I am a Nurse who recently qualified, I had been so excited to qualify as I couldn't wait to give the best patient care to every service user.
During my first months of nursing, the majority of my patients were extremely unwell with Covid, but were not for escalation to Critical Care. They were frightened with no family around to support them.
I saw many of them struggle to stay alive and then die.
During the second wave, many of my colleagues went off sick with stress leaving us short-staffed and really struggling as we were at nearly triple our usual capacity in our area.
I was being really hard on myself, blaming myself for patients not getting the care that they deserved, for the families not getting to say their final goodbyes to their loved ones, for the deaths. I blamed myself for my colleagues feeling stressed because I thought that if I were better at my job and more experienced I would be of better use to them.
I stopped sleeping because I didn't want to go to work the next day, I became very depressed though didn't seek help because I thought I was being selfish as many people had suffered much more than I had during the pandemic.
I was crying on my way to work, during my breaks and on my way home, sometimes even during handover.
Over winter we had a number of particularly traumatic deaths.
In the early new year in 2021 I was looking into quitting nursing all together as I thought I wasn't strong enough for it and the profession would be better off without me.
Following a very unexpected death one night shift I completely broke down in work. I called my GP to ask for some sleeping tablets and she immediately signed me off work. I really spiralled after this. I started to believe everyone would be better off without me.
It was at this point that I called the Crisis Team who reassured me, provided me with self-care information and encouraged me to self-refer to the Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub.
Shortly after self-referring to the Resilience Hub, I was contacted by phone. We had a talk about what I had been through, how I was feeling and what services I could access. He offered me different options and set up weekly counselling sessions via video call. I was extremely nervous at first but quickly felt settled as he was really kind and patient with me.
He asked what I wanted to get out of the sessions and tailored the counselling to my own individual needs. We did some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy over video call and he also sent me lots of resources to do in my own time which I found incredibly helpful. He constantly made me feel like I wasn't on my own with this and that the way I felt wasn't because I was selfish, but because I cared.
After a couple of months I was able to safely return to work and I've noticed a huge change in my practice. I am much more confident and a lot less hard on myself. I now realise how hard I worked during the pandemic and use these experiences to better my practice.
I still feel sad for all the patients that lost their lives but I can deal with these feelings in a much healthier way.
I've also noticed changes in my personal life. I like myself more than I used to, take more chances and show people the real me a little more.
I am so grateful to the person I spoke to and the rest of the staff at the Resilience Hub and in the Health and Wellbeing Services for all the support they have given me. I am so lucky to have been given all this help, I feel like it has saved me from leaving a career that I love so much.
I would advise anyone that is struggling to contact the Resilience Hub.
We've all been through a very difficult time no matter which area you've worked in or how long you've worked for. Everyone deserves to be looked after and your mental health is so important.
The Resilience Hub can help you access support, resources and information and the staff provide such a friendly and fantastic service.
I really could not recommend them enough!
Thank you so much for everything you have all done for me, I will forever be grateful.
Everything you tell us is confidential - we will not need to tell your work that you have been in touch.
If you refer yourself to the Resilience Hub you can expect to hear from us within 3 working days and you will be offered an appointment to have a conversation with a caring member of the Resilience Hub team.
This conversation is an opportunity to think about what it is you are struggling with and what help and support may be of benefit to you.
You can find out more about the Resilience Hub on this website, including more about the support our staff can offer, who can access the help and testimonials from those who have already benefited from the service.