In my role as Head of Nursing, I (Pippa Peppiatt) get the privilege of hearing lots of stories from nurses and midwives on the front line, and the joy of offering support and compassion to them.
Many of these stories are tough and challenging. Just this week I heard from a few newly qualified nurses about how they battle stress and anxiety before going on to a shift. One even wrote to me of her panic attacks before leaving the house for work. Any new job can be a daunting experience, but the experience of these nurses and midwives is compounded by low staff numbers and consequently, an increasingly unsafe, working environment.
Thankfully, I also get to hear 'good news' stories about the precious times that make the hard work and the stress all worthwhile for these amazing nurses and midwives.
A palliative care nurse emailed me recently. She writes:
'I had cared for an elderly man, highly educated, who had terminal cancer who was keen to tell me all he had achieved and which I sensed he felt valued and identified by. He was distressed that he could no longer do all he used to, such as organising community projects and liaising with MPs. He mentioned faith and said that although his wife had a strong faith, his had lapsed. We talked and I offered to pray, after which he begged me for a copy of whatever book I'd got the prayer from. I said it was from my heart... and that God hears us just as we speak. No fancy language needed. We talked more about prayer, about God not needing our deeds to pay our way and that when I left the room he could close his eyes and say whatever he wanted to God. He would be heard.
I didn't get to speak with him again, as he died soon after. I trust he found the peace he was looking for.'
Please email me more of your stories at: firstname.lastname@example.org