Tips For Nurses: Ways to Keep Your Stress Away and Avoid Burnout at the Workplace
Nursing is a highly demanding profession. It demands your mental, physical and emotional presence at all times. Without any doubt, those long duty hours and constant dedication towards patient care can become exhausting sometimes. Although they face countless challenges throughout their career, the uphill struggle starts the moment they graduate and ends on the day they retire.
Nurses carry an influential persona, and they know how to cope with all kinds of problems. But often, it boils down to the point of saturation, where they feel unenthused. They are exhausted mentally as well as physically. There is zero motivation to treat and heal patients. So if you’re a nurse and have this “worn out” feeling, the burnout phase has begun. But don’t worry, just like every other problem, there is an effective solution. This blog covers all the essential components you should know to keep your workplace stress at bay.
1. Rule out the stressors:
The first step you may take is to rule out all the possible stressors. Try to pinpoint factors that make you vulnerable. Your stressors may include (but are not limited to):
- Long working hours
- Fewer breaks, more fatigue
- Financial issues
- Peer pressure
- High patient-nurse ratio
- Time constraints
- Conflicts with management and other staff members
Identifying the stressors may seem tricky to begin with, as the underlying root cause may be unknown at times. So, let us tell you how. Make notes on the day you feel overwhelmed. Write about how you felt about a particular activity. Keeping track will help you focus on the parts that need your undivided attention. Once you have ruled them out, make up a plan to manage them. Some working facilities also offer a one-on-one counseling session to their staff to cope with such issues.
2. Opt for higher education:
Thousands of nurses graduate every year. With time this profession is getting saturated with lesser job opportunities, which can also be stressful. So to avoid this situation, one should opt for higher education for better opportunities. Do you know how long does it take to get a masters in nursing? It usually takes two to three years, but completion times vary based on the preferences and schedules of the trainees, but the efforts are worth it. Higher education gives a boost to your confidence and motivation to work. You can deal with complex cases efficiently, and indirectly it reduces stress.
3. Share your stress:
It is easier to keep your worries to yourself than to share with others. But the most effective way to deal with all kinds of stress is to speak it out. Research suggests that getting deep sleep is a natural way to ease anxiety, but the stressor won’t disappear instantly. So the only way out is to talk about it. You can speak to any of your friends or a family member because the point is to vent it out. You can also share it with your manager, or perhaps you may consult a professional counselor for an effective solution to your problem.
4. Take out some time for self-care:
We all grew up listening to this famous saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” But we never paid attention to it. The best way to avoid burnout is to maintain a work-life balance. If you feel drained and the motivation level seems to be dropping south, it’s time to recharge. Take out some leisure time for yourself. Lessen your workload and give yourself a break from the hectic routine. Change your sleeping pattern; spend time with your family and friends. Maintain a healthy diet. Take frequent breaks in between your work. Revitalize your energy with a warm cup of coffee, gather yourself again and go back to work.
5. Seek a positive working environment:
The culture and work environment plays an essential role in your professional growth. A positive work field consists of supportive co-workers who help each other during difficult situations and provide guidance according to their own experiences. It not only helps in stress reduction but also creates a positive harmony in the overall workplace.
6. Reconsider your options:
Sometimes change is all that you need. If you have tried all the possible methods and still struggling with your job, it is better to reconsider it. Switching to a newer nursing specialization or a new team can be highly beneficial. In addition to that, you can choose jobs that are less demanding with few working hours, such as school nurses, nurse educators, policy advisors, etc.
Nurses are an essential component of our primary health care system. They often tend to neglect their wellbeing, and the effect of workplace stress and burnout becomes challenging to avoid. If you are a nurse, you have a considerable responsibility of delivering good health service to the community. And this is only possible if you are mentally as well as physically healthy. So stay motivated and organized, and create some time for yourself so that you can avoid burnout