3 Ways Nurses Can Lower Their Stress Levels
The medical field can be overtly chaotic at times. Nurses who find themselves on the front lines of healthcare need to search for ways to de-stress from time to time and focus on their own self-care. When they are able to relax and get away from their jobs for a bit, they will also avoid symptoms of burnout. Most professional nurses are so vital to ensure the health and safety of the patient populations being served that they will need to be at their best on every shift.
Recognition of Skills and Talents
In all career fields, employees do often appreciate when they are recognized and valued as an asset to the company. Celebrations that are held at the end of the year, for example, might recognize nurses that have done much to improve the ranking of the hospital at which they work. Hospitals strive for excellence in patient care, and nurses are often the “face” of the company. In many cases, nursing professionals who have received plaques or certificates can proudly display them at work or at home.
Recognition by the rest of the medical team will also be crucial. When a surgeon or attending physician shows appreciation on a job well done, this can really go a long way in nurturing those professional relationships. Regular staff meetings can also be held so that various members of the team can make some suggestions as to ways in which the running of the organization might be improved. When employees are aware that they are appreciated, it will be much easier to handle the daily stress at a high-profile hospital.
Professional counseling can work wonders for nurses who are beginning to break under the stress of the job. In fact, therapy sessions with licensed psychologists and other certified counselors will allow individuals to express how they are truly feeling. If they have recently lost a patient in a rather traumatic situation, they may be at an increased risk for depression. Counselors can assist a nurse through this challenging time in their career and help redirect their focus on the many positive attributes that nurses bring to the medical setting.
As with any treatment or therapy, counseling sessions will remain confidential Thus, if nurses want to express dissatisfaction with their place of employment, they will have free reign to do so. In many cases, simply discussing their innermost fears will assist with managing stress. Therapists can help nursing professionals find the tools in which they can become happier at their jobs.
Stress Reduction Classes and Techniques
When it comes to getting rid of stress, there is probably no better technique than meditation. Nurses arriving home at the end of a twelve-hour shift may find it extremely hard to relax. By learning some meditative techniques, they can sink into themselves and become one with their own existence. In some cases, they can even take meditation classes with experienced instructors. Once they have done this, they should be able to pick a mantra and allow the stress to melt away from both their minds and their bodies.
As an alternative technique, new nurses might also take up yoga. By moving their bodies slowly through range-of-motion exercises, they should eventually obtain more flexibility. More importantly, yoga exercises are specifically designed to relieve anxiety. Because nurses are pulled in various directions physically and emotionally, yoga and other Eastern techniques can help them regain some semblance of balance in their daily routine.
In the end, all nurses must give themselves time away from their profession. By setting aside a certain number of hours each day or week for other activities, they should be able to remain in their chosen career for years. When they are able to effectively control their stress, they will be true gifts to not only the patient populations they serve, but also to their family and friends.
Karen Black is a nursing instructor who has written several useful articles on the topic of nursing and education. She’s also contributed to online BSN programs for others who want to obtain their BSN and wish to utilize the convenience of online programs.