Podcast: The importance of support for nurses, midwives and students with Jackson Heilberg

Mark Aitken
On this episode of the Nurse & Midwife Support podcast we speak to Jackson Heilberg, founder of The Nurse Break (TNB), about how vital it is that nurses, midwives and students access support whenever they need it.

Cover: COVID-safe nurses bump elbows

Podcast details

Episode: 26
Guests: Jackson Heilberg  
Duration: 36:37
Tags: support, collegiality, community
Soundcloud: Listen to Episode 26


On this episode of the Nurse & Midwife Support Your Health Matters podcast we speak to Jackson Heilberg, founder of The Nurse Break (TNB), an online community supporting nurses, midwives, and students. We discuss the importance of support for nurses, midwives and students and accessing support whenever you need it. 

Jackson explains why he started TNB. The project was inspired by the support of a nurse educator, Laurel, and was born out of Jackson’s desire to pass on the knowledge and wisdom she offered him to students and graduates and encourage them to create their own networks of support. It has now grown into a community of over 11,000 nurses, midwives, and students. TNB is a platform that brings nurses and midwives together, a safe place to ask questions, access support and connect.

Nurse/midwife mentors and positive role models are key to all clinicians thriving in the professions and being supported. Together we can create workplace cultures where we lift each other up and look out for our colleagues so everyone is supported. 

I was also a guest on TNB live Q&A with Carolyn McDonald from the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria. We were asked about the highlights of our careers. For me it is being part of a national support service for nurses and midwives — Nurse & Midwife Support. It is a privilege to be a part of this community of support. 

We are so thankful to Jackson for joining us to share his wisdom, and we encourage you to offer and seek support from your colleagues whenever you can! Check back in a few weeks for more content on this important topic for all health workers. 

Your Health Matters!

Mark Aitken RN
Stakeholder Engagement Manager

About Jackson Heilberg

Photograph of Jackson HeilbergStarted in 2019 by full-time Registered Nurse Jackson Heilberg, The Nurse Break (TNB) has rapidly and organically become Australia’s largest and most popular free open-access nursing blog. We have several hundred nurses and other health professionals writing from every field and all levels of experience across Australia, giving inquisitive, interesting and inspiring insights into their careers. From students through to senior clinicians and healthcare CEOs there is something for everyone. TNB was ranked as #30 on Feedspot as one of the best nursing blogs worldwide in 2021. You can check it out at www.thenursebreak.org.


Mark Aitken [0:09] Welcome to the Nurse & Midwife Support podcast: Your Health Matters. I'm Mark Aiken, the podcast host. I'm the stakeholder engagement manager with Nurse & Midwife Support, and I'm a registered nurse. Nurse & Midwife Support is the national support service for nurses, midwives and students. The service is anonymous, confidential and free, and you can call us anytime you need support. 1800-667-877, or contact us via the website: nmsupport.org.au. Hello, and welcome to the Your Health Matters podcast. My guest today is

Jackson Heilberg. Jackson is the founder of The Nurse Break, and he's a registered nurse. Hello, and welcome Jackson.

Jackson Heilberg [1:04] Thanks Mark for having me, it's great to be here.

Mark Aitken [1:07] Great to have you on the podcast. Today we're going to talk about Jackson and his career today, and we're going to talk about The Nurse Break and why he started The Nurse Break. But fundamentally, today this podcast is around the important issue of support for nurses, midwives and students, and what form that support comes in, and why I would encourage any nurse, midwife or student to access support whenever they need it.

Nurse & Midwife Support is all about just that. We're the national support service for nurses, midwives and students. The service is anonymous, confidential and free. You can contact us any time, for any issue you need support for: 1800-667-877, or via the website, nmsupport.org.au. So if you're out there, and you're feeling that you just need to talk to somebody, please give us a call. As I said, 24/7.

So Jackson, enough about us. What about you, your career to date, and The Nurse Break?

Jackson Heilberg [2:18] Firstly, thank you for having me. And also thank you for being my guest yesterday on The Nurse Break's interview live Q&A. It was great to get your perspective on what you guys do. I think what you guys do is pretty important, and everyone should know about it. To be honest, I didn't know about Nurse & Midwife Support when I started at university, even though it [existed then]. It's good to hear that you guys are spreading the word and I can also help spread the word through The Nurse Break.

So yeah, I'm a registered nurse. I started my grad year in July 2019. I'm a baby nurse based in Victoria. Nursing, for me, has been a very interesting journey in the last two years. My grd year was in trauma orthopedics, then went to Gen Med, which I absolutely unexpectedly loved, and now I'm finishing 12 months in pediatric and adult emergency.

Through all of that I've, as you mentioned, started a platform called The Nurse Break, which started originally, to be honest, out of a desire for...I thought there was a lack of information for students and graduate nurses, but there was a few Facebook groups with lots of questions going on. There was no platform which sort of put it all together and was really like a support framework. I felt grads and students really just had their peers--which are also very important--and just the universities to contact but there was no platform that brought everyone together, because students nationally experienced the same sort of issues. The Nurse Break started out of a desire to create a platform for students and graduates about two years ago and rapidly transformed into something that's a bit bigger. I think it showed that everyone wanted to have a community.

Mark Aitken [4:07] Jackson, I have the greatest admiration for what you've done. I mean, honestly, if you want something done, I reckon ask an early career nurse, and they'll make it happen. It's incredibly inspiring. To create this early in your career, when I think most people are just working out the lay of the land in relation to their work and nurse and shift work and the change in their life. You're actually doing all that, but you've created this community.

Can you talk a bit more about your motivation for wanting to do that? Was wanting to provide support to nurses and midwives part of that motivation?

Jackson Heilberg [4:50] Yeah, totally. I hope she's okay with mentioning her name, but Larelle Upton is a trauma nurse and she's been a trauma nurse for 20 I think 25 plus years now, at the Alfred Hospital. She may not know it, but she was the reason why I started The Nurse Break. She had such an amazing story, she was probably my favorite educator as a student. Long story short, when I left that placement, all the knowledge and wisdom that I'd got from her would have just got lost, and no one else would have got it. So I was like, I need to capture those experiences. So it's stemmed out of a way to show graduates and students the different types of nursing you can do, capture the wisdom of so many of the nurses that have been around for quite a while. It just grew from there.

Mark Aitken [5:38] It certainly looks to me like it's taken on a bit of a life of its own, Jackson. I know that you've got a whole philosophy around it, and you've got a whole lot of nurses and midwives who are guest bloggers and administrators on your Facebook page. So that must take a lot of time, big commitment, and lots of support, I guess, for the crew that are supporting you. Is that the case?

Jackson Heilberg [6:08] Yeah, that's exactly right. It was initially a one man show, and I was just trying to do it all myself. I realized that it's not about...I always knew it wasn't about me, it's really just about giving a platform for Australian nurses and midwives, or nurses and midwives working in Australia, to share their careers. There was no way for them to do it on a collaborative scale. There's lots of different hospitals and health services where they interview their own staff, and you can get little bios about nurses that work there. But there was nothing that sort of brought everyone together.

So one thing that I have done is in the Facebook group, for example, I've got 15 nurses, from junior to very senior, and they help moderate the group and provide guidance for myself, each other and everyone in the group. It's about 11,000 nurses and students at the moment. It's a really safe, transparent place where people can ask questions, they can connect with each other, they can learn, we have clinical questions, anything you can think about nursing that's relevant in Australia is asked in this group.

Separate to that, in regards to the content, I started reaching out to health services. Rather than just have health services promote their nurses in a little Q&A on their own website, and not many people would see it, I have started collaborations with the health services to showcase their nurses on a more open, transparent scale. So everyone can learn about the different types of nurses that are there. It's all about collaboration, creating a community and everyone supporting each other. That's my goal, really.

Mark Aitken [7:45] Great, Jackson. I love that story about your nurse educator, Narelle is it?

Jackson Heilberg [7:49] Larelle.

Mark Aitken [7:53] Larelle. Big shout out to Larelle, if you ever listen to this podcast, thank you very much for doing the work you do. All the nurse midwifery educators out there that support graduates and early career nurses, you do incredible work. I think your support is really integral to the careers of so many of us. So thank you very much. I know all nurses and midwives have stories around mentors and educators and people who have inspired their careers. I certainly do. I've tapped several nurses over the years on the shoulder and said, "Hey, can I buy you a cup of coffee? I really love what you do and I'd like to talk to you about how you got to where you got to." Without exception, those people were incredibly generous with their time and their wisdom and their guidance. I can't underestimate the value of mentors in nursing, both formal and informal. I see that as a fundamental form of support.

Have you--apart from Larelle, Jackson--had other mentors to date, might not even be a nurse, that have inspired you and supported you to get you where you are at the moment?

Jackson Heilberg [9:13] Yeah, absolutely. I think the reason why I became a nurse was because of a few nursing role models. I was volunteering with St John Ambulance at the time, and I was meeting...I didn't think that nurses were guys, you know. I was naive when I started, earlier on before I considered nursing, then I was starting to see all these guys who were doing nursing, and also these amazing women who were doing nursing and I was like, "Wow, that's pretty cool. I want to do that." It was a toss up between paramedicine and nursing and nursing was the fit for me for a multitude of reasons.

But I think the mentors, the early mentors for me were the nurses I met through St John Ambulance, and then from there, one of my educators Larelle, of course, and then there was some of the other nurses...I think the mentors were really just everyday nurses on the ward who were willing to not view you as a student, and rather view as a future colleague. They'd put the effort in to really try to teach you something. They would invite you to sit with [them] in the tea room sort of thing. I think all students would resonate with that as sometimes you can feel...I mean, I experience the opposite of that as well. The nurses who are open, transparent and friendly can be mentors in [their] own right. I've had mentors who are in senior leadership roles as well. I would call you, Mark, I'd call you one of my mentors as well, I think mentors can sort of come in different shapes and forms. For me, there's probably less senior nurses who are my mentors, rather than just nurses who are maybe a few years ahead of me, and they're doing something really interesting.

I think, for me doing The Nurse Break, I've had a unique experience in that I've been able to meet and interview and talk with nurses from across Australia, doing some things you didn't realize you could do as a nurse, and there's just so many interesting careers, interesting people. I think vicariously through that, I've met so many people who are also mentors, and they're willing to provide positivity, they're willing to become a role model, show you how they do things and what's right and wrong. It's really interesting, some of the people I've come across.

Mark Aitken [11:24] Thanks, Jackson. I think they're really important points. I think part of that is inspiration and being inspired to be the best nurse or midwife that you can be. I said this last night in the Q&A, it's about us as a community of nurses and midwives lifting each other up and supporting each other. If someone falls over, or we see them struggling, that we don't leave them there, that we tap them on the shoulder and we say, "Are you okay?" Or, "Can I buy your lunch?" Or, "Do you want to have a chat?" Because they just don't seem quite right. In a way, nobody then is left behind, and everyone is looked after and cared for. Because as nurses and midwives, we're in the business of caring for people, so I've always found it curious that we wouldn't actually look after each other or ourselves. I think for the most part we do, despite some of the issues around bullying and harassment in the profession. I think underpinning all that is a culture of support.

That's really what we're talking about here today, is the importance of support in all its forms. And how somebody like you, Jackson, is I think, creating...well, taking support to a whole different level and doing that in a really innovative way with these online platforms. Your website, your Facebook group, and your live Q&A is creating a whole community of support that all nurses and midwives can connect with.

Jackson Heilberg [13:00] I get messages daily now from students who've got grad years, students who haven't, grads who are concerned, senior nurses who are...I get messages from everyone, from all areas of nursing. I guess the reason is because The Nurse Break has become a place of support. I think for all those who are listening who are reaching out to The Nurse Break, or [inaudible] myself, and some of my moderators, I would also consider contacting Nurse & Midwife Support, especially if you've got some mental health issues, you're stressed, you had a shit day at work. I think there's just so much, there is a lot of support out there. I'm super proud that people are reaching out to The Nurse Break, and I will point you in the right direction, and I'll provide guidance about whatever it is. And of course, my facebook group is a platform for everybody to get advice and support each other.

However, I think there's also a lot of other support out there if you're facing a specific issue. So yeah, I would consider Nurse & Midwife Support as one, I'd also consider some of the other hotlines as well. Then there's a lot of content online. But I think The Nurse Break has become a place where people have felt quite safe to ask their questions. And of course, I allow people to ask anonymous questions as well. Via that mechanism, I've had some very interesting questions, people who haven't felt safe enough to ask these questions, either to their colleagues and managers or just general questions. I've got a range of anonymous people who want to post anonymous questions to the group. Some get through, some do not. I think having a place where you can find support is really important. Also a place we can find mentors. So hopefully, I'm being a role model to some of the people out there. I hope that answers your question.

Mark Aitken [14:52] Yeah, very much so, Jackson. I think a key point here is around safety for nurses and midwives. Not only the physical safety, and that's a key component obviously around occupational violence, but also psychological safety or their mental health, and wellbeing are really key issues here.

How would you suggest that people look after their own health and wellbeing and keep themselves safe when they're doing the often challenging work they're doing, they may be experiencing occupational violence at work, or they're just struggling with an issue like their drug and alcohol use and don't really quite know how to speak about it and reach out for support? What would you say to them?

Jackson Heilberg [15:42] Yeah, so I guess there's a few points you mentioned. One is the occupational violence. Where I work in emergency, and even on Gen Med wards, for example, and also in aged care, there is a lot of violence, as we all know. That takes a toll on you. It shouldn't be happening, it is happening, and there's not much we can do about it at the moment for some of the causes of violence. So there's the occupational violence, then there is of course, the internal struggles you're dealing with. Mental health and addiction and so on, if that is something you're dealing with. How do you deal with that?

I think, for me, at the moment, prior to nursing I've done quite a few things. But I start personally with the premise that I work to live, not live to work. Often, I've had colleagues and they've just done a late/early shift, or they've done a double, or they've just done a really busy morning or afternoon shift and then they're asked to do a double. I think we touched on this yesterday in the Q&A, but I think it's really important to know how to say no, and to not feel pressured by colleagues, employees, your managers, or your desire to keep helping patients, it becomes a dangerous cycle of being unsafe. With occupational violence, people need to realize that you need to pause and take time for yourself if it is affecting you. Everything that's physical or verbal aggression, like we need to continue to not allow it to become a norm.

From my experience of talking to people, it's become much, much worse in the last few years than it was potentially 10, 20 years ago. I think that's to do with more potent and aggressive drugs that are on the market, mental health system that's potentially not providing the correct supports to people, and then they're falling through the cracks and being brought in by the police. So if you're struggling with your own issues, or you're struggling from your experiences at work, I would say the first thing you need to do is realize that your priority is yourself first, and then others. Go back to DRSABCD that we're all taught. Danger, you're checking danger for yourself. If you start making sure that you put yourself first, then you can really start to change things.

The second bit would be just take a bit of time for yourself, don't feel afraid to call in sick or get a medical certificate, if you need a mental health day off. Don't feel that is an inappropriate thing to be doing. Consider a different type of workplace or type of nursing. I mean, the benefit of nursing is we can do anything you want. You can work in community, you can work in helicopters, you can do anything, really. So if you think it's work that's causing your current issues, and you're thinking to yourself as you listen to this, "I'm struggling, but I don't know exactly what the cause is." Have a think if it is your workplace. Realize that you can always pick up and speak to a manager or change direction.

So first point being: prioritize yourself. Second point being: consider the things that are causing it. And the third point would be that you need to go seek help, professional help, potentially. Reach out to people that you know online, reach out to The Nurse Break, ask your questions in a public forum, or contact Nurse & Midwife Support, contact other assistance lines that are anonymous and 24/7. I'd say those are my three points.

Mark Aitken [19:20] Really important points, Jackson. Just to pick up on some of those points, I think it's really vital that nurses and midwives reach out for support, as I said earlier, sooner rather than later, and we spoke about this last night in the live Q&A. We really like to be in the business of health promotion and early intervention. We don't like a nurse or a midwife to develop a full-blown issue and get to the end of their tether before they reach out for support, because that's a really tough place to be and to exist in.

Of course, we're there to support you if you have found yourself in that place, but our advice is contact us and reach out for support sooner rather than later. Nurse & Midwife Support 24/7, 1800-667-877, or via the website, nmsupport.org.au.

Jackson Heilberg [20:19] Just to interrupt; I'd also say there's amazing nurses out there doing some things as well. We've got Athol from Fward's, I would go check him out. You've got Elaina from The Happy Nurse. These are all Aussie nurses doing some pretty cool things. On Facebook, go to The Happy Nurse. There's also on The Nurtured Nurse, a few others.

If you're struggling with shift work, there's Emma from The Other Shift. She's got a great website, on everything shift work for nurses, she's got lots of great tips. I'd say there's lots of resources out there from our colleagues who are starting little side hustles such as those. Then you've got the more formal ones which I definitely suggest, such as Nurse & Midwife Support.

Mark Aitken [21:04] Lots of great stuff going on out there. A big shout out to all those entrepreneurial nurses, including yourself, Jackson, that have created these great communities and these great support services, services for nurses and midwives. You know, it really inspires me greatly. I'm probably a bit more towards the end of my career, and I have great hope and excitement for the future of our profession, and all that we're going to do into the future, particularly in relation to support for each other.

If you're out there, and you're wondering how to connect and how to join a community, as Jackson says there's lots of people doing great work, so just connect with one of them. If you want to contact me at Nurse & Midwife Support directly, you can contact me via my email [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you. I love mentoring nurses and midwives and I'd be happy to support you in any way I can.

Jackson, how do people contact you and connect to The Nurse Break?

Jackson Heilberg [22:12] If you have Facebook, then just type in The Nurse Break (www.facebook.com/thenursebreak). You can message the page directly, or you can join the Facebook group, you can find our website, which is www.thenursebreak.org. In Google, just type in The Nurse Break, it'll pop up. My email is [email protected]. We've also got Instagram and LinkedIn so you can reach out in all those different ways.

Mark Aitken [22:37] That's great, Jackson. Jackson, you're an early career nurse. I have to keep reminding myself of that, you've done so much. What advice do you have for perhaps students out there, or grads listening to this, who might be trying to navigate the complexity of their new life, their new career, and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it. What advice as an early career nurse would you give them?

Jackson Heilberg [23:02] I'd give some practical advice, including join a union. ANMF (www.anmf.org.au), for example, or your union in your state. Go check out some of the resources on a few different websites, including your website, for example, The Nurse Break website, there's a whole bunch of content for grads. Specifically I would say, go read about some of the Q&A's that we've done from grads, people who are literally in your shoes, but 12 months ahead of you. There's also articles from students and we ask questions from students themselves, how they deal with assignments and shift work and so on.

My advice would be to check out some of the resources out there, to also realize that if you think you're set on one clinical area, just pause and realize that it's not the be all and end all. For example, I always wanted to work in emergency, but my grad year included Gen Med, and I'll be honest with you, Gen Med, I loved it, surprisingly. I would now argue that Gen Med is effectively ED nursing because most people going to emergency are a Gen Med patient. So just pause. Don't rush things. You don't need to know everything, you need to have energy and have a drive to learn. I think we are the final defence for our patients. So don't become complacent. Don't feel like you know everything because that's when your practice becomes dangerous.

Just make sure you're always willing to learn, always willing to ask the questions that you may think are silly, but there's no silly question. Make sure you check out the resources out there. Don't pigeonhole yourself too early. I'd also say if you've thought about it, but you haven't done it and you want to go rural and remote, just do it if you can. I'd say life's short and you never know if you're gonna get that opportunity again, so don't have regrets. I'd also say for students get your assignments planned early. For graduates I'd say get your resumes and cover letters prepared early. You do not want to be stressing a few weeks out from application time. Those would be some of the pieces of advice I'd give.

Mark Aitken [25:06] Great advice. Thanks very much, Jackson. Prior to the podcast, while I was thinking about this important topic of support and the conversation we were going to have Jackson, I reconnected with the code of conduct for nurses and code of conduct for midwives, as nurses and midwife we sign on to as part of our registration. So it's a Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia code of conduct for nurses, code of conduct for midwives, that you can access via the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website  And 7.1 talks about your and your colleagues health, and it says 'nurses' and the code of conduct for midwives says 'midwives'...'have a responsibility to maintain their physical and mental health to practice safely and effectively'. Then there's a whole lot of criteria under that that I won't go through now. Just a reminder to nurses and midwives who are listening to this podcast is that if you need another reason to focus on your health and wellbeing and your self-care, there is a big one just there. It's a requirement for us to do that in our code of conduct.

But I hope you don't need another reason, I hope that you've carved out space in your day and in your week to look after your health and wellbeing because believe me, it's vitally important. I had a period in my career that I talked about last night in the live Q&A where I experienced burnout. Many nurses and midwives do experience burnout. I actually don't want any other nurse or midwife to experience burnout, and so I'm on a crusade to stamp that out.

Jackson, what would you say to nurses and midwives around making this self-care and health and wellbeing a priority? How do you do that? How do you do that?

Jackson Heilberg [27:03] I guess, similar to what I said before, is that I make sure I recognize that I'm working to live and not living to work. I make sure, firstly that, make sure that I put myself as a priority first. I would say it's incredibly important for people to make sure they've got good nutrition, good food, a good physical sort of regime, make sure if you're exercising, make sure you're eating healthy, make sure you consider other things such as reading a book and just relaxing at the beach or in the sun--obviously with sunscreen! Consider things like yoga and pilates, these more holistic things that are quite powerful. I haven't read a book in ages, besides clinical books. I went to Sydney recently and was just laying in the parks, reading a book that my mother had given me. I was like, "Wow, this is very therapeutic!" So just pause and just take time for yourself.

Mark Aitken [28:03] Really important advice, Jackson. At Nurse & Midwife Support, we advocate that all nurses and midwives create a self-care plan for themselves. Because as nurses and midwives, we're very good at creating care plans for other people, but we don't necessarily do it for ourselves.

I would encourage you, if you haven't already, to take some time to develop your own self care plan, to set up some goals and intentions in relation to your health and wellbeing and self-care. To share those things with people in your life that are going to support you to be able to look after your own health and wellbeing because when we're in the care and service of others, it can be quite draining. We need, actually, to replenish ourselves. There's some really good tips and resources on the Nurse & Midwife Support website. I'd encourage you to check them out. No doubt, Jackson, you have some great tips and resources on The Nurse Break website.

Jackson Heilberg [29:10] Indeed, there are heaps of resources. We're still building some of those sort of more mental health and wellbeing resources, but there's some great content out there. Head to the website, click on 'blogs' and you can choose by category. I think there's some great tips from some of the mental health nurses, so if you click on the tab 'Mental Health Nursing', there's some interesting articles from some senior and junior nurses in mental health and they also give some aspects around their perspectives on mental health and wellbeing as well. There's lots of resources out there.

Mark Aitken [29:41] Jackson, I'm very committed to looking out for students and ensuring they have great experiences. What do you wish that you'd known as a student that you know now?

Jackson Heilberg [29:57] Ooh, tricky question. I wish I'd known that you don't have to rush into everything. I'd also say for students, it's really important to introduce yourself on placement. For example, as the RN or EN on the ward, we get lots of students. When the students come up to us, and they don't introduce themselves, we don't know what year you're in, where you're coming from. We also don't know what your goals are for that shift.

I think it's really important for students to realize quite early on, don't learn this later in, is that you need to come to your placements healthy, mentally healthy, physically healthy, but also with a plan for your shift. I would say come up with three goals, and introduce yourself to your buddy nurse, tell them what your goals are for that shift. Don't say no to things. When offered a learning opportunity, for example, I feel like some students learn that maybe too late and then they don't get as much out of their placements early on.

So my biggest piece of advice for students would be to come to placements with a plan for what you want to learn and make sure you are introducing yourself to your buddy nurse. I'd also say, I wish I'd known earlier that you should not do what I did and do your assignments last minute.

Mark Aitken [31:21] [laughs]

Jackson Heilberg [31:23] Yeah, I made that mistake.

Mark Aitken [31:25] Lots of people do.

Jackson Heilberg [31:26] Yeah. Make sure you try to use Google Calendar, for example, and become organized and schedule things, and give yourself deadlines and try to stick by them as much as you can, because your life will also become a lot less stressful if you do that.

Mark Aitken [31:48] Great advice. I have a piece of advice that I often give myself and I like to give to nurses and midwives, and that is, a lot of things we do in this profession can create fear, or can create anxiety. My advice is we all feel that way at some time, so face that fear or tackle that anxiety head on, and just do it anyway. Because doing that anyway kicks fear out of the way. Hopefully there'll be a mentor or a support person who will be able to hold your hand or guide you along the way. If you don't feel that's the case, as I said before, just tap somebody on the shoulder and ask them to be your guide, while you tackle your fear and do that difficult thing that you want to do but you don't know how to do.

Jackson Heilberg [32:45] Exactly. I guess being a student's really stressful and you've got so many competing things, you're trying to hold a job down, fund yourself, you're waiting for a grad job, all these sort of things. Just be mindful of the sort of stresses that you're dealing with and realize that it's honestly so normal. Every student has dealt with the same thing. Even those students who think is super high achieving, and they get their first preference, they also stress just as much as you. It's a normal feeling. Just give yourself some time.

Mark Aitken [33:19] Fantastic. Thank you very much. Now, I can't believe we've got to the end of this podcast, I could talk about this all day to you, Jackson. Such important issues. But as we wrap up, what does support mean to you? In what form do you like to receive it?

Jackson Heilberg [33:41] I think support can come in a few different ways. For me, it's about having people I trust and are willing to give it all they can to help. I love being able to sit down with someone and have a coffee or in my case some sushi because I love sushi, and just chat about whatever the issue is at that point in time. I think often in the society we have with social media, we have often become more disconnected even though we are more connected. I think picking up the phone or just messaging someone and seeing someone in person can mean a lot more now. I think there's a lot of people out there who are potentially quite isolated, even though they may appear quite connected. So I'd say: just reach out. Make sure you're talking to people, not just relying on social media completely. I'd say that's quite an important aspect of this.

Mark Aitken [34:44] Yeah, great point. Thanks very much, Jackson. Please remember if you're out there and you need support, support is available: Nurse & Midwife Support, the national support service for nurses, midwives and students. Anonymous, confidential and free and 24/7 no matter where you are in Australia. 1800-667-877, or contact us via the website, nmsupport.org.au. Jackson, a question I ask everybody right at the end of the podcast: any final words of wisdom?

Jackson Heilberg [35:20] Final words of wisdom...nursing is amazing. I think we are a blessed profession. I think there's many misconceptions about what we do. I would say, just lap it all up. I mean, I've only been doing it for two years, but doing my role, interviewing nurses from across Australia, there's so many cool things you can do! So just look at the [inaudible], do a big smile and just realize that whatever is pulling you down, you can literally get through it. In regards to nursing, I think it's a great profession, there's so many things you can do. So be excited that you're part of one of the most trusted and one of the most interesting and challenging professions that exist.

Mark Aitken [35:59] Thanks, Jackson. You've been a great guest. I really appreciate your time, wisdom, expertise, and a huge respect for what you're doing with The Nurse Break. So thanks very much, I know we'll talk again...and I'll speak to you all next time. Look after yourselves and each other. Your Health Matters.