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We need to stop calling NHS staff heroes – for a very important reason

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When we put people on a pedestal, my experience is that they are less likely to be asked, ‘are you OK?’, writes Samantha Batt-Rawden, a senior registrar in intensive care medicine.

Like many she has been touched by the groundswell of support from the public. But there’s a problem with this hero image, she says. 

"It’s not just that many NHS staff are feeling increasingly uncomfortable with being hailed as heroes for what they see as simply doing their jobs. Of course, we were going to step up to the plate when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As doctors it was our duty. There was never any question.

"But there’s something more than just feeling undeserving of the cape weighing heavily on our shoulders. The worst thing about being seen as a superhero? Very few think to ask if you’re OK.

And herein lies the problem. Because healthcare workers are not heroes, we are human. Completely, painstakingly, fallibly human."

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Source: The Independent, 2 May 2021

 

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