While a bit of stress could be helpful, it can be counterproductive when it comes to your job if it gets out of hand, especially in jobs that require plenty of time and effort, like nursing or graduate nurses.
Stress can affect your well-being negatively, and in such a delicate field of work like healthcare, it increases chances of errors that can be life-threatening or at least dangerous.
Other than affecting those in your care, stress also impacts your health negatively in the long run and causes problems like high blood pressure.
Handling stress efficiently and channeling it positively is an art that takes years to master. But, even graduate nurses can find ways to handle the pressure and persevere through a few tips from the pros.
- Control the situational variable to minimize uncertainty
As a graduate nurses, you’re bound to face stressful situations, whether a patient is in a critical condition or a professional error by a colleague. Learn to take control in emergencies professionally with the consent of your superior.
As a graduate nurse, teamwork is crucial for getting things done. When faced with a challenge, keep everyone in the loop, follow orders by the physician correctly, and exercise professional judgment. The more control you have over the situation, the less stressful the situation becomes.
By being competent in what you are doing, you’ll be better prepared to handle emergencies. So, when you’re fully certified with the right level of education and experience, you can reassure yourself that you have control over any situation.
After completing an online registered nurse to BSN, you will have studied a well-rounded curriculum and gained the necessary knowledge and education. In short, education helps polish existing skills, learn new ones and climb up the ladder of success.
- Exercise your muscles and practice meditation
Yes, taking out time for physical activity might seem challenging, but spend at least five minutes stretching your muscles. Nursing can be mentally and physically exhausting and if you’re able to take out a little time for yourself, it would be highly rewarding.
Exercise releases endorphins that increase serotonin levels, improving your mood. Apart from the body, your mind needs to rest, and this is where you can try meditation to enhance focus and awareness.
Meditation is also known to assemble your thoughts and enhance your overall mental well-being.
- Get sufficient sleep
Sleep is the only way to let your body recover and restore. After a tiring day of work, your body craves rest, and unless you get sufficient sleep, you cannot perform your best the next day.
Sleep encourages better judgment and concentration, enhances decision-making, and improves mood regulation. A well-rested person can cope with stress much better than others.
- Practice relaxation techniques
For stress, regardless of the cause, relaxation techniques will help. Deep breathing exercises, in particular, minimize stress and relieve muscle tension.
When you feel overwhelmed, practice deep and controlled breathing to improve the oxygen supply and release endorphins.
This involves holding one hand under the ribs and another over the chest, taking deep breaths through the nose in a way that pushes out the belly, and breath out slowly. This simple method will calm you down quicker.
- Take a break and relax
Yes, a nurse’s routine can be very challenging but taking breaks is crucial for functioning well. You should know when you’ve had enough and need some time off.
When the stress gets too much to handle, request a short break and spend that time in a peaceful place. Some hospitals include gardens or quiet rooms where one can retreat for some alone-time.
While on break, engage in calming activities like having herbal tea or enjoying a snack. Taking no breaks at all leads to exhaustion, hampering body functions. Remember, stress and fatigue in nursing are prevalent, and not everyone can handle these in tandem.
- Seek help and talk it out
No one likes to be alone when undergoing something stressful. A good support system always helps cope with difficult situations. This support system is sometimes the perfect place to vent and seek guidance.
Nurses should look towards assistance from their colleagues and family members. In the work environment, co-workers and other staff members can provide informational support and reduce the anxiety of uncertainty.
On the other hand, look for a close friend or family member when you wish to for someone who listens to you. Research shows nurses rely on colleagues for informational support while talking to their families helps reduce job stress.
Nurses must understand the need for self-care. In looking after others, one tends to neglect their own health.
Nurses should learn how to cope with stress to ensure better health and better care for themselves and their patients. Stress management techniques like deep breathing and exercise help minimize stress in the long run, help you take on more challenging roles, and grow in your career.