April Clinical Blog

April 1st - Clinical Blog

NHS services remain under pressure. And even with our Merco teams working hard to cover shifts between us, I have no doubt, you will be working in services that are understaffed.

Welcome to this month’s clinical blog. Aimed to compliment Merco news. This time I want to focus our thinking on looking after yourself.

When you work a shift in any clinical setting that is working under pressure with reduced staffing, do remember to look after yourself. There’s a strong evidence base of second victim effects. Let’s be honest, providing clinical care to people these days involves much more than simple single issue health matters and most often wider factors. Things like relationship breakdown, housing, financial worries and at times crime and disorder. We are, at times, becoming social workers, mental health experts, counsellors, and sign posters for debt advice. Operating in this way and being faced with complex issues, some of which can feel personal to us, as clinicians and our own lives – subjects us to second victim burn out.

Now if like me, you love clinical practice and the thing I love about Merco is the flexibility and my ability to pop in and out of services, free from the office politics, you’re already on the path to keeping yourself well. But it’s a salient reminder as I reach out in this blog to let you know how much we value you and you matter.

I find the small things make a difference to my clinical shifts. Occasionally I treat myself to my favourite coffee before the shift starts. I’ll leave early and ensure my journey in is as hassle free as possible. I’ll make sure I know where I am parking and that I’ve got some nice nibbles to go to during my working hours. And I build in time for peace and downtime during the week. Admittedly some weeks this is a struggle but quiet reading, reflection, walking the dog or simply getting a quality night’s sleep are enough for me to remain well, remain fresh minded and to keep practising safely.

Dealing with our own emotional component is vital when showing others our compassion. Next time I’ll be focussing on compassion as the core of my blog and until then stay safe, thanks for reading and thanks for being in my network. It’s great to know you’re there.

My top tips for keeping well:

  • Walk the dog daily (and myself)
  • Get a great night sleep as often as possible
  • Stop worrying about things that are outside my control
  • Have regular treats for myself like a favourite drink or nibble (watch those calories though!)
  • Have a social interaction with someone at work about matters not relating to work (holidays, family….)
  • Reflect on interesting clinical cases which keep the job varied and interesting

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