Training affirmations

‘Abused in labour, depressed after giving birth – pregnancy can be a nightmare for women. But an inexpensive intervention is trying to change this by teaching caregivers to listen, empathise, and identify depression.’

HEALTH-E’s Kerry Cullinan reports.

We as nurses turn out not to care for our patients sometimes. At some point, that can affect them in a very negative way. These skills make us more aware now. And we can be there for our patients to decrease this huge number of mothers who experience postnatal depression or depression during pregnancy.

I feel more useful as a health professional to be able treat my patients holistically.

I realise that I have issues I need to take care of. But I also learned that I’m not alone, and that makes me feel better. Almost everyone here went through bad times and difficulties.

We gained insight from both perspectives. Sometimes when you are so busy you forget that your patient is a person… sometimes, we talk and act without thinking, but when you are in the shoes of the patient, you realise what you are doing.

Allowing a patient sympathy allows them to feel better. I learned small things that I’ve never read anywhere. But these small things have a huge impact on my patients.

It was great that you highlighted the mental health of nurses and how we need to take care of ourselves too.

While I was on the empathic training course, I realised that I had been focused on an agenda of intervention for the sake of the children, rather than listening to the mother and trying to understand her immediate needs.

I just wanted to let you know that the Secret History exercise was a big success in our training for Respectful Maternity Care in Kenya.

This was very interesting for me. I can see that maybe patients aren’t just rude. Maybe they are just scared. If we understand this, we can treat them better.

Knowing more about the signs and symptoms of mental illness gives me more confidence. It also made me realise that I can identify breastfeeding problems.