5 Tips to Survive as a Nurse in The Health Industry
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare force, and they are the glue that binds the entire medical team together and ensures they stay on track. They assist doctors and patients alike, helping clients navigate complex medical facilities and guiding them to relevant professionals. Their job is both physically and mentally demanding.
The responsibilities of a nurse are diverse, expanding from healthcare to emotional support. Though, somedays they must be carers and providers, other times they need to act as counselors and confidants. Rest assured, this career is not for the faint-hearted but for those intending to make a difference in this world. Nurses often encounter patients from all walks of life who reach out during physical or mental distress. These patients may have had psychological disorders, addiction, or victims of abuse, assault, and terminal or chronic illnesses.
As overwhelming as this role may be, nurses are required to cater to every patient with compassion and empathy. So if you’re a nurse, you’ll have to build your wits while struggling to remain positive under these extraordinarily stressful and pressing circumstances.
It requires tons of calmness and patience and can often be emotionally draining. To take care of others, one must first ensure their well-being. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Thus, the first step to being a great nurse is to keep your own emotional and physical well-being under constant check.
It is easy to lose a sense of yourself on the job, so nurses must consciously take out time for themselves and keep tabs on their mental psyche. Hence, let’s look at a few tips that’ll help you survive this challenging yet rewarding world of healthcare.
Consider Mental Health Counselling:
One of the best ways to cater to this stressful role is by educating yourself in mental health. Many institutes offer masters in mental health counseling online for practicing nurses with hectic schedules. Enrolling in an online program not only saves you money for the commute but also helps you create a personalized schedule that works best according to your routine. A degree in mental health counseling will provide the skills and knowledge needed to manage diverse patients with diverse requirements.
This online program will also strengthen your grasp of the human psyche, as you’ll need to know your patient’s needs and the optimum way to cater to them. Moreover, once you’ve learned to master your own emotions, you’ll be able to manage the toughest of situations with ease and calm.
Make Communication Your Superpower:
Nurses must understand their role in bridging the gap between patients and professionals. Since they are the first to interact with patients, they have to utilize this time to comprehend each client’s case carefully. They’ll often have to hear the patient’s concerns, assess their symptoms, collect medical history, conduct basic tests and then conclude a report based on the findings for a relevant physician.
It’s worth noting that nurses will often ask their clients as many questions to reduce ambiguity. This way, they can objectively convey the patient’s message, needs, and requirements to the doctor who drafts their treatment plan. As a nurse, you also have to stay involved with the patient and their family by keeping them updated about the current scenario.
There is no room for guesswork in the daily operations of the nurse‘s role. Avid communication is key to avoiding mistakes, making appropriate decisions, and keeping the whole medical team on the same page.
Fuel Your Body:
Nurses have to be quick on their feet in their daily work. Although candy bars and processed foods are easily accessible, they cause grogginess and laziness. Most health professionals and enthusiasts agree that these types of food have empty calories and triggers more hunger.
So, to stay sharp and healthy, nurses fuel their bodies with whole-natural foods. As a nurse, taking care of your physical health is key to doing the job with complete dedication and commitment. Start your day off with a hearty breakfast rich in proteins and healthy fats. Instead of opting for cafeteria food, packing yourself lunch from home is healthy and saves money.
You could utilize your days off to plan and prepare meals ahead of time; this way, you’ll already have food in the fridge that can be warmed up on highly hectic days, keeping you from eating out unnecessarily.
Invest in Quality Footwear:
Nurses have to make numerous hospital rounds, from assisting patients and doctors to collecting lab work to standing for hours in ERs and operation theaters. Hence, wearing inappropriate footwear while running these errands can put a lot of pressure on their body extremities.
The wrong pair of shoes can have significant consequences: back, knee, and joint pain, stiff shoulders, blisters on their feet, and the wrong pair of shoes. Therefore, investing in a high-quality and durable pair of trainers is necessary and not a luxury for nurses. Purchase shoes that offer heel support, have a non-slippery sole, are lightweight, and fit correctly.
Consider buying thick compression socks or orthopedic inserts for extra comfort. With the right pair of shoes, nurses can clock several miles a day without discomfort.
Find a Work-Life Balance:
Nurses have a demanding routine, and a lot of their time is dedicated to looking after the needs of others. While working tirelessly is an admirable trait, excelling in any career requires one to have a balance.
Research suggests that working on a rigid schedule without any breaks is counterproductive and can lead to burnout. A healthy work-life balance is critical for your mental health, relationships, and career growth. You’ll have to remind yourself that your work is only a significant part of your life and that you need to make time for yourself and other commitments.
To live a fulfilling life and be content with it, you must prioritize all aspects equally, whether it’s family, friends, hobbies, etc. most importantly, themselves. Focusing only on work will lead to loss of motivation and eventually burnout. Instead, you could utilize your paid time off, spending quality time with family members, catching up with friends, going for a vacation, or taking some ‘me-time.’ You’ll come back feeling refreshed and with a new sense of purpose.
Although the profession of nursing is challenging, it can be rewarding both emotionally and financially. It is a stable career that is likely to grow in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 38% rise in job opportunities for nurses between 2020-2030, significantly higher than other professions. Moreover, as a nurse, you feel a sense of contentment knowing that you’re utilizing your skills for a higher purpose.