#ThatsAmaré Healthcare Love Stories: 03, Lucia

This week we chatted with Lucia, 22, who works in mental health.

She gives some great advice on how to keep motivated during difficult times and acts as a reminder of why we love what we do and why we love our NHS and the amazing things that happen every day, in every profession, all around the UK. Have a read, we hope it inspires you.

‘What do you love most about the sector you work in?’

 I love that everybody is really supportive and that they do what they do because they care about each other, as in both the staff and the patients. Especially on shift, I really feel supported and cared for when I come to work.

‘What’s the best piece of advice you would give to your younger self starting out in your area of work’

Take breaks. Write lists and don’t be afraid to ask for support or supervision from your managers when you are just starting out. If you ever feel stressed just try to remember that in our line of work it is more than normal to feel like that. What we do can be hard and stressful every day, but everyone is there to support you.

‘How do you cope when you feel demotivated or down about work’

I usually try to reflect on the root cause of my stress and try to rationalise this. I talk to my team and my manager about what is going on as usually they are able to give me great advice.

Another thing I would say is that it’s really important to try and use free time effectively, actually take time off away from work emails and calls and spend the time doing something you enjoy, such as keeping in contact with friends, going for walks and generally just doing stuff I enjoy and keeping an eye on what I think I need for my own wellbeing.

‘What initially motivated you to work in your current sector’

Genuinely, loads of people including my friends had issues with their mental health when I was younger in school and were really struggling. I felt so helpless that I couldn’t do anything to help so when I looked into working in mental health it was motivated by the idea that I could help someone who needs it.

‘What tips would you give to those who may be feeling burnt out in their role, given the current pressures on the NHS / care services across the UK’

Remembering why you love what you do is really important when you are feeling burnt out. When I feel like this I think about why I do what I do, which is because I want to help others, and that motivates me through the hard times. Try to remember that you are giving people care in such an unprecedented time where people need it most. Your work is appreciated more than you realise, simply coming in and providing care to people in need is always enough. Talking to people about these things is also really important. Everyone at work is feeling the same. The one thing I would definitely remind people of is that you are not alone in this.

‘Can you give us an example of expressions of ‘love’ (any kind!) you have seen in your line of work?’

There is so much love between patients. When patients see others are upset they will always make the effort to build each other up. They share stories and find comfort in shared issues which is lovely to see.

Another example is when patients send cards to staff that say things like “thank you for listening when no one else did” this is so nice to know that we can be there to help people when they feel that way.

The love amongst the staff at work is what really keeps the NHS running. Colleagues checking in on each other, Simple things like buying each other coffee or bringing in food for people they know haven’t had time to eat. One of my colleagues sent me a text just today after my shift yesterday to check-in and it really helped me feel better. Hospitals, although they can be a very dark place, are full of love everywhere.