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One small change: An ICU nurse on how to make Ireland’s health system better

Cijy Thomas argues that if you ‘mind your mind’ then other things will fall into place

As our health system begins to return to normal activity levels following the Covid-19 pandemic, we would like to hear from doctors, nurses, paramedics, medical secretaries, hospital porters, canteen staff and others about one change they would like to see in our health system.

It can be something simple that annoys you, day in, day out, that is easily fixed, or it can be a small change in practice or attitude that would make life easier for everyone.

Cijy Thomas

(Staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at St Vincent’s University Hospital)

“Having worked through the Covid-19 pandemic, I must admit it that it has been one epic journey to witness the chaotic impact an invisible virus can have on a human being. It has been a journey of facing the unknown, navigating through anxiety and worries, being a family for the sick during their dying days, and yet holding on to the beautiful sight at the end of the tunnel [as the pandemic eases] with hope, patience, empathy, compassion and kindness.


“This incredible and phenomenal journey has offered me a whole new perspective on life and understanding what we humans are capable of enduring and yet rising out of like a phoenix from the ashes, stronger and smarter.

“One small but powerful change that I would like to see in the healthcare system is the introduction of daily mindfulness and wellbeing practices. We could start the day with a few minutes of mindful meditation and a positive talk (for staff or staff and patients alike?).

“Then we could dim the lights in the afternoon for an hour to promote rest for both body and mind while playing some soothing, relaxing music in the background. I recently completed a practitioner diploma in coaching and my mantra going forwards is ‘mind your mind’ and it all falls in place.”