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Cultivating resilience as a nurse

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Building resilience in challenging circumstances Building resilience in challenging circumstances can improve quality of life for nurses

Recent coverage of the crisis in nursing has not made for comfortable reading. Research suggests that the NHS is short of 42,855 nurses, with those leaving the workforce citing a range of reasons, including pay cuts, low morale, understaffing, uncertainty over Brexit, and poor work-life balance. Could resilience help nurses weather the storm?

What the figures say

More than 17,000 nurses under the age of 40 left the NHS in 2016/17. The RCN has claimed that the NHS is ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses at a time of unparalleled demand for health and social care services, describing the situation as a ‘perfect storm’ that is engulfing nursing in the UK.1 On an even darker note, a 24% increased risk of suicide amongst female health professionals has been recorded by the Office of National Statistic (ONS),largely explained by a high suicide risk among female nurses.2

Workplace stress, exacerbated by staffing shortfalls, is likely to be playing a major role. The NMC provides evidence that working conditions are a major factor in nurses leaving the profession.3 In short, there is a multitude of stressors in nursing practice, ranging from the emotional labour of the need to be compassionate to work overload and a lack of resources.

Is developing resilience the answer?


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Comments

At a time of unparalleled staffing deficits and associated increasing demands across the entire NHS it is vital that our existing and future workforce be adequately supported to fulfil their clinical responsibilities. It is my view that meaningful resilience education should be a component of all under graduate health studies and continued thereafter in regular practice. Organisational failure to invest in the support and welfare of our clinical teams will result in increased staff sickness/absence, loss of productivity and the early retirement of our seasoned and experienced clinicians. Failure to look after the resilience of our students and new graduates will hasten the depletion of the workforce at the opposite end of the age spectrum.

Mike Paynter
Consultant Nurse
Somerset
Posted by: ,

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