How does the most respected and trusted profession contain nurses that are depressed, dying by suicide and feel forgotten in these times of worldwide crisis?
Nurses are trained to slap a smile on their face and get the job done. We have been wired to suppress our emotions in order to remain professional for the next patient. We also suppress our emotions to avoid bringing the trauma we experience at work home to our families and work without proper personal protection equipment to care for others risking our own health.
My name is Christal Parker of Self Care RX (@selfcarerx ). I created Self Care RX to promote mental self-care and self-care as a whole to nurses around the world. I suffered from burnout bad during the flu epidemic of 2017. As an ER nurse, it seemed as though I couldn’t escape feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out every time I even thought about work, let alone having to go in for a shift. I was able to use several different self-care tools such as journaling, time off and mental health techniques to fight burnout.
Self Care RX will be starting a campaign called “This is Nursing”. I am currently on maternity leave and feel for all my nurses and health care professionals who are working the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. I want to support by bringing awareness to the true picture of what nurses go through on a daily basis to show that nurses need support and someone to advocate for them. That’s where I come in! Nurses needed support and advocacy long before COVID-19, but we have now been pushed over the edge!
We are asking you to partner with us on the #thisisnursing campaign by using the hashtag #thisisnursing or sending a DM to @selfcarerx_ that summarizes a behind the scenes look at what nurses are dealing with that might differ from the public view that forgets we have emotions and are people too. Nurses aren’t robots! The statistics of nurses dying by suicide and those suffering from depression were on the incline before covid and I don’t want that number to increase even more due to the stress placed on the medical community due to this virus.
Examples can include a moment of disbelief between nurses after a traumatic case comes in, a nurse whose face has imprints in it from wearing the right or wrong protective equipment or maybe a picture of yourself after a long stressful shift that made you breakdown or left you completely exhausted. Share with us the story behind the picture and what self-care tool you used to help get you through that situation. The hope is to show the public what nurses go through regularly, and what we went through during the covid-19 crisis after the dust settles and life goes back to normal. Also, sharing your self-care tools will give other nurses ideas of self-care methods they can make their own during this hyper-stressful time.
This article was written by Christal Parker, Emergency Room, Nurse Practitioner, Wife, and Mother. To read more about Self Care Rx, please visit myselfcarerx.com
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