Wellbeing for nurses and their patients

I hope I don’t have to tell you that we, as nurses, we are better able to care for the patients who need us most than take care of ourselves.

That’s why I continue in my efforts to guide you, the busy nurse, away from stress, overwhelm, and burnout and towards peace, calm and rejuvenation.

I remember when I first come to work in UK in 2013 I had no friends, all new places, new faces, new job and a lot to learn. Everything was different that it used to be. Luckily I was living in a share house with other people and start going out until I fall in love with Latin dancing, then I started going to the gym. You need to find something to distend you after the long and tiring shifts. When you do go far away of your family and friends the life is not the same. You need to go out and meet new people, practice your English and have fun.

Wellbeing is defined as a subjective stage of being content and healthy. Wellbeing is multi-faceted and made up of a number of components: Social wellbeing, Emotional wellbeing, Cultural wellbeing, Spiritual wellbeing, Psychological wellbeing, Physical health, Environmental comfort.

Maslow argues that all human have a hierarchy of needs. First we need to satisfy our basic biological needs and then we are successively drawn to meet higher needs. Each level of Maslow’s pyramid has a powerful motivating force for each person.

All human have a need to know and understand the world. Studies show that people who enter into boring, unstimulating lifestyle are at risk of developing mental health problems.

Basic needs (Physiological needs) motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food the more hungry they will become. One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization.  Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences including divorce or loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy.

Maslow made clear that people did not need to work through the stages in a methodical and rigid manner. A person could be seeking to meet their needs from two or three stages at the same time. A person would only be able to increasingly devote their personal resources to a higher stage once a lower stage was largely satisfied.

As each person is unique the motivation for self-actualization leads people in different directions.

Wellbeing for myself is about all the levels in the pyramid of needs being met.

For my wellbeing I try to:

  • Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;
  • Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;
  • Listening to my own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;
  • Being honest;
  • Being prepared to be unpopular if my views do not coincide with those of the majority;
  • Taking responsibility and working hard;
  • Trying to identify my defences and having the courage to give them up.

For most of your residents wellbeing can be meet trough:

  • Having enough food and drinks (assistance with eating and drinking), to feel clean and tidy (pad changed in time, have regular shower or bath)
  • Feel safety (physical safety, law and order)
  • Belongingness and love needs – to receive love, to belong in a family, receive visits from relatives, a smile or holding hands with staff, being involved in daily activities

When becoming older the basic levels of the pyramid become more important than the other ones. That’s why person centre care is so important for the wellbeing of your residents.