Burnout is a common occurrence in most job fields today. No matter the profession, workers find themselves mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted from the stresses of their jobs. Although job responsibilities vary between professions, burnout often looks similar across the board. According to business research group The Conference Board, 49% of Americans reported that they were unhappy with their jobs in 2016.
Much of this reported dissatisfaction was attributed to the same factors that lead to burnout. And for those working in the nursing field, the realities of nursing burnout are all too real.
5 Steps to Preventing Nursing Burnout
A day in the life of a nurse is fast-paced, often stressful, and typically very physically demanding. Nurses often work long shifts on rotating schedules, standing on their feet the majority of the time. While on duty, nurses must lift, transport, and move patients around while caring for them. To help combat these physical demands, set a goal to exercise daily, follow a healthy diet, and get plenty of sleep at night. When you feel good physically, the demands of the job won’t feel quite so taxing.
Find an Outside Hobby that Brings You Joy
From the start to finish of a shift, nurses must deal with the many facets of sickness and death. Nurses must offer emotional support to patients and their families while also providing for their medical needs. This can be mentally and emotionally draining. Pursuing interests outside of nursing that bring you joy and happiness can help guard against depression and help strengthen your emotional health.
Don’t Overbook Your Schedule
Nurses tend to be very selfless individuals, always wanting to help serve the needs of others. Guard your days off. Don’t feel obligated to pick up extra shifts every time you’re asked. Keep your private time and use it to pour time and energy into yourself. You will give and give and give to others throughout your career; don’t neglect to take time for yourself along the way.
Know Your Stress Triggers and How to Respond to Them
Nursing is a stressful profession. Coworkers don’t always communicate well. Patients don’t always follow medical advice. Supervisors may assign impractical amounts of work during a standard shift. Learn to identify what triggers your stress the easiest and find the coping techniques that work the best for you. Deep breathing techniques, muscle relaxation strategies, and practicing an attitude of gratitude are just a few ideas. The key is to find what works best for you and do it.
Set Personal Boundaries on the Job
In your desire to selflessly serve the patients you care for, it’s important to set personal boundaries to protect your emotional and mental health. You won’t be able to save everyone. Not every patient will leave happy and healthy. As you work to create personal connections with patients, it’s important to set boundaries to not become overly attached to your patients. Setting personal boundaries will also help prevent your personal life from flowing into your work life, and vice versa.
Nurses often say that they enter the profession because they are interested in working in a challenging field and is exciting and fast-paced, and allows them to make a difference in the lives of others. Nursing is the perfect choice for thousands. By taking the proper steps to guard against nursing burnout, you too can enjoy the benefits of working in such a rewarding career for years to come.
To learn more about how to get started in an exciting nursing career from one of Northwest Ohio’s premier nursing schools, contact the Admissions Office at Athena Career Academy today at 419-329-4075.