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Call for water bottles to be allowed on wards during heatwave. 2018.

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Self-care is a vital part of safe care

28 February 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 4


Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, considers the need for those involved in frontline care to be empowered to look after their own wellbeing, in order to provide high-quality care for patients

The last few weeks have not been particularly unusual, but I have had a couple of very long days with long periods of time without eating or drinking. When I finished my working week I felt physically and mentally exhausted. I logged into my emails and there was a request to approve a video to accompany my Trust's campaign supporting the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) 3Rs campaign (Rest, Rehydrate, Refuel).

I had seen the first edit of the clip; however, watching the video and re-looking at the background to this campaign following such a tiring week, really made me consider what nurse leaders should be doing to engage with this campaign. At the extreme, comments such as those quoted in the campaign material—‘I've told my staff to take their breaks, it's not my problem if they don't take them’—are typical from equally tired nurse leaders, and I felt that there was an opportunity to have a professional debate among our nurse leaders to support the culture of wellbeing required.

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