Nurses: Saving lives, educating the ignorant, and being nice to the simpletons – with such responsibility, comes great stress.
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. Whether you’re a nursing assistant, a home health aide, a registered nurse, or a practical nurse, you work your gloves off to provide comfort and care to your patients. You have to put up with a lot. You can handle tremendous workloads, patient emergencies, long hours, and execute physically demanding tasks, all of which can contribute to a dreadful headache or stress on the job. Burn-out and stress are the two primary factors that affect nurses’ during their service.
Constant stress can manifest itself in a host of psychological and physical symptoms, including sleep disturbances, depression, poor concentration, and above all, body ache. Research suggests that elevated levels of stress may impair the immune system and accelerate the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease – which is the last thing a nurse wants!
As tedious and sweat-provoking a nurse’s job is, some nurses manage to pull it off successfully without giving their “stress hormones” the slightest amount of attention. What’s the secret?
Below are some ways nurses can cope with stress. Take a look!
Nurses need to know that it is normal to seek professional help when things elevate from good to bad. When stressors at work become unavoidable and unbearable, it transforms into physical problems, and work performance suffers. Patient care is at risk, or interpersonal relationships are on edge; nurses shouldn’t hesitate to seek help.
Many organizations offer assistance programs for staff, plus you can discover a few resources from the community. Nurses should understand that caregiver stress is rambling. Taking the first step to seek help is paramount to their happiness.
Furthermore, if you’re a practicing nurse who wants to achieve an advanced clinical role without dwelling on an over-demanding humdrum that triggers utmost stress, an online MSN would suffice. It is a commendable program for those who want to squeeze more rewards off their routine.
The family members with a sick loved one are under a great deal of stress. When they unleash their anger or fear on you, they don’t see you as a person but as an extension of the hospital’s practice.
Make sure to report the situation to your floor manager and protect yourself at all costs. These “lashing outs” can also stress you out. Therefore, move away from the circumstance and take a few minutes to clear your head, relax your nerves, and recharge.
Based on a 2014 research led by the American Sociological Association, nursing professionals who considered their job as a “calling” – simply because they wanted to provide a shoulder to others – experienced tremendous stress and exhaustion than those who felt their job was a career. Why is that? It is because nurses feel a high level of empathy for the people in their care; it can be demanding and may underwrite their stress levels.
Thankfully, if you know how to compartmentalize, in that case, you can stash away your work-related concerns when you’re about to head home.
Bottom Line: Don’t bring your job stress at home.
A nurse is bound to get overwhelmed, and for that, some effective emergency coping strategies are needed. These will help a nurse regroup, calm down, and find a way to deal with the situation.
Some examples include:
If you don’t get a chance to do either of these things, then an alternative would be to remain calm and say: “I’m feeling rather flabbergasted right now. I’d like to take a few minutes to catch my breath, and I’ll get back to you.”
Another excellent way to reduce stress is to discover a hobby. It gives nurses something else to put their minds on, and it is something that they enjoy. No doubt, hobbies make people feel pleasant and sometimes offer a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Hobbies don’t need to be time-consuming; they could include working on an art project, knitting, reading, even exercise (which is a double-whamming when reducing stress). Moreover, the possibilities for hobbies are never-ending and have satisfying health benefits as well.
Have you, as a nurse, ever wanted to unload all of your worries and frustrations – but you don’t want to burden someone else with your thoughts?
In such a case, keeping a journal is the perfect way to express negative nurse work and stress. Some people find it satisfying to purchase a hard copy journal to pour their heart out in, while many prefer to use an online application.
Some words of wisdom: if you choose to write your thoughts on a digital journal, do not keep it on an employer-owned gadget. Also, even if you are using a personal device, keep your journal secure with a password; only you can guess.
Furthermore, the whole point of jotting down your thoughts is that you can have the chance to express yourself without worrying about how others might react to your feelings. In other words, your journal is your safe-space to unload all the stress you’ve been hiding!
If switching jobs isn’t an option, learn how to cope with stress at work in the healthcare sector with a few simple practices as part of your day.
Exercise is one of the best stress-busters because it encourages deep breathing. Deep, refreshing breaths combined with head rolls and shoulder shrugs help muscles to relax. Other than that, even those with tiny squeeze balls help relieve muscle tautness throughout the day.
And lastly, do not be afraid to put a handful of your emotions on display. Studies show that both tears and laughter are natural stress mutilators.
That’s the end of it – some detailed tips on how nurses can cope with nerve-wracking stress!
Caring for others is the first instinct of a nurse. However, this culture needs to take a breather. After all, how can one efficiently care for others when their psychological health is at stake? Staying in touch with one’s emotions and feelings and recognizing stress and its influence can really take a nurse down.
Therefore, it is essential to create “boundaries.” We hope the above-said tips brought out a change in you. Remember, nurses may be entitled as “heroes,” but they always don’t have to wear their capes! Take care of yourself and use these tips to diminish stress on the job. You deserve to be happy and healthy!