Becoming a nurse is a calling. Working as a nurse often results in putting the happiness and welfare of patients above your own for hours and days on end. There is a difference between working a shift and feeling so emotionally drained and physically tired that you want to leave nursing. Here are some ways to avoid experiencing burnout as a nurse.
Burnout is commonly mentioned in the nursing profession. The first step to avoiding it is to know what it looks like. Burnout is when nurses feel emotionally and physically exhausted due to constant overwork. Feeling like they don’t have support and lacking the desire to continue in the profession are also common. Professionals across every industry are susceptible to burnout. But as givers of care, nurses are prone to it. Those who work in specialties like emergency room or oncology nursing are hit harder than most.
Working in a nursing specialty that you love will help carry you through times of stress and uncertainty. Lack of job satisfaction is a significant contributor to burnout among nurses. Having a job that you do have a passion for will mitigate this aspect of burnout.
Having a support system full of people who understand the pressures and the stress of your profession is important. It helps you feel like you’re not alone. Having nurses you can go to in order to share the things you’re proud of, frustrated by or just to compare notes will help keep burnout at bay. Form a squad with the nurses on your floor or get in touch with nurses you went to school with. Schedule a time to go to lunch, get coffee, or do an activity you enjoy together and share your experiences.
If work is especially hectic and the pressure is just building up, don’t wait to relieve it. Find a quiet corner or space. Take a minute and do something that calms you. In the next minute do something active. Think of it like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken. Leaving it to sit still for a moment lessens the chance that it’ll explode while opening it. Opening the cap slowly is the action that releases the pressure.
Doing anything else but work in your downtime can help restore your sense of self and help you recover for the shift ahead. Gardening, playing a video game, watching a movie, or crafting are ways to help shift your focus off the job.
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