Job dissatisfaction and burnout is the number one reason nurses leave the job and the profession. Everyday stresses associated with workplace conflicts, medical mishaps, patient difficulties, long hours, as well as pressure to stay insightful and sharp at all times despite a heavy workload leave you overwhelmed and exhausted—physically, mentally, and emotionally. In spite of these challenges, there are actions you can take to make this year’s nursing life a little bit easier.
Resolution 1: Start your day with a plan.
- Prioritize your tasks at the beginning of your shift so you can properly divide your time and attention to patients who need it most.
- Consider your biological rhythms. You might choose to tackle your most strenuous tasks early in the day when your physical energy level is highest. Morning may also be the time you apportion medications to dispense to patients throughout the day. You might tackle administrative functions in the afternoon. Determine what works best for you.
- Be prepared for unexpected snags or hurdles. While you can’t always dictate how your day will unfold, starting out with a blueprint serves as your anchor. If your day temporarily gets knocked off-center, you can go back to your original plan and reassess your priorities.
- Be resourceful. During breaks, brainstorm with other nurses to share useful caregiving shortcuts that save time without sacrificing patient safety. Planning constructive time with coworkers provides an added bonus: it builds trust and helps you feel more connected with people you work with and depend on every day. What’s more, you might even have a few laughs—which is great for your outlook and your soul.
Resolution 2: Document accurately all the time—and feel okay about doing it.
It’s no secret that mistakes happen in the workplace. Sometimes:
- The wrong medication is prescribed or dispensed.
- Treatments are performed on the wrong patient.
- Newly admitted patients fail to disclose important details about their condition or the drugs they take, which leads to inappropriate treatment.
- Painful treatments are performed without adequate sedation.
- Germ-control protocol is not followed.
- The bedside manner of medical personnel is not up to par, leaving some patients confused and upset about their prognosis or treatment.
- Patients get discharged from the hospital before they are ready.
- Unattended patients get hurt.
If you make a mistake, or witness one, write it down and provide details. Don’t worry that documenting incidents will cost you your job, offend a coworker, or anger an intimidating physician. Despite the excessive charting you might have to do every day, this measure actually protects your job, increases patient safety, and upholds the integrity and best practice care at your hospital.
Resolution 3: Nurture yourself—physically, emotionally, and intellectually
- Head to the gym after work or take a power walk (by yourself) outside during your lunch break. Raising your endorphins is a great way to relieve tension and clear your head.
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation to help you fall asleep at night.
- Before bedtime, soak in a bath of Epsom salts and eucalyptus oil. It works to soothe pinched nerves, muscle aches, and back strain.
- Occasionally treat yourself to a massage.
- Keep your body well-fueled and hydrated throughout the day. Take meal breaks, bring healthy snacks, and drink lots of H2O.
- Stop wasting time worrying. Face your challenges or concerns and make plans to resolve what you can fix and free your mind about situations that are beyond your control.
- Get away. Use your personal and vacation days to travel. Explore places that stimulate your senses and satisfy your curiosity. Even a 3-day junket or overnight trip to a different city can boost your health and emotional well-being.
- Join a national nursing organization. It’s a great way to further your education, stay current on changes that affect healthcare, get special discounts, advance your career, and more.
To get more practical advice on topics of interest to the nursing profession, rely on BOS Medical. Whether you are looking for tips on how to handle challenges in the workplace or want to pursue your career options, our nursing and healthcare staffing recruiters go above and beyond to match each of our candidates to the right job. Contact BOS Medical today to find your next opportunity.