How can nurses cope with job stress?
Helping people isn’t an easy job, and many nurses around the country feel stressed at work, which can bleed into their personal lives. Coping techniques are crucial for nurses so they can make it through overwhelming situations and perform their best.
What causes stress?
According to the American Psychological Association, many factors induce stress at work. Low salaries, heavy workloads, a lack of social support, conflicting demands and unclear performance expectations are commonly known to make people worry about work.
Stress in the short term can result in a headache, stomachache, short temper, sleep trouble and difficulty concentrating. In the long run, feeling rundown by a job can lead to anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression, obesity and heart disease. People who are stressed are more prone to many of these consequences because they’re more likely to overeat, smoke or use drugs to deal with current situations.
Nurses must do their best to get stress under control to protect their work lives and well-being. Many experienced healthcare professionals have shared their experiences and offered suggestions to stressed out nurses.
How to feel happier
The American Nurses Association explained that good communication between nurses, their colleagues and their patients can be one of the best ways to reduce stress.
“Patients worry more and subsequently call their nurses more, which wouldn’t be bad if the nurses were always fully informed, and this creates a vicious cycle,” Kiki Orski, founder and chief nursing officer of Peak Performance Consulting, told the ANA.
Additionally, staying on top of workloads and schedules can also help nurses feel more at ease. These professionals should plan for the coming weeks by writing to-do lists and prioritizing those duties. Often times nurses feel like they have to be super heroes when in reality they can’t do everything. A big part of avoiding stress is accepting this fact and living with it.
If nurses think they’re doing themselves any favors by keeping their stress under wraps, they’re mistaken.
“By having a mentor, you may be able to express or vent your concerns, which nurses often bottle up,” Wumi Osunsanya, a recruiting manager who works with healthcare candidates at The Job Spotter, told the ANA.
Mentors can coach nurses through procedures and build up their confidence. Not to mention, it’s nice to have someone to turn to after a long day at work.