Manage Stress, Avoid Burnout


Manage Stress

The high stress nature of nursing can lead to burn out, and it can leak into your personal life. Learn how to manage that stress so you can have a long career and a happy life.

  • From our readers…Nonadherent or compassion challenged?

    nonadherent refuse treatment nurse challenged challengeOver the years nurses have labeled patients who choose (knowingly or unknowingly) to disregard instructions that could potentially alter their health condition toward a "better outcome" as noncompliant, reluctant, or recalcitrant. To soften the negative connotation the word noncompliant evokes, we have added descriptors such as "challenged." Patients are compliance challenged or nonadherent Read more…

  • From our readers…The secrets of self-nurturing

    self nurture shake off breathe exerciseThe foremost Secret to nurturing yourself is to practice caring for yourself. This article focuses on self-nurturing techniques for the body and mind. The more you practice these secrets the more you’ll be able to elicit calm and relaxation in your body. Here are some tried and true “secrets” for physical self-nurturing. Read more…

  • Give yourself the gift of self-affirmation

    We’ve all had days that push us toward the edge. The chaos likely starts around mid-shift and may go something like this: Radiology calls for bed 3, bed 6 is late for discharge, the emergency department is waiting to send two new admits, and Mr. Gilbert’s wife is signaling for you again down the hallway.  Your lunch break is sidetracked by a miscommunication with your colleague, and to top it all off, you just realized Read more…

  • Tired of caring? You may have compassion fatigue

    Do you have trouble remembering what drew you to nursing? Do you take alternative paths through the unit to avoid running into a patient’s family members? Do your colleagues get on your last nerve? Are you ashamed of how you’ve started to feel about your patients, coworkers, family—and the world? Read more…

  • Mantram repetition: A portable, mindful, contemplative practice for the workplace

    Have you ever been at work and wanted to be on vacation, instead? Have you ever wished that you could “beam me up, Scotty” and be transported instantly to another place and time? Have you longed for some instant rest and relaxation? Read more…

  • Helping Sandwich Generation nurses find a work-life balance

    If you have at least one parent age 65 or older and are raising children or financially supporting a child age 18 or older, you’re part of the Sandwich Generation. Coined in 1981 by social worker Dorothy Miller, the term originally referred to women, generally in their 30s and 40s, who were “sandwiched” between young kids, spouses, employers, and aging parents. Read more…

  • What to do when someone pushes your buttons

    Really is it that some things don’t bother us, while other things catapult us from an emotional 0 to 60 mph in a heartbeat? We all know what it feels like when someone says or does something that gets our juices flowing. We feel it in our bodies, emotions, and mood. We have an overwhelming urge to react. We may express it in words at the time or take our frustrations out later on someone else. It just doesn’t feel good. We want to explode, set the record straight. Read more…

  • Achieving a work-life balance

    Almost everyone agrees that achieving a work-life balance is a good thing. Without it, we risk long-term negative effects on our physical and mental health, our relationships, and our work performance. But many nurses have a hard time achieving this balance due to job demands, erratic work schedules, or inability to say no when someone asks for help. Read more…

  • When caregiving ignites burnout – New ways to douse the flames

    caregiving burnout hostility codependent empowerment wellness nurseMost nurses enjoy taking care of others — it’s what drew them into their profession and provides satisfaction throughout their careers, to varying degrees. Caregiving at its best has mutual benefits for nurse and patient. It’s a job that requires hard work, discipline, and the emotional resilience to help patients, especially those in severe pain or in the process of dying. Read more…

  • From our readers: Two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy, PTSD remains

    Two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy, PTSD remainsAs my family got through the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, I have felt the need to share what is happening in the community with my nurse colleagues to show the long-term effects of the trauma. Nurses might ask; where are we now? What was missing when the recovery efforts were established? Did we get what we needed from all the aid that came upon our town? Read more…

  • An algorithm to help you manage your stress

    Nurses face tremendous stress in their daily practice. Various environmental and personal factors can exacerbate or mitigate stress. High stress levels impair cognitive and psychomotor functioning, leading to potential errors in patient care. Experts have identified common physiologic and psychosocial responses Read more…

  • Look for inspiration in your fellow nurses

    In a perfect world, we nurses would be inspired daily by our patient experiences. They would come in such abundance that overtime, computer crashes, and 10-minute meal breaks would be minor nuisances brushed off like a piece of lint on our scrubs.

    The reality is this: Some days are hard. Some are plain repetitive. (I can say that because I’ve worked on an endoscopy unit. I remember a Monday we did 14 colonoscopies, nothing else.)

    Read more…

  • From our readers…How focusing on spiritual needs benefits the nurse

    nurture spirit nurseThere is no question that in the complex and fast-paced world of healthcare, high levels of stress and tension are just part of the territory. Medical and technological advances over the last few decades have been beneficial, but have also taken our focus away from “being” with our patients to “doing” for our patients to a large extent. A nurse’s day revolves around many tasks to accomplish and attention Read more…

  • Resting not regretting

    “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
    — William Shakespeare

    As informal mentors, coaches, and preceptors to many new nursing graduates, we experienced Read more…

  • Caring under pressure

    Compassion is an essential ingredient for great nursing. Without compassion, you might as well come up with another word for nurse. Recently, I visited a local emergency department (ED) for management of a small-bowel obstruction, to which previous surgeries had made me susceptible. I’ve had several obstructions in the past few years; sometimes, I must go to the ED for assistance. Read more…

  • Mindful Immersion

    mindful nurse immersion meditationTip 5 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today

    The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis.

    Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before.

    For example: if you are cleaning your house, pay attention to every detail of the activity. Read more…

  • Providing workplace renewal opportunities for nurses

    Stress among nurses is caused not only by the demands of clinical care, but also the continual outlay of compassion required to meet the emotional needs of patients and families. In a fast-paced clinical setting, however, nurses are not typically afforded the necessary respite for reflection and renewal. Read more…

  • Combating change fatigue in today’s healthcare environment

    caring fatigueThose who work in the healthcare industry are well aware of its constantly changing landscape. Healthcare institutions are challenged to balance the provision of safe care with the allocation of essential resources. Changes in healthcare are aimed at increasing the efficiency and safety of care through best practices. Nurses, as the primary caregivers, are charged with implementing Read more…

  • How working nights can work in your favor

    Shortly after I completed my master’s degree in nursing, I spoke with my nurse mentor about my career decisions. At the time, I was working as a night-shift emergency department educator. "Get off the night shift," she urged, "and into the real world." Read more…

  • Writing for good health

    journaling your health nursesIf you asked nurses how they reduce job stress, you probably wouldn’t expect them to reply, “By writing.” In fact, a recent research study of nurses’ preferences for stress-relieving activities didn’t include writing as an option. Few people would choose writing to relax.

    At the beginning of a writing workshop with nurses, I often ask, “Who hates writing?” My hand is the first to go up, followed by that of nearly everyone in the room—and for good reason. Writing reports, patient assessment findings, and other types of clinical documentation can be the most tedious aspect of healthcare work. Read more…

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