The Healthcare sector is under immense pressure to deal with the outbreak and pandemic of Covid-19. Almost everything in the world is at a halt. Industries growth rates are plummeting, businesses are at a snail pace, but at the same time, the healthcare sector is dealing with quadrupled work. They are overworked, understaffed in front of the outbreak, and face great danger of getting infected while treating patients.
Even before Covid-19 times, working in the healthcare sector was not an easy job. There are long hour shifts, dealing with emotionally shattered patients, coping up during emergencies, etc. And it is not easy to perform at your best without getting under stress. Even with such pressures, healthcare professionals still opt for such work because it is intrinsically rewarding and motivating. From the patient’s side, doctors usually take most of the credit, and nurses work as a support function. They don’t get the due credit, whereas their support enables doctors to perform their jobs.
Similarly, the stress in the nursing line is almost unavoidable. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of it and manage it critically. Such high-stress levels can lead to damaging the well-being of the nurses and even their patients. There are high chances of malpractice and medical mistakes under stress that can further lead to burnout and a drop in retention matters. Additionally, it can lead to nurses’ physical ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or anxiety, etc.
One way to overcome stress is to be aware and mindful of the possible hardships and challenges that are a part of this profession. Upcoming or junior nursing professionals can have a better idea about emotional stability. When attaining advanced courses or degrees like an online master of science in nursing, they learn technical and soft skills. These soft skills allow them to handle and manage emotional stability and stressful encounters. Furthermore, there are many other ways to manage stress to improve the nurses’ well-being and health. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Try to Say “No”:
By default, healthcare professionals have to agree to help anyone who is seeking help or assistance. It is undoubtedly a good gesture, but if a nurse already has a tight schedule and hectic day, the first concern should be to take care of herself. Taking up every available task can lead to pressures and stress, which would ultimately cause hindrance in completing daily tasks. So, rather than saying yes to everything, nurses should take a moment to consider that whether they have the energy, time, and capacity to take it up without adding stress on themselves. And if the answer is no, there is no harm in saying a gentle “no” with politeness.
- Have Friends Outside Workplace:
Each individual spends a hefty amount of their lives working. If you include commute and preparation to go to work, it amounts to even more. Therefore, it is reasonably necessary to have friends at work. Friends at work act as your support system and help you go through the rough day at work. However, there is also a disadvantage of having friends at work. There is a high chance that they carry similar stresses as you do at work. And it is most likely that you discuss professional matters with them even when you are not at work. That is why you should have some friends outside work too.
You can hit the local gym, participate in volunteering activities or go out on meet-ups with people of similar interests. The idea is to unwind yourself from work in your non-working time. It never means that you should not hang out with your colleagues. But, you should avoid discussing work matters with them outside your work-hours.
Nothing can undermine the physical and mental health benefits that you can get from regular exercise. Exercise helps immensely in avoiding burnout and stress-related issues. According to Mayo Clinic, exercise helps our body release endorphins which improve our mood and decreases the symptoms of anxiety and depression. There are many exercises to choose from, like yoga, aerobics, tennis, rock climbing, ballroom dancing, etc. The idea is to opt for those exercise routines which you enjoy the most and those which provide the flexibility of when and how you can perform them.
- Consult with a Professional:
Suppose you don’t find relief and comfort in general stress-busting activities. In that case, experts recommend seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist. Usually, counseling services fall under the employer’s wellness package, but you can also look for help outside your professional environment.
Therapists and counselors are trained professionals that can help you to understand the reasons that cause stress. And they help you out to derive stress coping strategies and activities that are customized and effective for you. However, it takes time and mental effort to stay committed to the process. Sometimes, it becomes challenging to unearth the real reasons. Such experts usually engage with you for a more extended period to help out in the long journey. But, overall, it is worth exploring this option.
Stress is almost an unavoidable part of every profession and our lives as a whole. However, suppose we stay mindful and apply the above-stated tips. In that case, it can help us to reduce the stress to an optimum level without affecting our health. Even if we don’t face stress in our career’s early stages, they can intervene later when advancing in our profession. There are chances that in the later stages, you will need the above-stated stress minimization techniques.