By Lucy Osborn MACN (ENL)
This column, The Scrubs that Fit, is all about the highs and lows of being a junior nurse, from the perspective of an ACN Emerging Nurse Leader. The aim of these blog posts is to help ease the transition from university to grad years and beyond. Find Lucy on ACN’s neo and on Instagram @aussie_nurses.
Do you ever have those days where you wonder why you are a nurse or if you’re good enough to be a nurse?
When feeling the strain of burnout, I often need to take a time out. Sometimes I do a self-care day where I do whatever helps me relax and remember there is more to life than work. There has been the occasion where I don’t have time for a whole day of self-care, or that a day of relaxation is overrun by overthinking and anxiety. Before you can truly relax you need to digest whatever it is that’s keeping you tense. This is where Lucy’s Brain Board comes in. It helps reduce some of the cognitive load and compartmentalises your issues.
Sometimes, when feeling overly defeated I need to remember why I’m a nurse and why I shouldn’t give up. Here is a visual representation of how I remind myself why I became a nurse and why I should never let the downs overcome me.
This video may seem like I’m stating the obvious but even these small points are easy to forget when you are feeling low. They are the foundation of why I became a nurse and they have stayed true throughout my career.
Sometimes I need to explore my strengths and weaknesses in order to build and develop them. This type of self-reflection especially comes in handy when you are having rough days. It’s so important to celebrate your own achievements and strengths and writing them down helps you acknowledge them. I find if I’m ever feeling down doing a list like my next video really helps me feel confident again.
I completed this ‘Brain Board’ the day after I had a tough shift at work. It was a group of three-night shifts that started on Christmas. I was away from my family, working in emergency and every single night shift we had multiple patients come in who pushed us to our limits. Unfortunately, on my last night shift for the grouping, we had a patient come in who did not survive the events of their presentation. It was heartbreaking and as I recovered from my sleep deprivation, I wondered why I am willingly turning up to work and coming home feeling helpless and sad?
I know there are many more good days then there are bad days, but sometimes you need a little help believing this. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, there are lots of options available if you are having more down days than good days. Remember, you are not alone. We all have good and bad days, seek support, seek help and never give up.