Dear Mr Hunt.. Sorry for the silence

Dear Mr Hunt,

Apologies for the silence, it’s been a blogging drought,
Snow, anxiety, exhaustion. Pursuing gave me doubt.
I think the best place to start, is the feelings deep inside,
Anxiety, stress and panic – all I did was hide.

Sick leave came and went, and came and went again,
The faces of patients missed, were imprinted in my brain.
Hiding didn’t work, it made me feel alone,
6 months newly qualified, I’ve worked myself to the bone.

You’ll never understand our cries, our tiredness is tired,
We run on coffee and overdrafts, I’m surprised we aren’t more wired.
But Mental Health is a subject I hope evokes your passion,
Considering your our Health Secretary, it’s a struggle and not a fashion.

I went to my GP, my OH and my manager,
Although nobody can help me, I’m completely beyond my parameter.
Beta-blockers, cuddles, cries and open conversation,
I’m not quite sure I’ll fix this. What do I do for anxiety cessation?

The snow came and went, and came and went again,
Icy roads and frozen hands, how I longed for rain.
We were short staffed and tired, working beyond capacity.
Patients were missed and upset, but I feel that’s your responsibility.

Whilst others enjoyed snow days, or warmth inside their office.
We were on foot, in scarves and hats – as Brits we were a novice!
My anxiety still lays dormant, awaiting its next time to shine,
Staffing levels, equipment and morale – the state of our NHS is a crime!

Apologies if you feel nurses moan, you won’t be the only one to think this of late,
Problem is Jeremy you are wrong. We fight and always advocate.
I have no hope you read my letters, as I know you’re very busy.
Busy, I am too! Trying to cope with snow, exhaustion and anxiety.

Regards,

Emma
Community Nurse (+6 months)

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Time to get personal. [Anxiety. Panic. Breathe.]

Before you read this blog post. I need you to know that firstly it has been a bit of a therapy to write. Secondly its taken one PJ lounging session, a coffee shop session and a few on-the-go/on-my-iPhone sessions to write.

Mental Health and Wellbeing are two things that are important to me. Firstly, on a personal level I’ve experienced real highs and lows over my 26 years and 6 months on this earth. Secondly, like the majority of this world the well being of loved ones is something that I really do try to look after as much as I can as a relative or friend. Finally, as a nurse. Supporting a patients Mental Health and Wellbeing is an important part of my job. It is paramount for a healthy body, to really promote a healthy mind and soul.

I think being frank and honest about Mental Health is something that the world is improving on, however I do not believe we are quite there yet.

I used to experience unexplained anxiety and panic attacks as a teenager. It was terrifying. These moments used to take hold of me, stop me in my tracks and would be all-consuming. What used to scare me was that there was no evident trigger. I was referred by my GP for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a talking therapy. CBT aided me in managing my thoughts and problems by adjusting the way I think and approach everything. It was fantastic, I really connected with the lady I was seeing and it settled my anxiety for a very long time.

Recently however, in peaks and troughs, I am beginning to notice I am becoming symptomatic, once again, of these anxiety-ridden dips in my everyday life. What concerns me is that fact I am symptomatic. For me that includes a high heart rate (tachycardia), at times an upset stomach/nausea and an overwhelming feeling of terror.
Today, these feelings began once again and I experienced my first panic attack in almost a decade. I was terrified. The panic attack came on and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I physically could not calm my breathing down, nor could I take a deep breath. Due hyperventilating, my lips started to feel numb and I was beginning to get pins and needles in my peripheries. My chest was tight.

I felt helpless.

What I found ridiculous was amongst the dark cloud of terror, despair and panic; a part of me was wanting to shake myself as I am nurse. For some reason, I felt somewhere deep inside a little embarrassed about this episode as “I should know better”. I have often nursed patients with anxiety. One of my patients who was recently on our caseload suffered from extreme anxious episodes and I was good at helping her feel calm and relaxed. What was wrong with me, why could I not transfer these skills for myself?

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A quick Google search provides you with an image of my mind at that exact moment. Dark. Stormy. I was not in control of anything. The rain would fall and lightening would strike and it was out of my hands. 

After this panic attack I spent over an hour just laying in the bath, silent. Amongst the bubbles I lay there not knowing why it happened or if it would creep up on me again. My family and my fiancé were incredibly supportive the entire Sunday giving me exactly what I needed – food, hugs and reassurance that I wasn’t going crazy.

If I am being totally honest, I’m not too sure exactly where this post is going as I don’t even know myself fully what has triggered off such a persistent feeling of anxiety. Admittedly, a big part of this is my job and I am fully aware of that.

I am newly qualified as a nurse who is trying to develop knowledge and skills in a patients home.

I find it hard because when in charge, I am that patients first port of call and if I can’t help, it is sometimes difficult with under-staffing to get them the help they need in a timely manner.

I am finding it hard because as I knock on that patients door or open their door via a key safe, I have no idea what I am walking into. I have walked into Sepsis when I was meant to be walking in just to dress a small toe wound, I’ve walked into a severe exacerbation of Cystic Fibrosis when I was meant to be walking in for just an injection. My job means that on arrival, I act quickly and correctly. Believe me, it is a lot of pressure for someone who six months ago was a student nurse.

Personally, I find my Mental Health acts like a snowball most of the time. If I have lots of small stresses, I manage to cope but do feel anxious. However, if I have a larger stress, as other small stresses mount, the snowball grows.
I think this is what is happening to me right now.

Away from the doom and gloom, my employers are aware and are being incredibly supportive. I am currently sitting in a Coffee Shop awaiting my GP appointment to discuss with her what she believes may be a positive step in dealing with everything.

The only advice I could give if there is anyone else reading this splurge of thoughts; is to speak up. Tell everyone. Tell your family, friends. Tell your employer, your GP. The reason I say this is if the person you need to support you cannot relate and does not support you, a safety blanket will save you. People may not understand and may think you need to “toughen up” but the majority will do anything in their power to get you through it.

Make adjustments to life. Find an outlet and use that as your break from feeling overwhelmed!

Lastly. It’ll be okay. It has to be. Nothing is bigger than you, especially not your mind.

Look after your mind, and let your mind look after you. Your a team, not enemies.

City University of London, Graduation.

We did it!

This was a constant phrase that rumbled through the spaces and nooks within the Barbican on Wednesday 31st January, 2017.

City University of London conducted the Graduation Ceremonies for the School of Health Sciences and CASS Business School at The Barbican. The largest ceremony yet, presenting 488 students with their degrees.

Incase you haven’t yet gathered, I feel incredibly proud to have been part of the ceremony that morning. 

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Ready to receive my Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Nursing.

I was lucky to be able to buy three guest tickets, meaning my parents and fiancé could watch me receive my degree. I was also really overwhelmed that both mine and Tom’s family logged on to the university website to watch the ceremony live and see me walk across the stage to represent reaching a goal in my life.

This ceremony was a very long time coming for this cohort of nurses, as it would be with any other cohort. A Nursing degree is a different type of experience to other degrees. To gain representation and our registration on the NMC Register, we had to complete 2,500 unpaid hours of clinical practice alongside the same level of academia as any other degree. My first degree was hard work and required real dedication, however this was different. It also took over my social life and my finances.

I am incredibly proud of every nurse, from Paediatric to Mental Health specialties, that walked along that stage to realise their hard work and achievements.

My wonderful fiancé made a beautiful video of the day which is up on his YouTube channel. Please do have a watch, I think it is beautifully shot.

The Barbican, as a venue, added the prestige and pride of our city to a ceremony that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was made interactive with the #CityGrad hashtag, so social media interactions were publicised on televisions around the venue. I even made the hall of fame!

The ceremony hall was just as I expected, regal and vibrant. I felt so proud to be part of the day as a graduate.

My day made, most special, by my guests. As already mentioned my parents and fiancé were able to attend and that for me, made it perfect. I was so proud to have them there. I love them, but most importantly they have all held me together during my studies when I couldn’t hold myself together.

I’d like to dedicate this post and my degree to my mother, father and fiancé. Without you, I am not half of the woman I strive to be.

Moving forward, one thing I want to mention is the inspirational people I observed receiving honorary degrees and doctorates that day. It has most definitely inspired me to push myself and grasp every learning opportunity so I can, one day, be standing on that stage inspiring someone else.

One of the speakers that day spoke of excellence, quoting Aristotle. I believe this philosophy is transferable to whatever path you take in your life. For me, upstanding my best possible standard of nursing care is what I deem as my excellence. I thought I’d finish this post with the quote the speaker read, as that in itself inspired me to carry on, with sincere intention and effort to be an excellent nurse, wherever I decide to nurse.

Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Aristotle

Glossier.

I am not a beauty guru, nor do I feel I have the expertise to thoroughly review a product or a brand. I felt it would just be a good idea to discuss a beauty brand that has literally changed the game for me, especially since starting my job.

Glossier.

Glossier is a beauty brand which from what I have heard was the baby of Into The Gloss – a beautifully written blog that gives the most incredible beauty advice.

Working as a full-time nurse means that in terms of beauty, I need something that keeps my skin moisturised with good-skin ingredients that is quick and easy to apply. I need a product that won’t slip or slide and that will gracefully wear away, rather than leaving me with panda eyes and crusty red stained lips.

So we have, Glossier. My five must have products from Glossier include.
(all images from www.glossier.com)

1. Boy Brow

This is something I use daily, even days where I’m not wearing any make up and just need something to help frame my very round face.

There is pigment, it holds the hairs, it is fabulous. It isn’t crunchy like the Benefit! Gimmee Brow which is an aspect of the Boy Brow I really enjoy. I’d highly recommend if you like natural brows and a quick fix.

2. Stretch Concealer

adore this product. Again it is a lighter coverage product which I understand can make this a slightly Marmite product when its job is to cover-up. I enjoy it as it neutralises my dark circles whilst hydrating my skin. My skin is very dry in general but my under-eyes are extremely dry. This product gives maximum hydration. I also tend to dot it around my face when my skin is more problematic and it has a lovely finish.

If you prefer high coverage and a matte, oil reducing concealer then this may not be your hero.

3. Balm Dot Com

This salve is my saviour. I was gifted the Trio for Christmas from my mother and father in-law. ‘Original’ is my go-to, it is always with me. By my bed, in my handbag, in my tunic pocket. Not only is it a fantastic balm, its multi-purpose. Being a dry skin girl, I tend to use this on my lips and cuticles. It provides moisture and real love to your skin.

I also have ‘Cherry’ which smells delicious and leaves a very slight red tint which soaks in beautifully. I always keep this in my make-up bag and apply it every morning when I have finished my make up. It helps me look awake and I’ve noticed it makes my teeth look whiter. Win, win.

‘Cake’ is the third from my trio. It has the most subtle amount of tiny glitter particles in it which leaves your lips looking healthy. IT GENUINELY SMELLS LIKE CAKE. Say no more.

I’d highly recommend you buy these. If Glossier is a new venture for you, I’d say start with these. No other lip balm/salve will ever compare.

4. Haloscope

I think this is stunning. I don’t know what it is about this product but I cannot get enough. It doesn’t provide highlight to your face that reflects off of the sun to send signals to the aliens, but it does make you look very healthy.

As a nurse, I am always exhausted so a touch of this on the end of my nose, on the high points of my cheeks and a little by each tear duct, provides me with a fresh and awake look every morning.

It is my favourite highlighter to use on my tear ducts, I avoid any other as it just does not provide the same look as the holy grail, Haloscope. To apply to my cheeks, I apply some product to a stippling brush and blend. To apply to the tip of my nose and tear ducts, I apply with my finger.

I have a the shade ‘Quartz’ which is the pink version. I find for my skin tone, this is perfect.

5. Cloud Paint

The Cloud Paints are like nothing I have ever tried. They are literally paint, so my advice would be to avoid what I did on my first test and squeeze slowly. I use this as a multi-purpose product, for both lips and cheeks. You can also mix shades depending on what look you’re going for.

I have ‘Dusk’ and ‘Beam’. Both are stunning and I inter-change depending on my mood.

To apply these I apply a small amount to my cheek and blend with a stippling brush and it looks beautiful. Similarly to the rest of the Glossier products, it provides a natural flush of colour that makes you look healthy. Its beautiful.

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This blog-post is a little out of the ordinary for me but I really just wanted to write a small ode to a beauty brand that boosts my confidence and makes me feel pretty.

Thank you, Glossier.

How do you take a breath?

I’m still trying to survive being a nurse. It’s really hard and I feel like I’ve given up my soul for my profession. There we go. That’s me being honest, three and a half months in.

Please hear me out. As I feel I’ll receive a bombardment of angry people telling me that..

Your job is a calling, you should be grateful to help people in need!

You’re a nurse. It’s not a job, it’s a life choice!

It isn’t about you, it is about your patient!

Yes, all of the above are very much true. Being a Nurse is absolutely my calling in life. Never did I feel like I’d have a career where my daily input changes someone’s life.

It is a life choice. None of us go into this believing that we’ll work for a few hours a day, have a nice long lunch break and have time off over Christmas to get p*ssed with the family on Mulled Wine and hit the shops in the lead up to Christmas.

Ultimately, it is not about me it is about my patient. Well, it is to an extent. A good friend of mine suggested a while back that whilst as nurses we strive for patient centred care, we should ultimately be striving for “patient and nurse centred care”. This approach means that a burnt out nurse isn’t rushing your fathers Morphine calculation, nor is she exhausted to the point where she forgets to refer you to a Specialist for urgent treatment.

The NHS has hit a point now where burnt out nurses is not our biggest issue. Our biggest issue is that these burnt out nurses are leaving the NHS, or sometimes even the profession, in their thousands.

This week was hellish. I was in charge on Monday. It was myself and two wonderful agency nurses. We manned an entire district of patients. My heart rate sat between 84 and 150 beats per minute the entire day (50-60 beats per minute is my usual baseline). Then each day got progressively worse, more stressful. Referrals were delayed. Visits were cancelled. This was the nurse I did not sign up to be. Please believe me when I say we could not physically see every patient.

Today. Almost at the end of my list, I stopped. I was parked up outside a patients house and I couldn’t move my legs. Physically all I could do was cry, breathe quickly, panick and call my Senior Nurse who was thankfully on duty.

Not even six months in and I froze due to overwhelming, all consuming stress. Physically, mentally and emotionally I was unable to give anymore.

That makes me feel like a failure.

What nurse stops in her tracks like that? Me.

I can’t believe I’m sharing this as I feel a total failure, but somewhere on the internet in these times nurses who have been in my shoes tell me it’s going to be okay.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe today.

I urge the nursing workforce to keep going! Play to your strengths. If nights are your thing, enjoy. If wounds are your thing, assess intrinsically and monitor with an eagle eye. If management is your thing, then manage the people in this wonderful profession to feel wanted and appreciated. Feeling like a number is not only demeaning but scary when you “as a number” is putting a professional registration at risk. A registration that you’ve given up your soul to get.

How do you breathe? I’d like to know as right now, I feel like I’m struggling to.

There was a moment today that urged me to keep on going. Visiting a patient in Care Home for the first time, I was finishing up my visit with what I call an MOT (blood pressure, respiratory rate, blood sugar, etc) and I was met with a warm smile and “thank you my darling”. As I left the room, the carers stopped in amazement that he’d not only let me do these tasks, he thanked me and offered his hand when I needed to take his blood sugar. That was a 20 minute snippet of my week where I felt like a good nurse and that I can do it.

I’m still not sure how to breathe under water (i.e. being a nurse). But sometimes the smallest of things give you a minute of oxygen.

I’ve sinned, forgive me.

Not only did I not prepare a blog-post for Sunday at midday, I’ve also halted Dry January due to a G&T Cocktail last Wednesday.

Apologies for not posting, if anything I’m a little angry at myself. This week has been pretty full on and nothing has sprung to mind to write about.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with a few photos. My dog, my Wednesday night view and my sneaky jaunt to our local Indian restaurant – video courtesy of my fiancé. You’re welcome.

My Dog, Gracie.

Happy New Year, 2018.

Happy New Year, to one and all

The first thing that I’d like to talk about this year is the amazing response from the online community for my post published on Christmas Eve, 2017 – Dear, Mr. Hunt
I was totally blown away by the views, interactions and comments on Social Media the weeks following that post. Thank you. Thank you for hearing my voice, sharing my story and listening to my heart. I know every nurse is at a different stage in their career with different opinions, but that is where I am currently at and you listened, which is more than I even could’ve dreamed of.

I am really enjoying writing again, I found during university it was merely impossible to fit in a weekly post due to the demands of my course. Now, for the time being, I’m working and spending my days off how I please, my flow has returned and I could not be more ecstatic. Yes, the above post gave me an incredible feeling but each and every week I post, not for any kind of reaction, but for my own enjoyment.

I am thinking of making the Dear, Mr. Hunt post-style a series. I don’t want to put any pressure to write by due-dates but whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, lost, angry, passion stricken or just burnt out (fingers crossed I don’t feel burnt out again) – I’ll write. One day my letters might reach him and make him approach Primary Care with some honesty and integrity.

I want to travel more this year. Last year we were very lucky to travel where we did but I do want to explore the world and its coffee a little more. I really enjoy immersing myself in another culture and learning about it. Who doesn’t love to travel?

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The one thing that I want to continue to do this year is to photograph as much as I can. Photo’s really do speak a thousand words and provoke a million memories, feelings and emotions. I want to make sure that I diarise the journey of moving into our new home and starting our new chapter. We have an exciting 2018 ahead of us and I can’t wait to experience it all.

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Here’s to 2018!

2017

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” —Joseph Campbell

It is Saturday 16th December. I am currently enjoying a day, off-duty, the Christmas Tree is twinkling and I’m curled up on the sofa (reclined of course), watching the Christmas Cooking Channel under my chequer duvet. I feel relaxed and calm, a perfect moment to sit and reflect on the year passed.

Career-wise, it has been an incredible year for myself and my lovely fiancé! As you know (I think I go on about it enough) I qualified as a nurse this year and landed my first post as a nurse in the community. I adore my job, the highs and lows are quite severe but as a newly qualified nurse, it is an expected rollercoaster. I’ve made some incredible leaps in my knowledge and experience already and I am so proud of myself. I was even chosen to represent my Trust at my University last week at a recruitment day to tell Student Nurses the truth about Community Nursing and why I’d choose nothing else.
Tom is very quickly going from strength to strength! He has really proved himself to be a grafter and highly skilled and knowledgable in his sector, which is opening so many doors for him. I really could not be prouder!

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Bath, November 2017

We’re well on our way now saving to buy our first home. It has been a long time coming but ending this year knowing that the visit to the Estate Agents is not too far away fills me with so much happiness. We’ve both worked incredibly hard and been incredibly patient for this. Amazing things happen to those who wait.

Lessons have been learnt, relationships rekindled and eyes opened. I’ve grown a lot this year, and not just because I am the wrong side of 25. I feel that I still have a lot to learn in life, but what life so far has taught me is to be present in the moment and go with your gut. Over the last decade, if I hadn’t had gone with my gut I wouldn’t have met and be engaged to marry the most wonderful man I’ve ever met, be a Qualified Nurse or have the most amazing friends and family in my life.

Life has definitely dealt cards of happiness, sadness and a few unfair ones but life is rollercoaster, you just have to ride it (Thanks, Ronan).

New Years resolutions?
Look after myself and my loved ones. Continue to be present and in the moment. 

Happy new year everyone, I hope 2018 brings you all happiness!

Dear Mr. Hunt..

Friday 22nd December 2017

Dear Mr Hunt,

I am writing to you, on a chilly Friday evening, I haven’t long been home from work. Day 5 out of 6 this week. I’m back tomorrow, Saturday. I then am working Christmas Eve. I am grateful as I have Christmas Day off (taken as Annual Leave, luckily) but Boxing Day and New Years Day, my Mum and Dad will have an empty chair at the dinner table as I will be at work. I am only child, so it is upsetting for me, but really hard for my parents.

Today was our work Christmas do – we couldn’t afford anything extravagant so we all arranged to meet at the office at 2pm and everyone had to bring a dish each. Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Support Workers, District Nurses, Rapid Response Nurses, Doctors, Admin.. we all turned up. Unfortunately, I am newly qualified Jeremy, and what this means is that I left to start my visits at 8 and didn’t arrive back to the office until 2:30 because I’m still new at this. I was unable to bring a dish like my lovely colleagues did and didn’t eat because I was so overwhelmed, stressed and more importantly.. I had too much work to do for my patients.

Today I visited 2 patients under 50, both bedbound. I also visited two lovely ladies, both widows (a little over 50), who have lived full lives, one a teacher (yes Jeremy, another public sector worker), who both now are also bedbound. I met a lady who was promised a stair lift to be installed before Christmas so she could spend her first Christmas in a very long time, downstairs with her family. This lady is spending Christmas in her bedroom. Social Care and NHS funds mean that they can’t install as promised. These were just under half of the people that I visited today.

Jeremy, do you love your job?

I love my job. It’s hard. It’s emotional. I’m inspired, daily. I learn something new everyday, without fail. My patients smile when I enter that key code and let myself in, because I’m the only person they will see today, and tomorrow. These men and women, from all walks of life, smile at me because I’m their nurse. I’m not a drain on government funds, I’m not a “moany Nurse”, I’m not a waste of public money (because I was fortunate enough to receive the NHS Bursary). I’m Emma, I’m their nurse. They even like me after redressing infected painful wounds, injecting their body with medicine and even after having frank conversations, explaining that “Sorry, we can’t offer you that help because the funds have been cut”.

I sometimes give information which alerts them to the fact that their deteriorating quality of life will not receive any help or support, because Primary Care and Social Care won’t be receiving anymore money, in fact, it is being cut. But you know what Jeremy, they say that they like me a lot more than they like you.

Moving on. Although morbid, have you ever thought about dying? Strange question but hear me out.

When you die, where do you want to die? Would you rather be in a hospital, surrounded my incredibly knowledgable healthcare staff. Or at home? Where you feel comfortable, surrounded by your family? Your wife? Children?

You see Jeremy, thanks to the NHS myself and my colleagues enable people to die wherever they want to. I will hold their hand in their final moments and embrace their family either with a cuddle or a nod of respect. In that moment their entire world has been crushed. Their heart is in a million pieces. I’m just a nurse, I can’t fix that. But boy do I stand by the fact that I will stay, chat, pray, sit in silence for as long as they need me to.

If you’ve kept with me until now, perhaps your a better man than I thought.

This is not a letter to demand higher pay, better working conditions or support for my patients. On your, so far successful, quest to slowly dismantle and privatise the NHS and other public sectors, that would be a waste of writing as your not going to budge.

If this letter ever reaches you, I’d like you for a moment just to hear my side. My name is Emma, I qualified from City University of London this year with a 2:1 Bachelor of Science Degree in Adult Nursing.

I’m a Newly Qualified Registered Nurse, and that is perhaps 0.01% of my job today and how it makes me feel.

Yours Sincerely and Merry Christmas,

Emma Mahaffy, RN.

How to cope as a Newly Qualified Nurse..

If you are reading this blog post looking for answers to the titles question, then I apologise but it is not something you’ll find perusing this post.

This is why I used “” and not “?

I’m still figuring it out.

I am currently 2 months and 10 days into my first post. The level of responsibility expected from me is increasing alongside my adrenaline levels. It’s bloody hard. I’m terrified 60%-90% of the time (depending on my diary) and I am still triple checking everything. The most frustrating thing about this time in my career is that I love what I do, I am your nurse.

One thing they never warn you during university is exactly how hard it’ll be. My university warned us that it would be really hard, just not how hard.

I have found so far that my emotions are on a constant roller coaster. One minute I feel like Florence Nightingale, the next I feel lost. Preceptorship sessions help a lot, the other three nurses are newly qualified too. Probably also terrified. But the biggest challenge for me right now is honing my emotions in and being able to understand why I feel the way I do.

It really is not all doom and gloom. I’ve had some wonderful nursing breakthroughs in my short 2 months as a Community Nurse. Firstly, I managed to extend care out to a patient who was on our caseload long term. This involved specialist nurses, social support and ensuring his GP was more aware of his nursing needs. He also gained trust in me, he often voiced how he felt I supported him wholly and genuinely. That more than anything made me realise I’ve chosen the right career.

Another nursing high for me was recognising Sepsis in a patient at home. I was terrified but my nursing intuition took over and I knew my patient needed hospitalisation, right now. I know recognising Sepsis is something all nurses should be able to do, I’m not disputing that. The big accomplishment for me was that I fought for him. I recognised the signs and fought for him to receive the right treatment, fast.

If nursing was easy, there wouldn’t be a shortage in the UK and beyond. If it was easy you wouldn’t have to complete a university degree and 2300 practice hours (for free). If it was easy, nobody would need nursing care.

I’m definitely still figuring it out, and I probably will be figuring it out for years to come. I’m slowly building some resilience and whilst sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back, slowly my one step forward is becoming a run, or a leap.

As a nursing workforce we need to look after our Student Nurses and Newly Qualified Nurses. They are our future ANP’s and Specialist Nurses. Some of them will be a Band 5 Staff Nurse for their entire career as that is what they enjoy, and they may very well notice something small that saves your life.

Give us a minute, or 10 to breathe.

Reflect. Roar. Don’t stand in the shadow.

Talk. Tell people your concerns.

Stand strong. That gut feeling, that niggle your instinct is screaming about? Tell someone. Act. It’s probably 100% correct.

I’m not sure whether this post will resonate with any nurses, or for anyone from any career background. But sometimes it feels good just to type out the tangle of words and feelings that your brain no longer wants to babysit.

I’ll report back once I’ve untangled a little more.

Emma. Registered Nurse. Community. London.