Having just heard the weather forecast, it promises to be another sunny and calm weekend for the whole country. How wonderful and how welcome! There is no bank holiday so no pressure to travel – but an ideal opportunity to dust down the garden furniture, get out the summer clothes and clear out the garage/shed/airing cupboard/coats cupboard – or anywhere else that represents the transition between longer airy days and shorter indoor ones.
I love having a "sort out" – it clears my mind, it literally declutters my environment and stimulates resolutions I will make. These are usually along the lines of never hoard magazines, sort out the correspondence as it comes in, make timely replies, sew buttons on as they fall off, recycle clothes I will never fit into again, accept that a kitchen only needs one apple decorer and other little changes that will probably ring true for many of you.
Many of my changes and resolutions spill over into my work – colleagues know if I've had a "pottering" weekend as they find me dumping the chipped crockery in the kitchen come Monday morning. But I also find it allows me time to review things that impact on my life – and it is often about work issues while I'm away from the hustle and pressures of it. The time and space allows you to become reflective, imaginative and creative. I've made plans for new rotas while repotting my houseplants and designed a new way of delivering patient services while sorting out my winter woollies. And I doubt this weekend will be any different!
So if you are anything like me, while you are "pottering" about, industrious at a pace of your own making and reviewing your world, I would like to make a suggestion that will support nursing practice and patient care. The NiP Awards are still open for readers to nominate themselves or a colleague for an achievement made in professional practice that has made a difference to patients, your team and/or your profession.
There are 10,600 general practices and attached community nursing teams in the UK. It would be great to share the numerous small but practical innovative services you have established. If you don't think you deserve one, why not nominate the nurse(s) who pioneered the idea, made the plans and took the risk to get the service going? If the categories don't encourage you, what about nominating the team you work in?
Nursing in Practice wants to pay tribute to the nursing workforce. We have created the Awards 2008, but we need you to tell us what you and/or your team have done to improve the quality of care for your patients. I really urge you to consider applying – all details are available here. The application is a doddle and a paragraph won't take long to consider while you relax this weekend.
Give yourself some reflective time – alongside planning the new challenges and treats that summer brings, consider the achievements you and others have made that improve patient care – and enhanced the professional role of nursing. Let others learn and get inspiration from your vision, your hurdles and your successes. The closing date is 23 May 2008. Now is the time to apply – before the bustle of work highjacks us.
Go on – pour yourself a Pimm's and make a nomination. Cheers!
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