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How should nurses handle their workplace stress? As a nurse, it will be important for us to have a clear explanation of how to handle the emotionally and physically demanding aspects of our job.

During my nurse training, I attended a seminar where the speaker encouraged nurses to develop and maintain habits that support our health. He recommended finding a physical activity or hobby to pursue as a way to reduce stress. I took his advice and found a gym that offers a variety of classes, so there is always something new in a nursing job to try. I also volunteer at children hospitals. I find that these two hobbies effectively relieve my stress.
#july20, #jobs , #stress , #career, #nurse .

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Cinthya’s Answer

If at work and facing this situation, it’s good to step say for a second. Take an extra minute while getting a sip of water, do some breathing exercises, wash your hands twice to just have that extra minute alone.

Outside of work it’s important to get plenty of rest and do things for you. Treat yourself. Eat healthy. Exercise. Find what keeps you grounded and what keeps you from burning out.

Also, make sure you take your vacation time and schedule time off from work to recharge. Making sure you have good work/life balance is important.
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Tequila’s Answer

Hello Clinton. Great to see you followed some great advice. Finding your happy place is important. Not just in nursing but in life. We have so many stressors placed on us just living in society. Every billionaire has a hobby. It's amazing, but they realize that without mental outlets, they won't be able to function well either. People who do nothing but work and play with their families, I worry about when will the lid blow off. Exercise of any kind is a good stress reliever. Any creative activity whereby you get to see a positive outcome of your hard work is a stress reliever. Doing independent private acts for yourself reduces stress. Providing help, kindness, and rewards to others without actually receiving compensation is a great way to relieve stress too. If it brings you positive feedback and you're helping and not hurting anyone, go for it. Nursing tends to see others at their worst; this can rub at our core over time. Nurses really have to find their happy place; or, you will burn out and won't even know why. Then when this happens, people want to blame the profession. But sometimes, it's how we dealt with the profession.
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Kerrie’s Answer

As a perioperative nurse for 25+ years, there are going to be times where you encounter a situation during the job where you can not get away because of patient safety, but in that moment you can learn techniques to settle your mind to stop, take a deep breath, and realize that you have colleagues that will help you work through your situation. The one thing about nursing is that you are never alone, even though it may feel like it at times. It is good to know who you can turn to in times of need during a medical emergency, potentially unknown patient situation, family drama, end-of-life situations with both patient and family, etc. These are the kinds of things to know when to bring in other people who can help you such as a charge nurse, social worker, pastor, child life specialist, etc. When we collaborate with others, it decreases the amount of stress we may have to take on by ourselves by utilizing the resources around us. This has helped me tremendously in my career as a I moved through the Med-Surg, Pediatric, and Perioperative settings.
There are also employee assistance programs (EAP) that are offered through most companies these days that offer employee assistance for mental health-related assistance. Sometimes these are even helpful after a very stress-related event that may occur at jobs such as a tragic event of loss with a patient or co-workers (e.g., active shooters, suicides, other traumatic deaths, or injuries). Recently with COID, our company, which is a global company, offered free access to a website for brain/mental wellness!

As far as physical stress, it is a great idea to find one or two, or more hobbies to get involved in that are non-work related. It is fun to do stuff with co-workers outside of work, but sometimes you want to totally turn off your brain from work-related information and just unwind, which is hard to do with co-workers and the conversation always tends to lead back to complaining about work (let's face it, it's inevitable).
My husband and I love to take our dog hiking and sometimes driving to parts of Colorado that we have never been to (just for fun)! We also both work from home, so we take our "lunch break" and walk the dog for 2.5 miles every day which benefits all of us and gives us a break from work.
I have known a lot of colleagues that find it helpful to have a physical hobby to keep them feeling healthy and it also helps them unwind the emotional stress of nursing (as needed). Some others fulfill that need with volunteering at local shelters, churches, choirs, animal shelters, etc...It really is up to what you like, I would definitely say to do a physical activity you like and have fun! I love to do stuff with my dog, so she goes everywhere with us, even shopping at the outlet mall! Ha! And I love volunteering with the local animal shelter so we foster dogs every few months, which helps them and helps us get a "puppy" fix! LOL! I have also taken classes on my own on nutrition just to help me understand my own health a little bit better, which has also helped me be healthier!
One other habit I have really worked hard at in the last several years is to separate work from home life. When I come home from work, my husband and I may ask each other about our day and we digress for about 30-60 min but then that is it, we move on and make dinner, play with our dog, or go do something fun. When it is the weekend, we do not do anything work-related. We have gotten to the point in our careers that we can put work down and leave it there till Monday morning again. It took a long time to build this habit, but if I could do it all over again, I would start this habit sooner.
I would say whatever you do, find an outlet that fits you and your personality, away from work. Find resources while you are at work when you cannot get away and take time to care for yourself! Love yourself! If you don't love you, then over time it starts to show, and it will wear you out and start to show on others! You are worth it!! Love yourself, lean on your colleagues, care for others! <3
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Doris’s Answer

Clinton, we started a work yoga group at lunch time but if you don't have that flexibility. I agree with Bri and take a walk outside weather permitting it does help clear your head and keeps you healthy at the same time. Good to join a gym, but now during COVID you can do the same workouts from online help classes to get that homework in. "Home Workout-No Equipment"
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your Answer. I found it helpful and I thank you for that. Clinton
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Bri’s Answer

Hi,
I think it’s good to take a break especially if you get overwhelmed at work. Go have a glass of water or step outside for some air. Try talking to some as well. At hospitals they have therapists you can you talk to for advise. I’m a mental health tech and every year we have classes we have to take and one of them is a calming class. I’m sure the hospital should have some thing that will provide various ideas what to do. Of course outside work exercise, yoga, or even mediating is good. You just have to find what is best for you. What may work for one won’t work for all.
Thank you comment icon Bri, thank you so much for the answer you gave. I found it helpful, I appreciate it. I will be looking forward to that. Clinton
Thank you comment icon No problem! Bri Scott
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