Back in October I came off the Nursing Register after 30 years. I had changed my role in the NHS to a non-clinical role as a Senior Organisational Development Practitioner and Coaching Lead. I didn’t need to be a Nurse and was certain I would not keep my skills up necessary to maintain my registration. Little did I know. On Thursday and Friday it was dawning on me that the steady stream of Nurses that were ringing up with symptoms or having to isolate because family members had symptoms will eventually turn into a torrent, and some serious re-organising would be required. So as well as the supportive, well being role I can provide, my nursing experience will also be needed. Last night I responded to my email from the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and applied to go back on the temporary register. Once the emergency legislation is passed in the coming days and a state of emergency is declared in the NHS, I will be placed on the register and will be able to practice as a Registered Nurse.
I am scared and apprehensive, not about being a nurse, to be honest I have not been away from the role long enough to have moved completely away from the identity of a nurse. I am apprehensive about what we all might be facing in the coming weeks, and how resilient I can be. I am comfortable with what I can and cannot do, and I willing to learn new skills or revise old ones. As a younger nurse working in very busy stressful environments I had been in positions where I was at the limit of my competence and capability. That was hard and stressful but it was always possible to ask for help, reconcile and learn from what I had happened. What is different now, and I think there are a lot of staff in healthcare that have this in the back of their minds, is that we all may be putting our own and our loved ones health at risk when we go to work. For some of us this may be theoretical, but I tell you what this is a new one on me. Even writing it down seems overly dramatic, and something you might hear in a Hollywood disaster movie. Then again these are unprecedented times, who knows what we are supposed to think anymore. I have concluded any worry or emotion I am feeling is legitimate. To be honest most of the time I don’t know what to think.
Yesterday was a tough day, mainly because I was not at work. I was left to my own devices. I found myself obsessing with the news and social media, overthinking everything and spending far too much time in future and nowhere near enough in the here and now. I had to steal myself away and do something useful that brought my attention to the future, and distracted me from my fears of the future. To some extent it was successful I did end up spending around 25% of my time yesterday not overly worrying. If it helps this is what I did:
- Took the dog for a walk. She is old and slow but she does look cute when she shuffles along. To lift my mood I listened to a funk playlist. Yesterday the weather was lovely so I could take in the beauty of my surroundings with a soundtrack of Sly and the Family Stone
- After a fix of social media and covid-19 news I went into the garden to cut the grass, accompanied by some funky baselines. This was the first cut of the year, so was quite a challenge. I sensibly graded the cuts so I did not rip the grass out of the ground (you can tell how desperate I am to normalise, I am actually blogging about cutting my grass).
- I started writing an assignment for unit 6 of my coaching and mentoring level 7 course. I could not concentrate though, by this time my head was swimming.
- As Jack my youngest was going into work, to clean the pub he works in, he needed his tea early, so I rather ponderously prepared his tea of salt and pepper chicken with the back drop of a Soul playlist. There is nothing better to cook to than a bit of soul music, and it just lifts your spirits.
- The evening was spent watching season 1 of Spooks on the BBC iPlayer. I cannot believe it is 18 years old, and although very entertaining has really dated.
You get the gist I tried to keep the day as mundane and normal as possible. It worked for a while and will take more practice. I know we have to acknowledge what is happening, it is also important to keep doing normal stuff, something to quieten your chimp and make you feel comfortable.
I keep telling myself to pace myself, this is going to be long haul, and I don’t want to use up all my nervous energy too soon. After all it is not about winning the game it is all about staying in the game for as long as you can.
Just in case like me you are partial to a bit of funk, here is my playlist to brighten your Sunday.
And my soul playlist