When making a difference makes it all worth it
One of the real privileges of being a nurse is that every day you see how you have made a difference to people’s lives – often a real transformational difference. Working on a magazine brings fewer moments like that, but I did have one recently.
One of my oldest and dearest friends reappeared in my life late last year, over 20 years after disappearing. She had spent the intervening years battling severe mental health problems that made her assume her friends and family wanted nothing to do with her. These have not gone away, but she has felt able to get back in contact with people.
Having her back in regular contact has been one of the highlights of my year, and since she tracked me down via this website I have Nursing Times to thank for that.
However, she also brought home to me that the work we do can make a difference, even if it is simply by ensuring the wider profession hears about some of the excellent practice and innovations nurses are responsible for.
We recently published an article on the use of reading groups in mental healthcare, and the same week my friend told me she had gone to such a group for the first time. It had taken her weeks to pluck up the courage as the new situation provoked anxiety for her. However, she had met new people who had a love of literature in common, rather than only mental health problems, and they discussed novels and poems that meant something to them, instead of these problems.
She was so enthusiastic about the group that I sent her the issue of Nursing Times containing the article. Three days later she told me she had read it out to her group and it had touched them all so much that many had cried. She thanked me for publishing it and said the group hoped it would enable more people to benefit from similar initiatives.
Of course I played only a minor role in ensuring the article was published. The authors did all the hard work in setting up and running the group, and writing the article – which highlights the importance of sharing good practice through publication.
However, it did bring home to me that even though we may not directly transform lives ourselves, we at Nursing Times do give you information and tools that can help you to make a difference. That seems like a pretty good reason to get out of bed in the morning.