Work has always been my respite. I love the structure it gives to my day, my diet and exercise regime, I love that I’m lucky enough to work with some of the funniest and most supportive girls. There is also the odd moment where I remember I’m doing a job that I worked so hard for at a levels and uni and I become secretly proud of myself. On the whole I enjoy work (don’t get me wrong there are mornings when the sound of my alarm makes want to cry, or days where absolutely nothing goes to plan, but generally work is good)
Work has got me through some rough times whether that be a bad breakup or just generally feeling rubbish. Work has forced me to get up in the morning and the fact that I can go into work and focus on patients (instead of myself) for 10 hours generally makes a massive improvement to my mood.
So what happens when the thing you rely on to get your out your ‘funk’ starts to be the cause for your worries.
It’s no shock that during these times the hospital environment is a far cry from what we are all used to. During university we are shown all the ways we can make a patient better but what about when we as healthcare professionals can’t make someone better? What about when despite all our hard work and watching someone slowly improve they suddenly take a turn for the worst?
It’s something which I have found at times challenging to deal with. In terms of Physiotherapy we deal closely with our patients whether that’s seeing them daily on ICU to treat their chests and rehab or trying to get a patient back to their mobility baseline. We develop close bonds with our patient, you soon realise when you can push someone and when they’ve really had enough, what their likes and equally dislikes are, and what can motivate someone whether that’s being able to lift a pint of beer again or be back playing golf. You really do feel like you’re responsible for someone’s livelihood. There is definitely a strong sense of remorse or guilt for those patients who don’t reach the milestones you had once hoped.
I think the hardest part of the job for me is being able to distance my work life from home life. As a new grad I often found myself worrying about certain patients once home or shortening lunches to keep up with work.
My Tips for You
I’ve composed a list of tips which I wish I could tell my 21 year old newly-qualified self:
1. Try not to worry about ‘work stuff’ at home, jot it down and deal with it tomorrow.
2. Use your full lunch break, get yourself out and sit with your friends, go for a walk if you need it
3. There will be hard days, days where you feel like everyone has just got more poorly – this is common, the way you are feeling is also common. Talk to people at work they’ve all been there, cry it out if you need to – the worst thing is bottling it up.
4. You will make mistakes, reflect and learn from them – it’s the only way to improve
5. Have a selection of things to ‘pick you up’ whether that’s a list of friends to FaceTime, a favourite TV show to binge or a gym class to sweat it out – don’t forget these and make sure to utilise them.
I hope some of these words can be helpful to at least one of you, I’m sure I’ll pick up more as I continue my journey into this progression.
Stay safe, Gynaegirl