ED's Letter: Caring for yourself and others

February 2016 Vol 16 (1)

One of the articles in this edition quotes that oft-shared airline safety advice to “put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others”.

This is the fifth year that Nursing Review has begun the year by focusing on nurses walking the talk of healthy living by remembering to look after themselves first.

This is sometimes easier said than done. And it doesn’t always come naturally to a profession that tends to attract more than its fair share of the world’s ‘givers’ rather than ‘takers’.

But giving is also one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing (see more at http://bit.ly/1zJTTTn). So giving in itself can be a positive and rewarding thing to do for yourself, as long as you don’t forget to also find time to care for yourself.

In this edition one of the themes that has emerged is nurses caring not just for themselves but for each other as a profession. Three nurse researchers have looked at aspects of this theme: one focusing on the importance of collegiality and fun in nursing; another on caring for colleagues at risk of misconduct; and the third on how good nursing is at caring for the carers when nurses themselves are the bereaved. We also look at ways that pressured Māori and Pacific nurses can prevent the risk of burnout as a minority workforce serving high priority populations.

We all agree that caring for colleagues can be a good thing for nursing as a whole, as well as the patients being cared for. Just remember – as another researcher quoted in this edition said – “giving can be good – it is the over-giving that can be the issue”.

Fiona Cassie



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