You may or may not know that today (12th May, in case you don’t know the date! 😘) is international nurses day, so I thought I would write a little post about it.
This date also marks the Anniversary of Florence Nightingales birth, no coincidence there!
I am fortunate socially and through my work as a junior doctor to know quite a lot of nurses, and simply put they are incredible!
First of all, they work incredibly hard (as does the whole NHS), often working long 12-14 hour shifts. I know from personal experience as a colleague that the wards/emergency department/recovery/theatres/clinics are often if not always very busy, and nurses often miss out on breaks and stay late past their shift time. This happens frequently and yet do they complain about it as most people would? Yes perhaps at home to their friends and family they do, but to patients? No, they put a smile on, and get on with giving great quality care to their patients!
Why you might ask? Why would they stay past their shift time or miss out on breaks? That’s a good question, but actually has a very simple answer….. because they care!! They care about their patients and so they frequently put they’re needs above their own. Don’t believe me ask any nurses you know how many times they have not gone for a wee during a shift because they have been too busy!! Yes nurses bladder is really a thing!
They Continue to provide great quality care in spite of the ever increasing pressures and demands on the NHS. Over the 13 years I have worked in the NHS, first as a healthcare assistant and then as junior doctor, I have witnessed the increasing amount of paperwork required, increasing patient numbers and the increasing complexity of treatments/equipment required, without a reciprocal increase in the number of nurses. Through all these changes and increasing demands nurses have continued to deliver quality care. However, without enough nurses and the increasing numbers of patients, quality of care can unfortunately and unavoidably diminish. In these situations, nurses being on the front line as it were take the brunt of patients and/or relatives complaints despite working to the best of their capacity, which not only seems unfair but pretty stressful too.
On a more personal note…
So that’s why nurses rock in general terms, but what about for me personally? Well I definitely couldn’t have coped at times without the friendship, camaraderie or support of my nursing colleagues throughout the years. First as a healthcare assistant whilst in medical school and since then as a junior doctor. Thank you to all the nurses who I have met along the way, especially to those who made me tea in the middle of a night shift when I was exhausted, over whelmed and flagging!
I also recently got to experience the hospital and nurses from the other side, when Austin was taken into hospital with suspected sepsis at just 3 weeks old. The nurses at the children’s hospital were brilliant, I couldn’t fault them at all. They even sat with Austin during the night so I could get a couple of hours of much needed sleep. We all thank you for looking after us all so well during Austins admission.
In summary I just want to I think all you nursing guys and girls do an amazing job, and I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!