Caring for yourself and others

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How will Covid-19 change the way you care for yourself and others in your workplace?

As health-care professionals, our focus has always been to look after the health and well-being of those we serve, otherwise, we would not be doing the job we are doing. However, how has this altered everything you thought you knew about putting care into practice, not just in the workplace but within your everyday lives?

Caring for yourself:

For me, it has dramatically changed the sense of urgency to not put off what can be achieved today, especially with English to Care. For the present time, personal care involves putting more effort into the everyday aspects of self-care, like diet, weight, and exercise. No-one wants to get sick with anything else when health-care provision needs to concentrate on Covid-19. Even cleaning my teeth for longer to save tooth problems is now a necessity. We all now have a collective responsibility to ensure that we can stay fit and well if I can.

Here, in the UK, we are being advised to talk to friends and relatives on the phone, take some exercise daily in self-isolation and to start something new, or to carry on with a hobby to protect our mental health. As a society, there will be growing concern about how we are going to cope with loneliness and isolation as this progresses, particularly the elderly who live alone and where families live far away. My father is a worry for me as he lives alone aged 90.

Caring for Others

In the UK, we have seen a remarkable and collective community spirit. People who have never volunteered before are now going out to help with food deliveries, shopping and getting medicines to people who can not go out because they are identified as being in a high-risk group. These conditions include those currently receiving chemotherapy, kidney dialysis and those with compromised immunity. Various studies have been conducted on what makes us well and create a long-life. One conclusive factor is the quality of the relationships that we have. Only this morning our UK National News has been interviewing two people aged 112, and having companionship and being close to others was quoted as being central to their longevity.

Future conversations with yourself and others:

What conversations are you going to have with your clients and patients after this pandemic is brought under control? Is there a new sense of urgency to find out what you stand for and a new shift in where you might want to work? Has it re-enforced that you are exactly where you need to be in life, or is there more to do?

Will you give that patient or client an extra minute of your time, not dismiss that concern, as you need to hurry off to the next clinical task, because of this experience?

Teaching point:

I have asked a lot of open questions here in this blog post. An open question is one that requires more than a yes or no answer ( closed question). Open questions allow you to learn more about the people in your care, create a wider assessment process and allow individuals to express wider worries and concerns. Remember, your patients all have stories to tell and so do you. What stories will we have to tell as we recall what happened to the world with the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic?