Happy Nurses' Day 2021!
We want to thank all the amazing nurses for their hard work and dedication, today is to celebrate you!
Within the last year, nursing staff working through the pandemic have been impacted with the world seeing first hand the fundamental role you play in delivering patient safety.
We are here to help and support nurses through any challenge. Our message to you:
"Although today is International Nurses Day, I am sure many are in agreement that nurses should be celebrated every single day. The pandemic may have brought more appreciation from the general public, but now is the time for nurses to prioritise their own health and wellbeing.
During this pandemic, we lost some amazing colleagues, we had the return of many nurses and we influenced many to pursue a career in nursing. It is important that future nurses are well equipped to look after themselves so they can continue to provide the best care to patients and heal the scars that will be left by Covid-19."
Today, we share stories and reflections from nursing staff on how Keeping Well has helped them through some challenging times.
Stefani Nagpal, Senior Substance Misuse Nurse shares her nursing journey:
"Having grown up in a Sikh family, a lot of emphasis was put on Seva (selfless service). Helping others, being kind and showing compassion were some of the attributes that were seeded into me ever since I was a little girl. When I won the ‘Caring Cup’ back in primary school, I knew I wanted to grow up and become someone who could help as many people as possible. Nursing was a career that I knew was about care and compassion – with a million other amazing and not so amazing things. The crazy night shifts, the daunting days when you are two nurses down and the nights where you can hear patient ‘call bells’ in your dreams are all very small compared to the reward of being able to help those who may be at their most vulnerable when you are part of their care.
I qualified as General Adult Nurse at the age of 21 and worked in Haematology/Oncology for 2 years. There, I worked closely with my patients, similar in age to myself who were diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease. Our main focus for these patients was pain management, however it amazed me how many opiates were given to these individuals, without the aspect of ‘addiction’ being addressed. Only one patient was given methadone throughout my 2 years in Haematology/Oncology, yet many patients reported feeling addicted to their painkillers. Being newly qualified, I didn’t have the confidence to question the consultants during the ward round every time they put up the morphine injections by another 10mg, but knew that something had to be done to target this opiate addiction that was emerging for this group of patients.
I then decided to learn more about opiate addiction, started volunteering for a Sikh Drug and Alcohol charity and ended up applying for a substance misuse role at the Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre (HIRC). I am now working as a senior substance misuse practitioner and support individuals with their opiate and alcohol addiction. I speak 5 languages and my parents were asylum seekers, so a job working with a lot of asylum seekers automatically felt super special for me. Looking after this group of service users can be challenging, especially with all the stigma towards drug users. However, it is a super rewarding job and every individual I work with is looked after with a holistic approach. It brings us down to the basic principle ‘Caring not Judging’.
When I was on the wards, I felt burnt out and knew that shift work wasn’t my cup of tea. I had started to doubt whether nursing was the career for me until I moved to my role with CNWL at the HIRC. My current role has 9-5 hours, a lot of autonomy and every day is completely different. I love waking up in the morning and having no idea what’s waiting for me once I enter the gates of the HIRC. So glad I decided not to leave nursing! Now I proudly carry around a little keyring which says ‘I am a nurse, what’s your superpower?’.