Nursing is one of the noble yet challenging professions.
It requires commitment, a great sense of tolerance, and humanity.
Nurses work relentlessly to provide the highest level of ethical, safe, and quality care to the injured, disabled, sick and dying.
From long hour shifts and workloads to enduring workplace bullying and risk of exposure to infection, nurses have always experienced complex challenges.
Besides the physical strain of the nursing profession, emotional difficulty can also lead to stress and burnout.
Burnout is a physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion due to stressors like long shifts, the pressure of caring for individuals who may not have positive outcomes, the strain of quick decision making, and a lack of appreciation.
As nurses experience these factors, they may start feeling detached and disengaged, the first symptom of nurse burnout.
Research suggests that burnout reduces nurses’ overall quality of life, their ability to work well, and their commitment to the institutions, which ultimately impacts patient outcomes.
Avoiding addressing burnout with good self care can lead to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and even depression.
If you are a nurse or intend to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner, it is essential to be mindful of your mental health.
Here are a few tips to prevent burnout while working as a nurse.
8 Tips How to Prevent Burnout:
1. Switch to online options to work towards a professional goal.
Registered nurses may want to advance their education and step up their position in their careers, but the thoughts of workload often prevent them from doing so.
Getting registered in online MSN programs can help nurses level up in their profession without worrying about their work life.
Opting for the online options will not only help you to gain clinical skills and knowledge but allow you to prevent the burnout that most nurse practitioners face.
It can be one of your best decisions as it offers more flexibility, helping you focus on work and your studies.
Moreover, some institutes allow you to choose your lecture hours while having the chance to engage with your instructors and fellows.
2. Balance your work and personal life.
Maintaining a work life balance can be difficult but helpful for nursing professionals.
Nurses are usually deeply invested in their work that they often forget to build boundaries between their work and personal life.
Consider decreasing your workload and avoiding stacking up your tasks.
Delegate some of your tasks to your colleagues at work and your partner or family members at home to reduce workload.
Leave any feelings or thoughts about work at work when your shift ends.
If you are working night shifts, you can schedule your time during the day with your family and friends because they deserve your presence as well as time too.
Be mindful and present when spending time with your loved ones.
Setting up and keeping to a regular schedule is important.
It is also essential to utilise time off.
Organizations provide time off benefits to their workers to help them improve their work and life balance, so make use of this benefit and relax at home or plan a vacation with your loved one to de stress.
3. Find out the Source of Your Stress.
As a working nurse, many things might disturb you, including workload, criticism, and poor patient outcomes.
Try to identify the circumstances that leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Once you know the reasons for burnout, you can create a plan to address the problems.
If you cannot recognize what is fueling your burnout, track your job responsibilities for a couple of days, and note down how you feel after completing each activity.
If you think some particular individual might be the source of your stress, limit your interaction with them and all those who leave you feeling exhausted and drained at work or home.
4. Prioritize your sleep.
Practising a good night’s sleep and getting sufficient of it is vital to boosting physical and psychological well being and mood.
Most nurse practitioners get insufficient sleep than what is recommended to them.
Sleep deprivation leads nursing professionals to lose focus and be unable to handle tasks efficiently.
It affects their daily performance and can take a toll on their cognitive abilities.
Nurses should set aside time for sleep, at least 7 to 8 hours every night.
Sleeping and waking up regularly at the same time is a bonus.
To enjoy uninterrupted and peaceful sleep, limit your screen time and consumption of alcohol or caffeine before bedtime.
Practising a good sleep schedule can help enhance your stamina, concentration, motivation, and alertness.
5. Learn some coping methods.
Coping methods are strategies that individuals use to cope with stressful situations.
Nurses must learn some coping skills to manage their daily stressors.
These methods include breathing techniques, mindfulness meditation, journaling, exercise, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Managing your stress levels effectively can allow you to feel better physically and mentally and improve your ability to give your best as a healthcare provider.
6. Have a healthy diet.
Taking care of your diet is one of the effective ways to prioritize self care for nursing professionals.
As a busy practitioner, you might not take care of your nutrition, and eventually, you consume processed and sugary items, leading to diminished energy.
Try subscribing to the ready to cook or ready to eat meal program, which can deliver fresh food to your doorstep.
You can also try meal planning apps to get help in planning your healthy diet.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, low fat meat, nuts, seeds, and low fat cheese can help enhance your overall health.
7. Do what you enjoy.
Love spending time on the seaside? Are you obsessed with nature? Do you love writing?
Whatever and whoever you like to spend your time with, do it more frequently.
Even when you are not sure, take out some time for self care.
Go shopping, do skincare and relax at home, ask your friend to accompany you, watch a movie with your loved one, read, sing, or whatever your heart desires, go for it!
The more you enjoy doing things, the less stress and worries you will have.
8. Seek Professional Support, If Required.
Nursing professionals work in stressful environments, so it is necessary to recognize how high stress environments affect your health.
If you need help, you can consult a counsellor or a therapist near you to prioritize self care.
In addition, you must take advantage of such benefits, especially when offered by your company.
What you should remember?
From delivering quality patient care and comforting clients’ families to collaborating with doctors, administration, and junior staff, nurse practitioners work tirelessly for their entire shifts.
The only thing that doesn’t get addressed is their self care.
Nurses may experience job burnout due to excessive workload, longer shifts, and lack of appreciation.
This can take a toll on their health physically and psychologically if not addressed.
Following the above tips will improve their mood, focus, and health, helping them to perform well in their profession and prevent burnout.