It’s been a year since we first locked down in England – what a year ! As nurses we have been through so much and as the covid tidal wave recedes and advances in a continuous cycle we are finding times to breathe and reflect. I have been managing to do a little breathing and reflecting over the last few weeks and in some ways that can be harder than nursing in a local covid outbreak, where we are nursing people with covid or having to hold the fort whilst colleagues recover from covid. During these pauses we have time to think about all we have faced and the true impact of the pandemic.
Now this blog is not going to be a reflection on covid, perhaps that’s something for another time, but instead I wanted to talk a little about other stuff… moving forwards ! My reflections of late have all led me to one thought … it may be the wrong time but it’s the right time to think about things other than covid in nursing. I realise that not everyone will agree with this, so as I duck for cover I will explain more:
We need something else in our day to day nursing at the moment, something else to focus on as we brace for the covid wave to come out way. We need to remember what it is to be a nurse and what we love about nursing. We need to look forward to, dare I say, beyond the pandemic ! Yes there will be a time ) and we have to believe that there will be) when we can move on … and we need to look forward to those times. We need to start to tentatively plan for those times. We need to think about beyond covid.
We need to realise, I mean really realise, that there will be life beyond covid.
I say all of this as a practicing nurse who has and continues to work through this pandemic … in these times when we can breathe out a little we need to find the strength and the time to think about things other than covid. We are under immense pressure, but in order to come out of this without a mass exodus from nursing we need to somehow reflect and remember what nursing is all about, that these ARE exceptional times.
I am very fortunate to have found some reflective space and time over the last few weeks to have started a programme that supports and celebrates nurses. It’s a year long programme aiming to raise the voices of some fabulous nurses working in social care. And whilst it is the wrong time for the nurses to find the time for something new it’s also the right time as it’s giving them something other than the pandemic to focus on, it’s helping them to remember the best bits of being a nurse, it’s helping them to improve care beyond covid and it’s supporting them to continue to be amazing despite the current climate. Whilst the pandemic ebbs and flows throughout social care we are making the most of the ebbs by celebrating and encouraging nurses on the programme and we are acknowledging the flows by supporting nurses and adapting the programme where needed…. and so far so good! It’s fantastic to see the nurses on the programme enthusiastic and fired up and it’s a real boost for all involved.
Yes it’s the wrong time …. but it’s also the right time to think, and act on things non-covid …. we need to remember we are nurses and we will be nurses beyond this pandemic.