‘Hello. My name is Stevie and I’m the nurse working with you today.’
Nurse. I get to say ‘nurse’ now. The first time I had to write that on the patient information board next to the bed, I took a moment to let it sink in. I get to be a nurse. Someone hired me as a nurse. That’s amazing. And terrifying.
Stepping onto the ward for the first time, in full uniform, complete with sensible shoes, my name badge and my ‘pickpocket’ nursing pouch, I had a moment of feeling completely happy. A moment of ‘this is where you’re supposed to be’. I want to bottle that feeling – that feeling of being at home, at peace and utterly content with my small place in the world. I want to always remember how that felt. I know there are going to be times in my nursing future where I’m not going to be able to feel that way, but I’m glad I feel it now.
Mental health nurse Helen Hedges looks at a new approach to the emotions triggered while working as a nurse – Emotional Intelligence.
Nursing staff often experience emotional exhaustion from being givers in the health care setting – an unwritten rule is to be kind and caring at all times. There is an expectation of being fundamentally able to handle every shift’s workload, to be an educator, to be a productive leader, to be a manager. And there’s an organisational expectation of being able to deliver the best patient care and outcomes.
Today, Lily seeks advice. Please offer your thoughts in the comments below.
I am currently employed in mental health and have been for the past three years. I have been attempting to transition into general nursing for over two years now and have been actively applying over the past six months for general nursing positions, but keep getting told that I do not have the relevant clinical experience.
When I request feedback on my applications or discuss this with workforce managers in a number of major teaching hospitals, I get told that employers are only interested in nurses with general experience or who are in the new graduate program.
A Canberra woman has complained to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme about the treatment of her elderly mother in a nursing home. Amongst her complaints was the quality of the food, which had directly detrimental effects on her mother’s health – she was dehydrated and her diabetes spiralled out of control. Some nights dinner for the resident would be two party pies and a banana.
As a nurse or midwife, how do you cope with witnessing trauma and traumatised people? That’s the question Antonia asks today, seeking advice from other nurses. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
Antonia writes: I spent 13 hours in ED yesterday with only a 20-minute break. Working alongside doctors and nurses who worked the same hours as me for half as much as a plumber gets.
How can I relate normally to anyone after this? Paranoia sets in, because we cannot meet the demands of people who look to the government to provide the support a community would give, except that there is no community that most damaged people will access, because community means sharing and tolerance and working for the connection to the spirit that drugs give them instantly.