Saving one life can make you a hero, but saving many, many more makes you a nurse. There’s no denying that nurses are crucial to health care. We often underestimate the nurses’ role in providing care. Nurses are there for us when we’re at our most vulnerable, ensure quality care, address our needs, and help us feel taken care of.
But despite doing all that, nurses are hardly ever compensated for their work. Female nurses can develop complications from all that stress that they have to deal with on the job. It has been found that women are 70% more likely to suffer from stress-induced heart attacks as compared to men. Taking into account that about 90% of the healthcare workforce consists of nurses, this is alarming, to say the least.
Due to the intense stressful environment and unfavorable conditions of their job, nurses suffer from burnout quite often. It is also the leading cause behind nurses quitting jobs in high numbers in the US.
Moreover, the ever-present staff shortages in nursing leaves hospitals under resourced. This leads to an overburdening of the existing staff.
To some, all this means is that nursing is a career suited to the tastes of a select few lucky dispositions. Barring the fatigue and long-shift hours, nursing is the most satisfying profession you can work in. Receiving words of gratitude from the patients, seeing them recover through your efforts and care, and the financial incentives that the job provides, are some of the attractions of this profession.
In order to join the nurses on the front in providing expert care to patients, you’ll need the right qualifications. It’s more convenient to get a nursing degree now more than ever. An online option, like the Online RN to BSN Program, can provide you with the right credentials to make it in the field.
1. Nurses Routinely Have to Make High-Stakes Decisions
The hospital environment presents one with extremely sensitive life processes, like witnessing someone die, new life drawing first breath, and all the pain and sacrifices. Nurses have to be ready for whatever may come their way.
They are also sometimes in charge of making those decisions. Losing a patient, under their care, can severely take a toll on a nurse’s mental health. Lack of confidence in yourself as a nurse may lead you to make errors in judgment.
In effect, all your actions and decisions can have great bearing on the course of a patient’s treatment and their recovery. However, human errors are inevitable to happen from time to time, so it’s important to show compassion toward yourself.
2. Nurses Must Develop the Right Knowledge
Being a nurse requires you to sharpen your memory especially for the things that patients may question you about. Nurses are expected to be familiar with and well-versed in the complex medical jargon that a common man may not even be able to pronounce rightly, let alone understand.
Medical school and practice will teach you to memorize all the medicine names, their side effects, dosages, and the application usage for various ailments. Even medicine combinations have to be right every time, or else it could lead to adverse reactions in patients.
Plus, the technological advancements happening at breakneck speed in health care require that nurses are equipped with at least the knowledge to operate the endless array of software and tools for their own needs.
3. Witnessing Pain and Tragedy
Nurses end up meeting a lot more people than they can care for on any given day. People visit hospitals in conditions of pain. And, sometimes, even medicine or treatment can’t help cure a person of the pain they’re in, and their recovery might be painful.
Being a nurse means that you are responsible for alleviating people’s suffering, but if you cannot do so, it can shatter your confidence in yourself. Witnessing a patient lose their struggle for life can leave you mentally drained for days. On top of all that, it is the nurses who have to be the bearers of bad news to the families of the patients, which requires the nurses to be sensitive to their emotions.
4. Nurses Neglect Their Own Needs
As a nurse, you’ll always find yourself caring for the patients or assisting physicians. The responsibilities of a nurse include, but are not limited to, setting up appointments, ensuring patients questions have been addressed, implementing the required treatment plans, and constantly coordinate with the other nursing staff to ensure that operations are running smoothly.
All these responsibilities leave nurses with little time for themselves. Nurses don’t get enough rest, their nutrition is way off point, and their general health might deteriorate as a result.
The Role of Emotional Resilience in Combating Stress
At times, there can be no way to get around the stresses of the job. However, a nurse can combat stress by incorporating emotional resilience into their lives. People with higher levels of emotional resilience are better able to tackle stress and challenges brought on by their daily routine.
Consequently, this leads to more job satisfaction and feelings of contentment at the end of the shift. Emotional resilience is a skill that can be learnt over time through self-discipline and control.
In essence, emotional resilience is your ability to adapt to stressful environments and crises rather than going all out panic mode. It’s a soft skill that can be easily cultivated, and it’s highly sought after in professionals the world over. It will lead you to a change in your outlook on life and you’ll develop a more positive perception on the course of your life.
Look for the good in every situation, take good care of yourself, eat and sleep well, exercise, and meditate. If you follow those things, you are less likely to ever suffer from burnout or stress.
The Bottom Line
Nursing is a rewarding career, albeit a really tough one. Nurses have to assume responsibilities for many things in a healthcare setting and don’t get enough time to look after their own health. Consequently, nurses have poor health and are often prone to stress and burnout. Developing emotional resilience is a great way to combat nursing-related stress.