The thought of being at work when your friends and family are socialising or asleep can create conflict, stir up feelings of guilt, and even resentment. Starting a shift with these emotions inside us is not conducive to connecting with our patients. Knowing that shiftwork is part and parcel of being a 24/7 caring health professional, what strategies can we use to minimise these feelings occurring?
Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working with people in a mental health crisis in the ED setting and working proactively in educating other health professionals and the community about how to better understand mental health problems and also substance use and addiction. Over the years, he has gained extensive experience in emergency and trauma, rural nursing, alcohol and other drug counselling, and psychiatric nursing across both the public and private sectors. He holds a masters of health science (mental health and addiction). Geoff is particularly fascinated by the impact that exercise, nutrition, community, meaning and purpose, and practices like yoga have on a person’s mental health as well as living a simple life of reflection, contentment, and wonderment.