- Posted by Emma Walsh
- On 27th August 2018
- 0 Comments
- dublin, dublin hospital, general nursing, hospital, ireland, mater private hospital, medical, medicine, nursing
Rounds, patients, doctors, consultants, charts, families, pens, prescriptions, forms, needles, IV lines, AM bloods, PM bloods, rounds, patients, doctors… You see where we’re going with this.
Predictably unpredictable and unpredictably predictable in equal measure, a day in the life of a nurse can be dizzying. And, like snowflakes… there are no two the same. Throw a week of night shifts in the mix and you’re lucky you’re coming out of it alive, never mind your patients. But you have your sense of humour (hang on to that) and a work ethic so ferocious it soars through your veins. You are, in short, a hero.
But, even heroes have their off days. And even heroes need a break from their heroism. If you’re just starting out, the concept of ‘taking a break’ or a few days off might seem completely far-fetched, but in this game, self-care is absolutely vital. You need to look after you, so you can look after your patients. So, if you can’t manage to take time away from the hospital, here’s a couple of things you can try throughout your shift to help you get by.
Let it rain
Hospitals are loud places. There’s always noise coming from somewhere – monitors, phones, pagers, patients – it’s inescapable. And when you finally do get to sit down with that cup of tea, you’re forced to do it surrounded by endless clinical sounds. Not the most relaxing thing. Solution? Take a quick jaunt over to rainymood.com, and pop your headphones in. Within seconds, you will be transported to another world. A world full of beautiful nature, rustling leaves, babbling brooks, chirping birds and rain, lots and lots of rain. It might seem a little strange, but nature sounds, especially rain, can be incredibly soothing and help clear your mind.
Roll with it
You’re laden down and your pockets are always, always full – that’s a given. But you can fit one more thing in there, right? It’s tiny. And it’s called roll-on LAVENDER, a.k.a. the giver of LIFE, dispenser of Zen. If you’re reading this thinking “what I need is a holiday, not roll-on essential oils”, keep the faith and give it a go. Carry it with you for any and all scenarios and any time you feel that stress wave creep over you, pop the lid off, roll it onto your pressure points and float on off to your next patient with your new cool, calm and collected glow. If lavender isn’t your thing, try Bergamot, Ylang Ylang or Jasmine.
Can you remember the last book you read that wasn’t some form of medical journal? You’re hooked, that’s natural. The human body is ceaselessly fascinating and the work that you do is ever-changing, new and exciting. But, like mammy always says “everything in moderation”. Use your spare minutes to focus your attention on something other than work. Seems like pretty easy advice, but you’d be surprised by how consumed you can actually get with your working world, especially when you’re doing hands-on, 24/7 work. That extends to your personal life too – follow any nursing accounts on Instagram? Joined any groups on Facebook? Part of a hospital Whatsapp group? If you’re guilty of these, you need to put the phone down and pick up something, anything else to look at while you’re on your break. Magazines, fiction, back of a cereal box, whatever you fancy, for at least 5 minutes a day. Nurses orders!
Alright. Feeling fierce? Course you are. Pumped up for that next 12 hour shift? Look at you go!