At this time of uncertainty, when the whole world is dealing with the unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak, our hospitals are busier than ever. But community healthcare is also pushed to its limits, Nursing homes are feeling the strain, and Health Care Workers are working round the clock to support patients.
We are the Front Line in the battle against Covid-19.
Being responsible for the wellbeing of everyone from patients to ourselves, our families and loved ones, is both a huge responsibility and a huge burden to undertake. NHS staff are putting their own lives and those of their families at risk to care for those affected, and now it is more important than ever to look after ourselves, so that we can continue to look after others.
To give this some perspective, following the ‘Your NHS Needs You Appeal’, many newly retired nurses are being asked to come out of retirement, all of whom will be expected to work longer hours that they would normally be permitted under normal circumstances, to battle the escalation of the virus.
So to avoid burnout, we are going to need to dig deep and demonstrate exceptional resilience in order to respond to the inordinate amounts of pressure, physically, mentally and emotionally that we are being placed under. And we also need to look after ourselves and follow some practical advice.
Staying Safe Under Pressure
- Take regular breaks – get outside and into the fresh air if you can
- Don’t forget to eat well and stay hydrated – you can’t look after others if you don’t have any energy or strength
- Switch off when you get the chance and sleep as much as you can
- Cleanliness is Key – leave a bin bag by your front door so that you can strip and place your clothes into it as soon as you get home from a shift to prevent any further cross infection – wash everything you wear and yourself thoroughly after every single shift
- Take off any jewellery before every shift and tie your hair up to reduce the spread
- Try and keep active, any physical exercise will help not only to boost your physical wellbeing but your mental health too
Whilst it is so easy to overlook these things as we battle with increasingly heavy workloads and staff shortages, it really is vital. Failure to look after ourselves during this time will most certainly make workloads, and staff shortages even worse if we end up unable to work ourselves. Whilst the governments continues its appeals for everyone to stay at home, to save lives and protect the NHS, we must remember that’s it’s also our job to look after ourselves.