In a time of crisis the willingness of health professionals to stick together and support one another for the good of our patients and NHS is truly amazing.
It creates a ‘we’re all in this together’ feeling which is of great comfort when facing a very uncertain time.
I arrived for my night shift on Sunday to be greeted by the weary (but still smiling) faces of the those who had just done a busy and long shift.
Handover started and the nurse reported what had occurred on the day shift. She mentioned that although short staffed in the morning they had managed as some of the hospital therapists had come in to help with the morning care.
“It shows the underlying commitment we have to our patients, our colleagues, our trusts and our NHS”
Spinal physiotherapists and occupational therapists came to lend a hand where needed, to support the nurses and care for patients.
My nurse specialist colleagues are back on the wards working whatever shifts need to be covered and are loving the opportunity to refresh skills, impart knowledge and support our colleagues.
I know this is happening at trusts all over the country and it shows the underlying commitment we have to our patients, our colleagues, our trusts and our NHS.
I attended training for NHS Nightingale at the O2. It was a long (8am-7pm) day but I got the same feeling, the same sense of togetherness. I was in a group of various different types of nurses and GPs.
All of us have different skills to offer, all of us treated like equals, all of us made to feel that our contribution was equally valued.
We met some hugely knowledgeable and experienced healthcare professionals. A consultant orthopaedic surgeon showed us how to don and doff at NHS Nightingale. Consultant ITU nurses gave a refresher on IV medications and lots more.
We also had a session on ‘psychological PPE’, which was one of my favourite sessions and something I will take back to my trust as it’s so important to look after our own and our colleagues’ emotional wellbeing.
Caring for the dying patient was another session and during this the instructor asked the group how we feel about caring for the patients at NHS Nightingale and in particular the ones that will die there.
One of the group answered “privileged”, which resonated with most of the group, apparent by the nodding of heads. These patients won’t have their loved ones around them when they die, but they will have us to ensure they are as comfortable and dignified in their final moments, as they can be and that is in my opinion a privilege.
I feel slightly apprehensive about going into a new work environment working with colleagues that I have never met until that shift but I get an overriding feeling of togetherness and that is what will get us through this.
Sian Rodger is patient education and health coaching lead, London Spinal Cord Injury Centre