Trial tool for happier nurses in Ballarat

NURSES and midwives in Ballarat are being equipped with tools to help them take better care of themselves.

Ballarat Health Services and nurses in parts of the Grampians region are part the Happy People program, a state-funded pilot project that aims to improve the mental, emotional and physical health of shift workers in caring for patients at the bedside.

Happy People creates awareness of key lifestyle factors, which can impact personal well-being.

Strategies can be used to help manage sleep, boost energy, lift mood, and manage stress.

More than 2,500 nurses and midwives are involved across Victoria, including those based at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Melbourne Health.

The Happy People pilot program was developed by ABC Commercial and will be evaluated by Macquarie University.

BHS nurse unit manager Danielle Klein said shift work had a huge impact on her work and personal life. She hoped the program would help with new ways for her and her team to improve their own well-being.

“It is hard to sleep during the day, when I’ve done a night shift, and it is difficult to maintain a routine for exercise and catching up with friends and family when your work schedule changes from week to week,” Ms Klein said.

“I hope this program will give me some great tools for boosting energy and improving sleep and mood, and act as a reminder to take time to care for myself.”

Victorian Mental Health Minister Martin Foley, who launched the program, said the government was proud to support a tool that could be important to the nurses and midwives who contributed so significantly to improving well-being. 

“Having a healthy and energised workforce is crucial to attracting and retaining the best people to Victoria’s health services,” Minister Foley said.

BHS clinical education and practice development director Denielle Beardmore will lead the trial program in Ballarat.