Unsurprisingly, nursing is one of the most popular careers in healthcare. Given their fundamental roles in the healthcare system, nurses enjoy high and stable demand and get lucrative salaries, among several other career benefits. Alongside this, the emotional rewards of helping patients and saving lives significantly improve job satisfaction for nurses. However, all these attractive benefits come at the cost of incredibly demanding workloads, which often push a nurse’s mind and body to their limits.
A day in the life of a nurse means constant work in a chaotic work environment, leading to sleepless nights and health issues. Therefore, to continue advancing in their careers, nurses need to maintain their well-being and overcome the challenging nature of their work. To help you with this purpose, here are five strategies you can use as a nurse to limit work and keep yourself fit.
Improve your nursing skills
Undoubtedly, being a nurse is no easy feat. However, it can be even more challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the skills and techniques needed to perform well at your job. Improving yourself as a nurse is not only important to advance in your career but also to make it easier for yourself. Skilled and experienced nurses are able to finish off their work sooner with efficient techniques while avoiding mistakes that can cause issues. As a result, such nurses have more time off work, allowing them to maintain their well-being. To enhance your nursing skills, you can avail volunteering opportunities, dive deeper into different areas of nursing, and become a member of nursing organizations. But most importantly, continue your education.
So, suppose you have an associate degree in nursing. In that case, you’re probably wondering how long it’ll take you to complete a bachelor of science in nursing. After all, as a nurse, you can’t focus on a long education program, as it would make things incredibly difficult. But fortunately, moving from ADN to BSN doesn’t take as long as you might think. Ensure to search how long it takes to go from an ADN to BSN to make the right decision for your future education.
Due to their extreme workloads, nurses often get carried away with their careers, eventually allowing their jobs to take over their lives. Consequently, there’s little time left for self-care and personal life, as nurses spend most of their time at work with sleepless nights and overtime shifts. More importantly, the emotional stress of seeing patients suffer can often affect the personal life of a nurse. Such a situation can be extremely detrimental to a nurse’s well-being and even lead to burnout. Approximately 38% of nurses experience burnout each year.
Nonetheless, you can avoid risking your health by establishing boundaries between work and life, leading to a work-life balance. For this purpose, you can follow strict work schedules and manage your time effectively during work. For instance, you can avoid staying overtime and reserve time for hobbies and personal activities. Doing so will allow you to keep work stress at the workplace, giving you enough time to put into your personal life and self-care.
Nurses need to perform physically exhausting tasks throughout the day, such as moving and assisting patients, setting up equipment, and walking around for hours without rest. In such a situation, the health of a nurse who is physically unfit and does not perform exercises will be significantly affected. After all, such a nurse would lack the strength and stamina to keep up with the demanding job. In contrast, a nurse who exercises regularly will be able to maintain well-being and perform tasks quickly, limiting work.
So, take some time off of work and perform exercise regularly. However, it’s best not to indulge in intensive exercise, as it might be harmful, especially for nurses who are already facing physical exhaustion at work. You can also perform breathing exercises to improve your psychological well-being by reducing stress through improved oxygen exchange. Belly breathing is an effective and simple breathing exercise you can perform.
Socialize at work
Nursing isn’t something you can do alone. Without the essential support from coworkers, it can be exceptionally challenging to cope with the intense workloads and pressurizing work environment. Isolation at work can lead to an increased chance of burnout and mental health issues such as depression and stress. So, don’t hesitate to talk and socialize with other healthcare workers during your job, as it can significantly improve your well-being. Attending and organizing social activities can also help you strengthen bonds with coworkers.
With enough socialization, you can support teamwork at your workplace. It can help you reduce your workload, as it’s divided between team members. Not to mention, team members can provide emotional support that can maintain your mental well-being. Additionally, you can also gain a mentor through socialization. Having a mentor by your side can help you get important advice at work and finish off work quickly, allowing you to limit work. However, at the same time, you should not forget to give socialization importance in your personal life as well. Meeting friends and family is crucial to maintaining mental well-being.
An intensive, gruelingly hectic job with long shifts and sleepless nights can make it difficult to follow a healthy eating routine. Many nurses begin to excessively eat foods high in sugar and caffeine to energize themselves throughout the day. However, doing so harms your body in the long term while draining it of the nutrients needed to maintain physical strength.
Therefore, it’s crucial to limit your caffeine consumption and focus on a healthy balanced diet for improved job performance and well-being. Fish, eggs, lean meat, and legumes can provide your body with sufficient protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But if you can’t find such foods at work, make them yourself. Moreover, it’s equally important to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Nursing can be a highly demanding career in terms of work, as nurses need to take the responsibility of countless patients in a healthcare facility. Without limiting work and taking care of yourself, things can get out of hand faster than you can imagine, leading to several health-related issues. So, keep in mind to follow the ways mentioned above to thrive in your career. Ultimately, you’ll notice visible changes in your health, mood, and workplace productivity.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.