Ruqayah secured her role at her local hospital following completion of The Prince’s Trust Get Started in Health and Social Care online mentoring programme last year. She is currently working as a Healthcare Assistant at her local hospital after completing one of our Health and Social Care programmes.
Speaking to Asian Voice, Ruqayah shared her thoughts on what it is like to be a healthcare worker during Ramadan. She said, “It is a very interesting time. You see the real struggle that people are going through every day, while making a conscious effort to be more empathetic, patient and caring. The long hours can make it difficult when fasting, as well as the lack of family time during this holy month.”
Our front-line workers have helped the community throughout with selfless contributions but we often wonder what they do to manage their mental health and physical health (while fasting) and helping people.
“You have to put your patients first. If you're not feeling your best, but your patient needs help, you help them and worry about yourself later. This means you have to put yourself first outside of work at times. I make sure I go home, and sleep as much as I need to. If I don't do anything on my day off but rest, that's fine. Also, talking to people is very important. I'm constantly talking to my family about what my day was like, good or bad. Having people you can even just complain to is very important. Sometimes it's important to just let yourself have these feelings. You should let yourself cry or be angry, instead of holding in your feelings constantly which can make things much worse. The job is stressful and hard on your body and you have to take that into account,” Ruqayah told the newsweekly.
Being a healthcare worker, we asked what she has learnt and how she has evolved as a human during the pandemic. Ruqayah said, “Since I only became a healthcare worker during the pandemic, I got to see very different things before and during covid. You begin to pick up on the smallest things that others may not. The biggest thing I've learnt since becoming a healthcare worker is how much this pandemic is affecting people's mental health. So many people come into A&E struggling mentally because of the strains of the pandemic. Some people do not have the support they need, and being isolated is affecting a lot of people. This pandemic has also given me perspective too. It's helped me to realise that everyone else is going through the same things I'm going through too, and it makes me realise how lucky and privileged I am to have my support system and I've become closer to my family for it.”
But how does one juggle between their own home/family life during Ramadan, making sure everyone is safe and yet gets to enjoy the spirit of the holy month? Ruqayah said, “It can definitely be difficult for sure. On a night shift, you don't really see your family at all. Sleeping most of the day, and spending the night at work means you don't get much family time. When you're working day shifts, it's a little better. You still get to break your fast and have iftar with your family, which is always a special time, and you have sehri with everyone so at least you get some time together before you're gone for the day. I spend as much of my days off with my family, trying to make sure we can do something together, even if it is just sitting together while we all do our own things, or having late night chats between iftar and sehri.”
To find out more about working in the NHS visit The Prince’s Trust website at www.princes-trust.org.uk or call 0800 842 842.