An important question as the situation within health care intensifies…
Seeing ourselves as worthy; responding to what is needed; knowing our patients value the care and support we offer. If we build a relationship with all these things we naturally develop a sense of value for ourselves and the impact of the work we do.
Could it be that this is an essential foundation for our health and well being and the sustainability of our health care service?
It is certainly true that when we feel strong, sure and clear about the importance of our role and the qualities we bring, the quality of how we work changes, our movements are more refined, defined and simple tasks become more purposeful. When we work like this we know the impact of gentle touch, a moment to answer a question in full, or the profound exchange that happens when we make eye contact or connect with a smile.
Have we considered that our presence and care are valuable or is it something we take for granted or just do?
It is like having a helicopter view over everything that is happening and from there a clear understanding of what needs to be done. We observe a situation and all involved are considered, our view is much more of the bigger picture and from here we deliver true care, which is doing no more or no less than is needed.
So if this ability to see things from a wider perspective is greatly affected by how we are in ourselves, then we can no longer go on pretending that self-care and self-awareness are not an essential part of our work as nurses and midwives.
The beauty is that if we are steady within ourselves then there is a sense of space around what we do and our contribution has a quality that is integral, essential and allows the days to flow.
It is not being conceited or selfish, just to understand and know the importance of what we bring, what we can offer and do, which is different in all situations.
Many times, it is about being with people listening, understanding and allowing them to express and be. We are masters of reading and anticipating our patients needs, this is an amazing quality, surely something to be treasured.
It is good to talk about how we value ourselves as it turns on its head the belief that attending to ourselves is in some way indulgent or selfish when actually it is responsible and ultimately respectful of everyone.