I must begin this editorial by saying how proud I am of our profession. Who could have imagined what the world has experienced over the past 18 months? Or the response and sacrifice of all healthcare workers, some of whom have made the ultimate, unimaginable sacrifice? We have supported our patients and each other while many of us have been redeployed to support colleagues in unfamiliar clinical areas. During the peak of COVID-19, I spent a mere 6 weeks working on an intensive critical care unit, where I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I constantly questioned my capability to perform the required level of care while also worrying about my own service and remaining team left behind to provide care and support to an unrelenting tide of anxious and frightened patients.
It now seems that we are emerging from the depths of the pandemic and facing the daunting task of recovery. Recovery of our services and the backlog from the impact of COVID-19 is an immense task in itself and this certainly won't be achieved overnight. We have to recognise, however, that the past year has also given us the opportunity to reflect on our way of working and make significant changes which, in many cases, have proved to be beneficial in terms of improved service delivery and patient satisfaction. It must also be acknowledged just how physically and psychologically challenging this continues to be. It is as important now, as it was during the height of the pandemic, that nurses recognise the importance of their own personal health, wellbeing and self-care.
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