Awareness days – particularly in healthcare – are a wonderful way to keep yourself thinking about about the everyday conditions that have an impact on our patients’ lives.
Now unless you are a volunteering monster, you are not going to be organising an event and/or fundraising for every single one of these days. But setting yourself a goal to participate in at least one or two of the days that matter to you is well worth it!
I also like to try and take the name ‘awareness day’ at face value and learn a little bit about what the day wants us to be aware of. Even if you only pick up one fact and pass that on to someone else it makes a huge difference.
This knowledge is crucial as there are so many things that people are living with we may not even take into consideration. It is extremely easy to forget how some conditions just add an extra layer of complexity to everyday tasks and can be exhausting to manage in and of themselves: muscular stiffness, fatigue, dietary concerns, chronic pain, sight and hearing loss, demanding medication regimes and so on. Being aware of this and giving people time and support can make a huge difference to every instance of patient contact.
The website Awareness Days is a great resource to keep up to date with what’s going on and when.
This month is the the British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign and Alcohol Concern’s Dry January push. The British Liver Trust has lots of information aimed at healthcare professionals and I like to use awareness days and months to give myself self a push to spend a little time reading up. Otherwise I end up with an unending list of things I’ve been meaning to do for ages – this way I get through it bit by bit and keep up-to-date every year with any new information.
Best wishes to everyone for 2016!