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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.

  • Reducing holiday stress

    Limiting the stress that comes with the holidays requires a bit of planning. The Cleveland Clinic offers some suggestions built around the activities that can be the most anxiety-inducing: • Holiday shopping • Planning family gatherings • Scheduling time with family and friends • Taking care of yourself—eating well and staying active • Managing your time • Coping with the… 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…

  • Laugh, nurse, laugh!

    Victor Borge, the famous Danish comedian, pianist, and conductor once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Infusing laughter and humor into your work life is a powerful tool that can improve communication, reduce stress, foster cohesiveness, and boost overall performance and staff engagement. (See It starts with a smile.) Read more…

  • How to ease conflict and experience greater harmony at work

    Jeanette manages to beat traffic, clock-in on time, and begin her day. Everything is running smoothly. Then she and another nurse argue over who should take the next admission. Both of them already have full patient loads. Throughout the day, several more admissions and discharges take place, but Jeanette can’t get her mind off this dispute. “It’s going to be a long day,” she says to herself. Workplace conflicts Read more…

  • Clinical humility: A humbled patient care

    There's a story that goes something like this: An elderly man falls down a flight of stairs at home. In the emergency department, he’s found to have four broken ribs, a pneumohemothorax that requires two chest tubes, and a large gash on his forehead that needs 12 stitches, along with some of the usual cardiopulmonary comorbidities associated with older people. While in the hospital, the patient acquires 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…

  • Building moral resilience to neutralize moral distress

    Moral distress occurs when one recognizes one’s moral responsibility in a situation; evaluates the various courses of action; and identifies, in accordance with one’s beliefs, the morally correct decision—but is then prevented from following through. The literature is replete with the mounting evidence of the incidence and sources of moral distress. 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…

  • How to succeed at floating

    If you’ve ever floated,  you know the experience can be challenging at times. Wherever you work, you may sometimes feel you don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all your tasks, especially when working in clinical situations less familiar to you. Read more…

  • Compassion fatigue: Are you at risk?

    compassion fatigueFor many of us, nursing isn’t just what we do; it’s who we are. Most of us became nurses because we care about people and want to make a difference in their lives. Over time, nurses develop a nursing intuition and a working knowledge of disease and trauma. Our intuition, knowledge, and caring don’t automatically shut off when we leave work. 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…

  • Balancing the wheels of life

    BalancingHave you ever ridden a bicycle with a wobbly wheel? The ride isn’t smooth, and you notice every bump in the road. As you focus on your discomfort, you may be distracted from the beautiful vistas you’re riding past. Think of the bicycle as your overall health, which carries you through life. For most of us, Read more…

  • The mindful nurse

    MindfulnessMindfulness is an increasingly common topic in both popular and professional literature. In clinical populations, evidence suggests mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can reduce symptoms linked to various conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression. Among healthcare professionals, mindfulness training can reduce psychological Read more…

  • Room with a view: Clutter included?

    Your “new” room is now ready—hospital room, that is. Architects are finally designing and redesigning hospital rooms that could match the suites at your local Marriott, with the built-in perk of making patients feel better. The new rooms have been lauded as “simple, airy, and visually arresting.” In August 2014, a front-page article in The New York Times 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…


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