Archive for December, 2012
An interesting debate is going on here on a fellow blog site discussing the use of mental health law and criminal law for people suffering from a mental illness. From Mental Health Act to Prison.
Health and social care organisations are encouraged to promote self care or self management as a way of managing overburdened services. There is another more important reason for self care however that often gets forgotten about and that is empowerment and self control. Most of us recognise the warm feeling of control when we have it. It is comforting, relaxing a sort of confidence in that we have got something right that we know what we are doing and why we are doing it – it is power!
Self Care is also about taking the time to take care of yourself and there is much theory out there on why this is important. In health and social care we perhaps do not emphasise this enough and people may feel that they have been abandoned to their own devices without any support, which should never happen.
Self care is about being able to check in to your own health and social care resource centre from time to time and to stock up on supplies. This might include sleep, rest, exercise, nutrition, education, companionship and support. Being assertive helps us to identity when our resources are low and asking for help from professionals or family and friends.
Whatever our role(s) in life we all need to care for ourselves which includes self compassion, for without it we may not to be able to care for anyone else, however much we try.
Test how self compassionate you are here
This has been a terrible week for nursing across the UK. First an MP broadcasts the awful care her husband receives while dying in a hospital bed then a busy, stressed and probably very tired nurse makes a common mistake and trusts the other people on the end of a phone. The tragic result was that she could not live with the consequences of her mistrust and could see no way of repairing the damage.
The media (and politicians) have suddenly stooped bashing nurses as uncaring professionals and I hope have taken a moment to think about the effect of all this negative publicity on the profession and the people who are just trying to get on with their job, in often very difficult circumstances.
This is no excuse for poor practice but poor practice does not lie with individuals as I have said in the previous post. We are all responsible, the profession, the managers, the politicians, the public and yes the media for making sure nursing care in the UK is the best in the world. To do this we need to think more carefully about how we portray nurses, not as doctors handmaidens but as people who are knowledgeable, caring and often frustrated because other people will not listen to them. The mid Staffordshire tragedy is a good example of nurses and families not being listened to and politicians being dogmatic about the NHS.
Compassion starts when the ignorance stops and nurses in the UK now more than ever need support not criticism, understanding not ridicule and kindness not cruelty.