Take up the challenge of nursing

23 February 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 4

Staff shortages, recruitment, retention, pay, conditions, long waits, the cost of living crisis, fuel and food poverty, the social care crisis, strikes… All these problems leave little to raise the spirits of staff working in the NHS. Nonetheless, every day I see glimmers of brilliance, little acts of kindness between colleagues, staff caring for patients with passion, commitment, empathy and enthusiasm.

This is not to detract from the reality of many staff feeling broken, those bearing the scars of moral injury and being supported by amazing colleagues from occupational health, safeguarding, psychology and wellbeing teams. Just before Christmas, I entered a draw and won a large wellbeing box. It was packed with goodies aimed at helping staff rest, reflect and take a moment for themselves. I gifted the box to my colleagues in the emergency department, and that act of giving in itself helped me.

There is no getting away from the fact that, whatever your role in the NHS right now, it is tough, perhaps one of the hardest winters I have experienced in a career that has spanned 34 years. It is hard to see why school leavers would want to take the chance on a career in the NHS. That said, the NHS and nursing as a career allows many avenues for both development and progression.

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