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Readers panel: Are employers doing enough to reduce pressures on nurses and boost their resilience?

Nursing is a stressful profession and nurses are used to showing resilience. But with staff shortages, lack of resources and increasingly heavy workloads, the pressures can be overwhelming. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Nursing is a stressful profession and nurses are used to showing resilience. But with staff shortages, lack of resources and increasingly heavy workloads, the pressures can be overwhelming. Nursing Standard readers have their say


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Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham 
@lizcharalambou

Despite efforts to recruit staff from overseas, along with mentoring, supporting career development and bottom-up leadership such as shared governance councils, nurses remain stressed. A blame culture for staff sickness is hardly helpful. What we really need is long-term investment in nurses and creative approaches to supporting a sensible work-life balance. As for resilience, there is a limit to human endurance. The time has come for the government and society to decide if nurses are valued enough to invest in.

 

Grant Byrne is a nursing student in Edinburgh 
@GGByrne 

Given the increasing burden placed on nursing staff, it is little wonder some are starting to fold under the pressure. Nurses are resilient but we are also human, a fact those in charge seem to have forgotten. The real issue here, however, isn’t staff resilience, or a lack of it, but the underlying pressures facing the NHS. Rather than helping staff cope with these issues we should focus on tackling them. Working conditions must improve, for the sake of patients and NHS staff.

 

 

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London 

Employers are organisations, and organisations are detached from people. You can have the best policies in the world but if the people within the organisation aren’t able to action them effectively they will fall short. Maybe the focus should be more on personal responsibility? When we are all tired and under stress, being kinder to ourselves and each other can go a long way towards making a hard job that little bit easier.

 

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London 
@drew_london 

Many NHS trusts behave as though we were still in an era when there were enough nurses to recruit from and staff retention wasn’t a worry. Sadly, those days appear to be gone. There are pockets of good practice but they all seem to be in acute trusts. It feels as if the community is ignored, when our workloads have also rocketed and we are just as short-staffed. Nurses are one of the NHS’s greatest resources, and employers need to be doing all they can to retain experienced nursing staff.


Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only 

 

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