I’ve been thinking. Generally I hate it when that happens.
For the sake of my health I need to make some changes. Specifically I terms of work. I work 37.5 hours a week as a staff nurse on an acute mental health unit. I love it, but it’s too much. I recently went to a fatigue management course (that I was only allowed to attend outside work hours I might add) and it spoke about boom or bust. The suggestion was that rest periods should be taken in order to avoid hitting that wall we all know so well. In my job it seems impossible. I’m hitting that wall every single day and I’m pretty much an empty shell when I’m not at work.
I used to take what I called ‘restorative sickies’. The odd couple of days every couple of month when I felt the tell tale signs of a relapse. The works sickness monitoring policy has made that impossible. I spread out my annual leave as sensibly as possible and tend to go for little and often in order to try to maintain my health.
After a 18 month long fight of appeals and interviews I finally got the lowest rate of PIP but that is nowhere near enough to let me drop hours at work. I have a mortgage to pay. (Please don’t suggest I give up my home. People mean well, but the thought is too distressing to comprehend. No offence)
I guess what I’m really after is advice on what sort of thing I could practically ask for in terms of reasonable adjustments? Could I suggest 30 mins is added to my daily shift so I can take 3x 20 minute breaks? Could I ask for a working fan in the office to help me during summer months?
I have no clue in terms of my rights. You would imagine that the NHS would be supportive employers but I haven’t found that to be the case. You get the odd meeting where they say they want to support you but it’s all lip service and box ticking on their part. I sound bitter. I am. Despite the fact I have not long since had a 6 week period of sick due to a relapse I have just come off a 10 day stretch of shifts without a day off. I’m exhausted, disillusioned and accepting that something has to give.