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Lifestyle Nursing

Top 10 Motivational Songs for your Journey to work

Dragging your body to a shift on less than 6 hours sleep that you really wish you didn’t have to go to? Been there. Here are the top 10 motivational songs your journey to work that I would recommend listening to if you need a real moral-boosting-you-got-this feeling to tackle the next 12 hours. To summarise, the songs are arranged to start with gentle motivation and slowly progress until you’ll be so pumped off adrenalin you’ll be ready to face the next Karen who tries to have a go at you. Spotify link to this playlist here: 

The Playlist

The Songs

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty 

To gently ease you into a motivated mindset I recommend I Won’t Back Down as the first song on your commute.

It’s My Life – Dr. Alban 

Slightly more upbeat – a strong second track on the commute. This song perks me up, it’s very useful for when someone asks you why you didn’t train to be a doctor instead.

One Way or Another – Blondie 

This song really puts me in the ‘I can achieve anything and i’m fabulous ??? mood’

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

Moving onto the next track- This song by M.I.A. is just an all round banger tbh, its not too adrenalin stimulating but still upbeat enough to perk you up for work.

Galvanize – The Chemical Brothers

Next, we have one of the more relaxing Chemical Brothers songs. However, it works to slowly increase the energy levels as the playlist develops

Savage – Megan Thee Stallion

Perfect for the pre-work confidence boost!

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

This song should remind you that you can survive anything the shift has to throw at you!

212 Azealia Banks ft Lazy Jay

Upbeat, fast-paced – Just like your 12 hour nursing shift!

9. Pump It – Black Eyed Peas

Clue is in the name, really just a great song to pump you up!

Lastly, we move onto the Kanye song. Above all, this song has a certain focused energy, perfect for the start of a shift.

10. POWER – Kanye West

If this song doesn’t make you feel like you can do anything – what will?

Hope you enjoy these top 10 Motivational Songs for your journey to work and feel like you can face whatever work throws at you after listening to this power playlist!

Categories
Nursing

A&E Covid 19 Story Week 10

Covid-19 and BAME Inequality.

Previously, I have talked about the gender inequalities that wearing scrubs has exposed within the healthcare system. This weeks post there will be a wider focus on Covid-19 and BAME inequality. 

Recently, the murder of George Floyd, a 47 year old Black man, has been brought to the attention of the public eye. Footage has been shared of the (now charged) police officer kneeling on George’s neck. This happened for 9 minutes, whilst he begged for his life and can be heard saying “I can’t breathe”. This event lead to the murder of the 47 year old. This tragic death is an unforgivable casualty of police brutality and systematic racism.

A Subject People Find Difficult to Address

Firstly, it is undoubtably a difficult subject to address. It is extremely important to talk about, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. Secondly, its important to address the leading voices on the matter Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi (Founders of the Black Lives Matter movement). Finally, I can only speak from my own expertise and experiences. Therefore, I wanted to make this next post about something I am very familiar with. Concluding this, this post will be (as you might have guessed) about Covid 19!

Covid-19 and BAME Britons

This week I would like to talk about how BAME Britons have a disproportionate mortality rate from this virus. This is twice the risk of death according to the ONS. This is a health inequality that needs addressing.

Whilst we are in the middle of the pandemic with a virus that has many victims (including young and usually health people) many people seem to think its unimportant to focus on specifics such as who is more affected. However, as the affects of the virus have unrolled across the UK, it has become ever more pressingly apparent that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are disproportionately dying from the Corona Virus. Out of the 200 health workers who have died in the UK from Covid 19, 60% of the people were BAME.

It has never been more important to collect, study and distribute the findings from a health crisis. To look into who is disproportionately affected by it and what we can do to minimise this public health inequality. In summary It is not ok to place unequal value on the lives that have been lost during this pandemic and its time we addressed it. 

On the 10th May there were calls for a public enquiry into this issue. 70 public figures (including London Mayor Sadiq Khan) signed a letter to the Prime Minister demanding transparency into this matter. Public Inquiry’s are important for safety, education and can lay foundations for future policy makers and research. An inquiry could help employers make appropriate allocation decisions based upon risk assessments increased safety for staff.

Risk assessment for BAME NHS staff

Gal-dem.com outlines excellently why there is a need for an independent public inquiry into this.

Moving on from the public inquiry, here are other recent and relevant pieces of news.

Firstly the first news story I will mention is, The tragic death of Belly Mujinga. A woman who lost her life 2 weeks after being spat on by a man claiming he had the Corona Virus whilst working her essential role at London Victoria station. 

Additionally, The tragic death of Trevor Belle a 61 year old taxi driver who died 3 weeks after being spat at by one of his passengers.

What you can do

Firstly, for people living in London who want to support communities in the capital.

Similarly, for people who want to volunteer:

Moreover, if you can donate money to support memorial services for BAME families, bereaved because of Covid-19

Additionally, if you can sign a petition supporting a public inquiry into BAME loss of life to Covid:

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Nursing Self Care

Mental Health Support for Healthcare Workers

Mental health support for healthcare workers:

As always, follow the NHS advice on where to find urgent support if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.

If you work for the NHS and are currently, understandably experiencing more stress, struggling and feel like you need support, here is a list of resources for mental health support for healthcare workers I have compiled in an easy-to-access format. This list is by no means exhaustive and can be used by anyone. As health care workers, it is really important to look after yourself first in these challenging times, as I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase: ‘you won’t be able to look after others if you don’t look after yourself first’. I hope this list helps.

Mental health support for healthcare workers: Resources and Contacts

If you prefer to phone

0300 131 7000 is a confidential staff support line from Samaritans for NHS staff. (Open between 07:00-23:00 everyday).

If you prefer to text

Text FRONTLINE to 85258 for 24/7 text support

If you prefer to read

Similarly, there is a selection of NHS guides to be found here covering useful topics such as an ABC guide to Resilience, Personal Resilience and creating a ten minute pause space (a place to reset and recharge).

Websites

Able Futures is a useful signposting website if you feel anxiety relating to work or think anxiety is affecting your work. It offers free support to employees (in Great Britain) on behalf of the department for work and pensions.

Their free number to call is 0800 321 3137

They also have a number of helpful pages on their website dealing specifically with topics such as Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Mental Wellbeing and Sleep.

Coping Methods

Mental health charity Mind has specific strategies you can follow to help you manage difficult symptoms you might be experiencing.

Mental health support for healthcare workers

Categories
Nursing

A&E Covid 19 Story Week 2

Starting in the Emergency Department: A&E Covid 19 Story

Week 2

Welcome to A&E Covid 19 Story Week 2. When I first started writing, I had high hopes of following the ins and outs of every shift…this probably wont happen. Even though, like everyone else, I (sadly) have no social life to currently speak of. My state mandated hour of exercise, 2m apart queuing for Tesco and performing excessive amounts of laundry really doesn’t leave me with lots of spare time on my days off. In light I will aim for posts to be once a week. 

I start off as a supernumerary nurse. I am shown the staff room and where to change into scrubs. At the start of the safety huddle, one of the matrons asks how we all are. There’s a few seconds of awkward silence. She then thanks everyone for their hard work and says she wishes she could hug every one of us. This makes me nervous. I get a “everyone say hi to our new starter” shoutout and a lot of people laugh at the improbability and impracticality of starting in one of the busiest A&Es, in the capital city, mid pandemic. A lot of people comment things like “picked a good time to start didn’t you” but everyone is welcoming.

Inductions

I meet the nurse educator for an induction walk around. The department is intimidatingly big and I’m unsure how I’ll ever remember my way around it. She tells me A&E is split into the usual sections. This includes: Majors cubicles, Rapid assessment and treatment (RAT), Urgent treatment centre/treatments (UTC) and Resus. However this has changed due to Covid. Instead, there is a confusing switch around throughout the whole department. Meaning Majors is now entirely for Covid patients. UTC is in use for majors patients who aren’t suspected Covid. A select number of majors cubicles are now set up for a ‘covid resus’. Normal resus is now ‘clean resus’ for non covid patients. The Paediatric department is relocating and with it, all paediatric nurses. This including the nurse educator who is co ordinating my induction period.

Despite these changes, everything is going smoothly so far. The educator who is showing me around keeps remarking how quiet the emergency department (ED) is. It’s not unusual for ED to be quiet in the morning. However, the nurse tells me, on a regular evening it’s not uncommon to have 100 patients in the department. The lack of patients makes everyone uneasy. Therefore, people are throwing phrases like ‘the calm before the storm’ and ‘before shit hits the fan’ around. Apparently tourists, workers and students make up a large amount of the patients who come in and as central London is emptier than usual (understatement I know), this A&E department has the luxury of around a week with minimal patients to prepare for what we all know is coming. 

The Week

The week follows in a rush of training sessions and chaotic rearranging of the department. I learn how to use 3 different types of CPAP machines. the trust has just adopted new ones to prepare for the forecasted surge in demand for these, for the treatment of hypoxic Covid patients. There is a change in the PPE guidance daily, one day we are told we need to wear masks, aprons and gloves even whilst not seeing patients, the next day we are only told to wear masks at all times, unless we are seeing patients, in which case we must wear an apron and gloves.

A lot of nurses are moving beds and trolleys around to make more room for an increase in patients and stocking new PPE stations. There’s also a large induction of new doctors to the department. This is because they have been pulled from other areas of the hospital to support the Emergency Department for the upcoming weeks. The rules are switching and changing at an unsettling rate and I know this is only the beginning.

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If you enjoyed A&E Covid 19 Story Week 2, check out week 1 and week 2 by clicking on the links below!

Categories
Nursing

6 Months Newly Qualified Nurse Realisations

I started working, on a busy, 56 bedded acute medical unit in 2018, where I experienced my first 6 months of being a newly qualified nurse. It was only recently, on a night out with the two girls I met in the induction week, that we collectively realised we had survived 6 months! Surely that means we had done it! Passed the milestone, the peak, the first trial. This prompted me to reflect on my time since qualification and the realisations that came with each month.

6 Months of being a Newly Qualified Nurse

Month 1

This is serious

This is it. The real deal. You do quite literally hit the ground running. At first the responsibility is CRUSHING. The amount you don’t know stands starkly against the amount you do and it is daunting. You’re shit scared. Do not panic. 

Month 2

This is tiring

The training days are mostly finished, your supernumerary time is over and you’re tired. The realisation that this might be your job for the rest of your life might make you want to cry and your friends cushy desk jobs are eyeing you up. You’ve bitterly missed out on several social events and your friends have got accustomed to the “sorry working :/” text every time they try to make plans. This is when you start to wonder if you can hack it. Your resilience will be tested this month.

Month 3

This is interesting

Once your body has adjusted to the perpetual tiredness you’ll start to realise that on every single shift your knowledge is expanding exponentially. You almost wish it didn’t just to give your psyche a rest for a day! However, a restful time is not what you signed up for. Instead you get this exhausting, thrilling, draining, life affirming and meaningful slap in the face every day. You might start to notice a gap between you and your peers- people of the same age in different careers as they just can’t conceive what you experience in 12 hours. Things might be looking up. You’re learning quickly and starting to thrive.

Month 4

This is hilarious

Hey that doctor just remembered your name. There are new starters who ask you questions and you can point them in the right direction. Your work-social life will expand and there will be times where you’re pissing yourself in the treatment room. No one ever said nursing was boring. You will make friends that you can talk to when you need to and you’ll also have some pretty special moments.

Month 5

This is meaningful

Every time you leave work you’re walking away with more life experience than you had 12 hours ago. You will cherish the special moments and you’ll remember that you have made a difference. “They may forget what you said- but they will never forget how you made them feel.”- attributed to Carl W. Buehner. Whilst this man was a church official from the 30s, it rings true to me in forms such as brightening a poorly patients day or making a difference to someones experience of their last breaths.

As cliche as it sounds, you see people at the height of vulnerability and engage with people from every walk of life. The lessons of wisdom are invaluable, elderly patients have plenty of insights to offer young nurses (avoid marriage at all costs is mentioned often by the ladies) and you are not just unshielded, but engaged daily with raw human emotion, vulnerability, sickness and the unforgiving truth of mortality. Try to take time to reflect on this- factor in some ‘me’ time between all the shifts and look after yourself.

Month 6

This is it

No ones died yet!…only joking, quite a lot of people have died. Although that very much comes with the territory of being a 6 months newly qualified nurse. In fact, it comes with the territory of being a nurse. The future holds more struggles, your job is a daily challenge but you’re doing it! You have survived 6 months! You are a survivor! This is a career that offers one of the most rewarding human experiences. Your skill set will be atrophied from the hard days, the standard shifts feel somewhat doable! You’ve developed your own routine and you have fully ingratiated into the team. Things feel stable and…good.