• 17 June 2021
  • 9 min read

Self Care Within The Workplace

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Julia Maina
  • 0
  • 373
Play video: "Remember that your mental health, your physical health, your emotional health is really, really important."

Neonatal Nurse, Nicola Wiafe, provides tips and advice on looking after yourself at work, highlighting how to deal unsuitable shift patterns, and why it’s important to avoid workplace politics.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

Learn To Say No

Speaking Out About Unsuitable Shift Patterns

Take Your Breaks

Ask For Help

Addressing How People Communicate With You

Taking Lunch Breaks Alone

Go To The Toilet When You Need To

Avoid Workplace Politics & Gossip

Introduction

Hi guys, my name is Nicola, and I'm a Neonatal Nurse.

Today I'm going to be giving you some tips and some tricks about self-care within the workplace.

We always talk about self-care outside of the workplace.

And as important as that is, it's also really important to implement self-care within the workplace.

Learn To Say No

No to unsuitable patient allocation, no to shifts swaps, no to swapping your annual leave, no to overtime.

Now, learning to say no can be a challenging thing.

It can feel uncomfortable, it can feel difficult, but saying no is not actually a bad thing.

Nursing & Care Jobs at Nurses.co.uk

Progress Your Career. Search 1000s of Nursing & Care Jobs

Search Jobs

I'm not advocating for anybody to be uncooperative and disruptive.

I'm not advocating for you not to help out your colleagues if they need your assistance or not to help out with your unit if they need you.

But it's important to remember that your mental health, your physical health, your emotional health is really, really important.

You cannot do your job adequately if you are not feeling your best.

And any of the above, if it's compromising your health in any shape or form, you are well within your rights to say no.

Speaking Out About Unsuitable Shift Patterns

It can be really, really difficult speaking out about the roster and speaking up about poorly rostered shifts.

But one thing that I always say is that poor staffing is not an excuse for badly rostered shifts.

And I'm not encouraging you to just, you know, speak out against the roster because you're being made to work a weekend or speak out against the roster because you've got some night shifts.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Do you have any questions about Self Care?

Ask Nicola your questions below

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

I'm talking about rosters where you don't have adequate rest days before you go from days to nights and back into days again.

I'm speaking about rosters where you're being made to work every single weekend.

It's really important that those sorts of rosters are addressed and spoken about to ensure that you are getting a good work-life balance and also to allow you to rest and to recuperate so that you can give your patients the very best version of you.

Take Your Breaks

We are so guilty as nurses and healthcare professionals of not taking our breaks.

We always prioritize everything and everyone before ourselves.

But our breaks are necessary.

Not only are we entitled to them, but to be able to give the best care possible you need to be in the best physical, mental and emotional state.

You need to be drinking, you need to be eating.

You know, not taking your breaks leaves room for error, making frequent mistakes.

We get snappy, we get cranky, and that is not how we want to be within the workplace.

So it's really important that you take your breaks, you encourage your colleagues to take their breaks, and learn to delegate as well.

Normally, people are hesitant to take their breaks because they've got to do X, Y, and Z, but it's okay to delegate tasks to your reliever or the person who is working next door to you.

And in the same way, you too can also take tasks from your colleagues to enable them to go for their breaks as well.

Ask For Help

The phrase don't struggle in silence applies within the workplace as well.

I know how difficult it can be when you're working in an environment that's busy, it's fast-paced, everyone's got their own things to get on with.

Sometimes you're short staffed, there's not even enough of you to go around.

But it's really important that you ask for help.

You don't want to put yourself at risk.

You don't want to put patients at risk by not doing so.

And a lot of the anxiety and the worries that we can have within the workplace can actually be alleviated by asking for help.

Addressing How People Communicate With You

We know how difficult it can be working within busy, intensive, stressful environments.

Sometimes people snap.

Sometimes people can say things in such a way that isn't very nice, but it's really important that you ensure that if that is anyone or a group of people who are speaking to you in a way that's not appropriate or treating you in a way that it's not appropriate, that you speak up about that.

Whether you speak about that with the person directly, or whether you escalate your concerns is completely up to you, but it's important to remember that there is no excuse for anybody to be rude, to be nasty, to be disrespectful.

And we really shouldn't be making excuses for people that that's just the way so and so is, and therefore it's okay that they've spoken to such and such like that.

It's really important that we address these issues, that we nip them in the bud as soon as possible.

And we all have a duty to make sure that the environment that we are working in is positive and it's a happy environment where can work effectively.

Taking Lunch Breaks Alone

Now, by all means, if you like taking your lunch breaks with your colleagues, if you like taking your lunch breaks in the staff room, then by all means do so.

But I also just want to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking your lunch break alone, or as I say, it's okay to be antisocial on your break.

The same way the our patients have protected meal times is the same way that we, too, also need protected meal times.

So if you want to sit away from, you know, your colleagues in the corner, you wanna put your headphones in, if you don't wanna sit in the staff room, then by all means there's nothing wrong with doing so.

And just ensure that you are taking your lunch breaks in a way that is appropriate for you.

Go To The Toilet When You Need To

It's so important to do so. And we as nurses and medical professionals, we are very, very guilty of not going to the toilet when we need to.

We know what the long-term effects are of not going to the toilet when you need to.

And it's really important that we look after ourselves.

Most of the tasks that we think can't wait, normally they can.

Avoid Workplace Politics & Gossip

Getting yourself involved in workplace politics and gossiping can actually be really detrimental to your health and well-being.

And it can also have an impact on your professionalism.

So I always advise people to stay out of it, stay out of the gossiping, stay out of the workplace politics and just focus on yourself.

So I hope you found those tips useful.

Thank you so much for watching.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Ask Nicola your questions below

Do you have any questions about Self Care?

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

About the author

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse

My name is Nicola Wiafe and I am a NICU Nurse with six years worth of Nursing experience. I have previously worked in the NHS, Australia and now I am on a career break Nursing in the Middle East. I also run a Nurse-led aesthetics business alongside my NICU Nursing and I am currently completing my level 7 qualification in aesthetics medicine. I am really passionate about encouraging Nurses to strike a work life balance that works for them.

See all of our RGN jobs

7091 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

Care Professionals Helping One Another

We pay people like you to contribute, so that everyone can share. Learn & never miss out on updates & career advice. Join to support our mission.

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse

About the author

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse

My name is Nicola Wiafe and I am a NICU Nurse with six years worth of Nursing experience. I have previously worked in the NHS, Australia and now I am on a career break Nursing in the Middle East. I also run a Nurse-led aesthetics business alongside my NICU Nursing and I am currently completing my level 7 qualification in aesthetics medicine. I am really passionate about encouraging Nurses to strike a work life balance that works for them.

  • 0 Comments
Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join