A letter to nurses

Cassandra Jovic
To all the nurses who dedicate yourselves to caring for others, I thank you!

I have spent much of my life surrounded by nurses. As your daughter, niece, friend, colleague and patient; nursing has had a special and profound impact on my life.

Growing up with a mum as a nurse can have it’s challenges. There are very few things that aren’t discussed at the dinner table - no matter how embarrassing or intense it may be and you are almost never sick enough to have a day off. However the benefits always outweigh the negatives. Seeing your strength, compassion, dedication and the care you give your patients, has formed an integral part of who I am.

I have spent some of the most vulnerable days of my life under the care of incredible nurses. Often feeling stunned that in the most chaotic conditions you are calm, warm and steady. Caring and advocating for the sick, helpless and distressed in a complicated system must feel like a thankless task at times.

Working with peoples lives can be incredibly rewarding, but it inevitably leaves marks. I know all of you have had those days, where long after your shift has ended, you have quietly called work to check on a patient. Then you have absorbed the relief or sadness that the news will bring. In a quiet moment your thoughts have probably lingered with them and considered the ‘what ifs’.

No doubt you have lost count of the times you have stayed back at work that little bit longer to finish something, so that your patients and colleagues don’t suffer.

However this compassion, which is your superpower, can also take a personal toll. If you constantly shoulder people’s pain and prioritise patients before your own physical and mental health burnout may come.

Bad backs, dehydration, unhealthy diet, anxiety, sore feet and carpel tunnel syndrome may seem like the norm, but they shouldn’t be. Self-care is not a trivial thing, it is really important! So try, where you can, to treat yourself like you do your patients - eat well, rest, exercise and hydrate and most importantly make time for yourself.

Now despite the family legacy I didn’t become a nurse (bodily fluids were a nonstarter for this queasy stomach), but I work in health because I have seen how rewarding it can be to help other people. It feels like an amazing twist of fate that I can help nurses in a small way by working for this service.

Please remember that Nurse & Midwife Support is here for you. This service is lead by nurses and midwives, and our team understand how you feel and are here to take your calls anytime. They understand what you are experiencing and can help you navigate your way to better health.

So please let us help you, whenever you need us – we are here to support you just call 1800 667 877!

Cassandra Jovic is the Social Media and Online Communications Officer at Nurse & Midwife Support. She helps look after our website, newsletter, Facebook and Twitter pages. She is passionate about helping nurses, midwives and students look after their health.

What can I do next?

We have information for midwives and nurses on staying healthy and you could check out some of our other articles on:

Our service provides free and confidential support 24/7 to nurses, midwives and students Australia wide. Call 1800 667 877, or request support via email.

If you would like to know a bit more about the service before getting in contact, take a look through accessing support.