As a healthcare worker, you’re expected to be the embodiment of strength, compassion, and resilience. Yet the daunting task of balancing the demands of the job while trying to upkeep our physical, emotional, and mental health can be a significant struggle. The resulting burnout and high turnover rate have become prevalent issues in the industry, particularly after the pandemic.

When I first joined nursing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was enthusiastic to make a difference in a time of crisis. I soon discovered that the job was more challenging than expected, and determination alone did not guarantee a seamless journey. The long hours, high-pressure environment, and emotional burden of caring for sick patients were extremely overwhelming. My work habits shifted as I began to skip breaks, work overtime, and forgo social engagement due to the demands of shift work. Taking a break or slowing down felt like a risk to my patients' health.Throughout my first year, I experienced constant anxiety before and after work, ruminating about my shortcomings and feeling overwhelmed with work-related thoughts even in my dreams. At this point, my life and self-worth were closely tied to my work performance. 

Sadly, my story is not unique. Healthcare workers face numerous mental health challenges, including burnout, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges, with many healthcare workers working long hours, facing immense pressure, and risking their lives daily. Our foreign nurses faced the added hardship of being isolated from their loved ones, which negatively impacted their motivation, resilience and mental well-being.

However, in the midst of our struggles, we can seek comfort in the support of our colleagues, friends, and family. For me, having a support group at work was a game-changer. I surrounded myself with friends and colleagues who understood and empathized with my struggles, senior nurses who role modeled and encouraged me to grow. A major turning point for me was reframing my mindset, separating my personal identity from my work identity, and finding purpose outside of work. This allowed me to see myself as a whole again, beyond just being a nurse. Furthermore, I appreciated the ongoing social campaigns, welfare packs, and bonuses, which validated my efforts and milestones along the way. Currently, three years into the profession, though some days are still a struggle - being part of the care journey of others and meeting inspiring healthcare workers give my days meaning and joy. 

I’ve also seen many colleagues find more suitable work environments that are congruent with their desired lifestyles, and have thrived on their own terms. If you find that your current area is not your cup of tea, locum nursing may be an avenue worth exploring. It offers flexibility, variety, and control over your schedule. As a locum nurse, you can choose assignments that suit your interests, skills, and schedule. You can also take time off between assignments to rest, rejuvenate, and prioritize your mental health.

That's where Worq Health comes in. Worq Health is a marketplace platform that connects healthcare facilities with locum nursing professionals in an efficient and hassle-free manner. Their proprietary in-house algorithm ensures that nurses and healthcare facilities are matched seamlessly, eliminating redundant conversations and procedures. Worq Health empowers nursing professionals to take control of their schedules and manage their work-life balance with ease. They provide flexibility, freedom, and independence to nurses to choose when, where, and how they want to work. And here's the icing on the cake - Worq Health truly values and recognizes the incredible work nurses do every single day. That's why Worq Health is constantly working to secure amazing discounts and rewards from partnering brands, just for nurses on their platform. This month, get ready for some truly exciting collaborations with Klook, Lazada, and Skechers, where you can enjoy some fantastic discounts and rewards. 

As healthcare workers, we often spend too much time and energy caring for others yet neglect our own needs. Coping mechanisms vary from person to person, but a valuable starting point is learning to prioritize your mental health, establishing a work-life balance, and practicing self-care. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that seeking help is a sign of strength. Let’s continue to support and encourage each other, especially as we come together to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month.