25 April 2019
It’s stress awareness month and here at Spire Dunedin we’ve been highlighting the important three R’s – rest, rehydrate and refuel.
We’re all guilty of eating the ‘wrong’ things at some point – the snaffled chocolate bar mid-morning or a pot of ice cream in the evening - and often we don’t think when we eat. But, importantly, we are often unaware our bodies are dehydrated and need to be rehydrated while at work. It is recommended that we drink at least two litres of water a day.
Just as busy nursing staff sometimes need to be encouraged to acknowledge how much they drink and when, so do patients and visitors to the hospital who are encouraged to access the water and hot drinks available for free in all our waiting rooms. Dunedin is known as a hospital whose staff show great compassion and professionalism across the board and simple things like sipping water can help maintain that calmness under pressure.
Spire Dunedin Hospital also encourages its staff to take a break for their own wellbeing and for patient safety - we should all be able to “take a break”. We know we need to practice self-care in order be able to focus on looking after you.
Another element of the hospital support structure in place to help staff maintain the ethos of the hospital is the ability for all to be able to talk to someone if they find they are struggling with their mental health. By the end of April Spire Dunedin Hospital will have three Mental Health First Aiders, who are available if patients come forward needing help.
Understanding stress is important - adversity presents each of us with a choice to be the best or worst version of ourselves – and there is currently an NHS campaign aiming to help staff become stress aware. This has included the development of websites designed specifically to help, such as www.workingstress.co.uk
There are also several apps that can be downloaded from the NHS app library: www.nhs.uk/apps-library/
Importantly, if you think someone is suffering never be afraid to ask twice. ‘Fine’ is not an answer!