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'The value in being valued is immense in an under-staffed profession'

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I was recently nominated for a staff achievement award, and for the second year in a row, I didn’t win (always the bridesmaid!). 

sian rodger

sian rodger

However, it was nice to have been nominated and my trust put on a special event for staff to attend.

The event made me think about the importance of being valued in your job, what makes me feel valued and how I value my colleagues. So I asked myself: what I can do to make my colleagues feel valued?

As a senior nurse, I am not always ward-based for a whole shift, as I often have to attend various meetings and patient appointments, so it is important to me that my frontline staff feel supported in their roles.

Looking at all the people who work on my unit, it struck me that we cannot maintain a successful unit without any one of the domestic staff who keep wards clean. This helps reduce risk of infection to our admin staff, who organise practically everything for our mutlidisciplinary team.

We are all needed to give the patient a smooth journey from pre-admission to discharge and beyond.

For me, being truly valued at work is not about being nominated for a staff achievement award but seeing the difference I make to my colleagues and my patients.

Taking the time on a busy shift to ask a junior nurse how they are getting on and if I can help them with any of their patient care, giving them the opportunity to talk when they are finding it hard going and reflect on a situation that they were unsure of.

“I have been privileged to find out about the lives of the people I work with”

I have noticed how just smiling and asking how other members of staff are –  and really listening – can increase morale, which in turn benefits patients.

Through changing the way I communicate with others and taking the time to talk to all members of the team, I have been privileged to find out about the lives of the people I work with.

I love being a nurse and am saddened that a high number of newly qualified nurses leave the profession after a short time, so the value in being valued is immense in a profession that is under-staffed. However, expectation of service remains the same – if not higher.

I want my colleagues to thrive and have a career they are proud of.

For me, communication and listening is key – acknowledging when it has been a tough day at “the office” and celebrating the fantastic work we do as a team day in, day out .

That said, like many other nurses, the greatest sense of value comes from our patients – when we have made a difference to their patient journey, helping them through challenging health issues. 

Although sometimes it may feel like a thankless task, just that one “thank you” makes it all worthwhile.

Sian Rodger is health coaching nurse facilitator at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre

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