It’s easy as a nurse at times to lose sight of the positive impact we have on our patients and their families.
When you are on a busy ward, theatre or clinic every day the routine of providing consistent, high quality care provides very little time for reflection. That’s why it’s important on occasions like Nurses’ Day – and last week’s International Day of the Midwife – that we all take at least a moment to celebrate our contribution to the community we serve.
You’ll see from the decorations around the hospital that we’ve also decided to mark, in the NHS’ 70th year, how far the nursing profession has progressed in that time. Our work has always been at the forefront of the NHS and it always will be. When you become a nurse, you are not only starting out on a promising career, you are joining one of the most trusted professions in the world. It is a job where no two days are the same and the possibilities for development are endless.
Nothing makes this clearer than simply spending a bit of time observing or talking to nurses in areas of the hospital you don’t normally see.
Recently I went over to Ellesmere Port Hospital to see their End PJ Paralysis campaign and I ended up spending time with our Dementia Nurse Specialists and some of their patients in Memory Lane.
Apart from giving me a chance to have long conversations with patients again, which I always love doing, it was just amazing to see how our team’s expertise and caring nature really helped those living with dementia to engage and talk passionately about their past experiences. Our talks ranged from war stories, to what was on the radio and what desserts they most enjoyed as youngsters. Getting these patients dressed, away from their hospital bed and in great company really helped their personalities to shine through and it also summed up why End PJ Paralysis is so important.
To our dementia team everything they did may seem simple and part of their routine, but it was truly a pleasure to watch them in action and see the difference they were making. It’s not just the dementia team that evokes that sense of pride though – I get it wherever I go across the hospital.
As the Royal College of Nursing are using the ‘#ThisNurse’ hashtag on social media for Nurses’ Day this year, I encourage all of our community to think about nurses who have made a difference to them. There will also be an opportunity on a stand in our main reception for visitors to write down messages on post-it notes acknowledging what they love about nursing.
Help to break that daily routine by giving them a reason to stop, smile and celebrate all they do.