Choosing a nursing career is certainly a challenging endeavor– but at the same time, it’s lucrative, satisfying, and full of opportunities. According to the BLS, nursing is among the top ten professions globally. The number one reason behind the rising demand for nurses is the rise in the aging population.
Tips for Nurses
Undeniably, nursing is a stressful career, and burnout is real. Not effectively managing the stress can lead to anxiety, fatigue, and many other health issues.
According to Medscape, burnout among nurses increased more than 25% in just the last four years. Moreover, it’s proven by studies and research that stress among nurses results in lack of career engagement, low level of patient care, depression, and reduced competencies.
Addressing burnout before it starts to affect job performance is critical to ensure career success. And one key to preventing stress is establishing and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. So, those of you looking to pursue a nursing career while maintaining a work-life balance must continue reading.
Evolving roles of nurses
Between the years 2019 and 2029, it’s forecasted that nursing will be the fastest-growing field recording a 7% upsurge. There’s no denying that nursing is a financially and emotionally rewarding career allowing them to work in several different facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and others. Nonetheless, while it’s a rewarding career, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.
As the roles and responsibilities of nurses in today’s era continue to evolve, burnout and fatigue are also at an all-time high. A 2019 survey shows that 41% of respondent nurses experienced burnout while 15% felt unengaged at work. So how can nurses keep up with the ever-evolving healthcare sector while not compromising their well-being? An effective solution lies in reducing the work burden and managing time.
For instance, if you’re a professional nurse seeking to land higher senior roles, you can do so by improving your academic credentials. However, managing studies with work is no easy feat. Taking time out for classes during hectic work schedules is nearly impossible. In such situations, leveraging eLearning is a viable option. Nonetheless, ensure that you opt for a higher degree like a master’s or doctorate to secure leadership positions. Now, you probably have this question in mind: can you get a doctorate in nursing online? Fortunately, you can, and it propels your nursing career to great heights.
While opting for eLearning is one way to reduce stress, let’s look at other ways:
What Prevents Nurse Work-Life Balance?
Undeniably, work-life balance plays a positive role in helping healthcare professionals meet their personal and professional goals.
Some of the main causes that disrupt work-life balance are long hours, overtime, erratic shifts, high-stress scenarios, and so forth. Possibly, more than anything else, their altruistic nature of job creates disturbances in the work-life balance.
In a study published by Health Affiliation, stress and dissatisfaction come directly from dealing with patients. When nurses are continuously in a state of stress, it shows in their work. They could make medical errors, endanger the lives of their patients and others.
Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance
While nursing is a stressful profession, work-life balance can still be achieved. Here are three important tips for the unsung heroes of healthcare to achieve work-life balance.
- Invest In Self-Care
Often, nurses find it hard to get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise to lead a healthy life. Besides, their unpredictable schedules and busy lifestyle provide little to no room for self-care. So, take some time out and invest in self-care activities. Limit your work timings, get at least a day off every month, and hang out with friends and family.
In simpler words, nurses can attain a good work-life balance only when they live a healthy life. Do you get enough sleep or time to exercise? Is your diet consisting of healthy foods? If the resounding answer to these questions is a no, you need to alter your habits.
- Take A Break from Your Work
Nowadays, where professional productivity is prioritized, pausing for a while is considered a leisurely indulgence. Beyond this, there is an abundance of paperwork, mental exertion, and emotionally tiring schedules. As a result, nurses find it hard to maintain a work-life balance.
Taking a break not only helps revitalize but also maximizes focus and productivity. Numerous studies and research also prove it. However, there’s no consensus on how long the periodic break should last. The bottom line is that getting some time off is beneficial for your overall being.
Moreover, nurses need to enjoy their leisure and learn to say no to abrupt commitments and invitations. These unexpected calls to duty hinder their relaxation time and lead to fatigue. Therefore, nurses must turn down and unplug from their duty calls to revitalize their energy.
- Accept Things That You Can’t Change
In every job, there will be things that you will wish to change, but most of the time, you won’t have the authority to change those things. To get along with these situations, here are a few tips:
- First and foremost, come to terms with your stress. While most of us often try to convince ourselves that we aren’t battling stress, suppression only intensifies it. Acceptance certainly helps with getting rid of it. But then again, addressing and talking to someone is the best strategy.
- Secondly, consider stepping away, reorienting your perspective, and taking deep breaths during work shifts.
- While accepting that things are way beyond your control, you can take control of certain aspects of your life. For instance, if you’re given unexpected work shifts, try meditation or mindfulness exercises to relieve stress.
In today’s demanding era, overworked nurses are at risk of burnout and fatigue. With the evolving responsibilities come certain challenges. Nonetheless, nurses can leverage various strategies to strike a balance between work and personal commitments.
By taking time out of their hectic schedule, reorienting their perspective, and keeping a healthy lifestyle, they can attain a work-life balance.