Defuse Stress: An Insider’s Review of Stress and Burnout in Nurses

A guest post by Katie Beland…

Nurses experience a high level of stress throughout the work day. Information passes from client, receptionist, nurse, doctor and insurance companies in a fast-paced, technologically advanced atmosphere within minutes of check-in. As a nursing professional, you must engage clients with respect and compassion. Stress can interfere with your relationships with patients and damage the image of your medical institution if you cannot control your reactions.

Dangers of Burnout
Stress can cause burnout, (also referred to as caregiver fatigue) a condition caused by exhaustion, prolonged stress and a collapse of mental capacity. Burnout makes you think differently, skip steps in completing tasks and make mistakes at work. According to Bonnie Jennings, the costs of nurses’ mistakes because of burnout and stress-related factors exceeds thousands of dollars in damages for hospitals and nursing homes each year.

Stress Affects Your Health
You can jeopardize your career and a patient’s life if you do not learn how to manage your stress effectively. In today’s highly demanding workplaces, stress and burnout are the number one causes for coronary diseases. Your mental, physical and emotional health must be in tune and in control with the demands of your job. You cannot identify all stressors, but you can identify main ones to learn how to develop appropriate responses.

Speak with a Professional
Contact your employer to learn about the options available for stress-management through your organization. Sometimes you can apply for training in stress management, work with a therapist or get reimbursement for treatments to protect your health.

Focus On Results
If you are not able to receive treatments through your employer, focus on using stress management exercises to identify stressors and develop resilience to changes in the workplace. A few simple techniques to use are:

  • Counting to ten.
  • Deep breathing exercises.
  • A brisk walk during lunch or in-between breaks.
  • Writing in a journal.
  • Speaking with a friend or trusted family member.

You can overcome the problems of stress. Take your time, identify problem areas in your workplace and speak with supervisors if the problem is related to a patient, coworker or personal.

Stress is going to happen in your day. You have to learn how to control the stressors, and develop the skills necessary to defuse emotional attachments to situations so that you can perform at your best level. Until now, you may have allowed stress to cause frustration, anger or disappointment in your performance; you can take control today to make better decisions tomorrow).

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Author Bio:
Katie Beland has 15 years of experience in stress-management techniques for medical practitioners. She’s written over 300 articles on the subject and works with leading medical institutions in training nursing staff how to control the outcome of their day.