highlights the systematic failings of the nhs culture and identifies why it’s happened. Unfortunately we all know that this is not an isolated case, and in many wards we are faced with the same challenges. I for one was completely inspired by this article as it gives clear guidance on how we as individuals and as an organisation can improve care in our wards.
Unfortunately I was disappointed to read the comments but I was not shocked by the responses. I have recently wrote an article with the aim of proving care on my ward that cares for patients with dementia. My suggestion for positive change Involved “key workers” being responsible for the health and well being of a smaller group of patients. Nurses key working with the same patients all day will have time to compassionately meet individual needs. Staff will be able to build therapeutic relationships with patients as well as their families and this identified focus would improve trust and communication by this simpler approach. Nurses will be responsible for monitoring, documenting and liasing with the MDT.
However, Like some comments that I have read on the nursing times, I have been faced with the same negative attitude. Staff are unable to adapt to the increased demands of the nhs, and allowing their grievances to affect patient care. I hear too often that bad practice is down to being short staffed, yes of course it is a factor, But it’s not the main reason. Compassion is a quality and not a skill that can be taught, but with the right support, monitoring systems, commitment and clear leadership, high standards of care can be still be delivered under pressure.
The most important tool a member of staff can bring to a ward is the right attitude, and with that our teams will have a greater sense of belongingness and be able to work more effectively. Staff are often too concerned with tasks rather than care due to direct pressure from managers who are focussed on audits, saving money and targets. Deligation of these kinds of responsibility’s could also definitely be better allocated.
As a mental health nurse, I have heard only positive feedback from staff and patients about the care in the 1990’s, perhaps it is time to look back and return to a simpler yet more effective therapeutic model. This was a time when nurses were allowed to be nurses to care whole heartedly and not have to reduce their time spent with patients to do duties that they are not passionate about, for example “audits” just one example of an administrative task that office staff are better suited for. Combining two separate jobs and allocating nurses to do it has resulted in not only poor record keeping but low moral and poor standards of care.
Wow, what an inspiring message for students and nurses who are wanting to make a difference
Congratulations and good luck
I absolutely agree with this artical and believe therapeutic engagement is the best approach when caring for patients with dementia. However not everyone working in this field, mainly whom have been in this setting for many years are able to embrace the new evidence base research. “Old school nurses and new school nurses” have very different ideas of approach and this causes challenges. Offering antipsychotic medication is the quick fix for relieving the symptoms of agitation but it also contributes to patients losing cognitive, emotional and physical function.
Hospitals are full and understaffed. Consultants are under pressure from both sides, the gmc advise to reduce the amount of psychiatric medication, however without the right model of therapeutic intervention they know that they have to prescribe the medication to reduce the risk and suffering of their patients.
Practical training for staff who continue to use out of date methods should be made a priority. More focus on how families can take an active role in the involvement of caring for their loved ones in hospital settings would be beneficial.
Volunteers who have had experience in their personal life and are compassionate about wanting to improve the lives of others would have a positive impact. I would also welcome all singers dancers and entertainers who love to show case their talents on to our wards to brighten up the lives of patients and families.