Evening clouds

Evening clouds
Sunshine and Clouds

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Watch out! - for the little things

I’m into week three of my induction period after joining an NHS acute trust. These days we’re all in a uniform of some kind or mufti; a big change since I was last working in such an environment is being bare below the elbows. Brought in as we became more conscious of infection risks ties have largely gone too.
So after several decades of wearing a wrist watch that habit has had to change too. “You can get the time from your phone” I hear you exclaim; but I’ve worn a wrist watch for much longer that digital timepieces were available, when analogue meant winding up the watch or clock yourself. And to get time from the phone meant dialling the speaking clock.

Why is this worthy of mention? The watch I’ve worn for some years now belonged to my late dad, and it was given to him after many years work as a teacher and head teacher in inner London. It’s served as a reminder of his commitment to education and those in his care; whose learning and development were so important.

It’s also reminded me of him as a person and father and of his love of public service and doing good things through that service. It’s been a little disconcerting not to have it handy to refer to. It’s meant I’ve had to develop a new ‘check my phone for the time’ thing though I still go to my wrist and wonder why there’s a gap. It’s made me reflect on loss and grief; another step away from him. It’s chipped at the inspiration the watch has provided as well as a sense of time. I always like to be just a little early and a watch is a quick way to check times progress. Now I have to rely on my phone, or the occasional wall clock, to be sure I’m timely.

Not having the watch has been a distinct loss that I wanted to mark through speaking up about it; it’s about the difference little things can mean to people. This was emphasised to me again this week listening to Chris Pointon speak about Dr Kate Granger and the build up and progress of the #HelloMyNameIs campaign. Do look the campaign up if you’ve not heard of it; even if you know about it, remember little things when left out or ignored can have an impact much bigger than we can ever realise.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

The little big things

As I've begun my new role as a lead Nurse  for Palliative and end of life care I've been reflecting on a whole host of things and it's only week two.
The last couple of days have though reignited the importance of the little things we can do when we meet patients.
• opening a bottle of beer courtesy of a passing physiotherapist and his key ring and witnessing the enjoyment of the person who was waiting thirstily
• admiring the sand dollar earrings of an older woman that led to a chat about the USA
• Witnessing the team effort that led to a quietly dignified wedding this afternoon, organized this morning that took place in the room in the photo - everyone lending a hand for an event that always leaves me with moist eyes.
Some were efforts were smaller than others; for me the key is to recognise any opportunity to take action in some way. That way is positively helpful to others as well as being satisfying for me at the end of the day even though it was difficult to turn down the offer of a beer.