Feeling completely exhausted in your nursing job isn’t uncommon. In fact, most nurses expect at some point to feel physical, mental or emotional exhaustion. You’re never alone if you’re feeling burnt out, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and accept it. We all have our limits as humans, but nurse burnout is a serious problem that can put your career and patients at risk.
Fortunately, there are several good ways you can avoid burnout as a nurse. Keeping up with these tips will help you stay positive at work and can also help hospitals at large reduce their turnover and keep morale higher which, in turn, reduces the chances for patient harm. Learn how to avoid burnout as a nurse.
As a nurse, you’ll often spend long, 12-hour shifts checking on patients, but you need to remember to also take time to check on yourself. Your mental well-being is important not only for your own health but for the health of your patients. One of the best ways to do this is with mindfullness-based stress reduction techniques. These techniques include things like meditation, introspection and yoga, all of which help you become more aware of your current mental state. Recognizing the issues you’re having is the first step to remedying them, after all.
After you’ve recognized that you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or dissatisfied, it helps to think about what made you pursue nursing in the first place. If that’s not a particularly inspiring story, focus on what you enjoy about nursing. Think about the positivity and satisfaction of a patient thanking you for what you do. Even if the patients don’t verbalize it, take every bit of care you provide as a victory. You have made a positive change in that person’s life — even if they don’t give you recognition for it.
Nursing shifts are notoriously long. If you’re working hard throughout all those hours, you’re going to get burnt out almost inevitably. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you take breaks. Even short breaks can go a long way to make you more productive overall. You just have to remember to enjoy your break. Don’t spend it worrying about a difficult patient. Spend that time on yourself. Enjoy your coffee, your snack or simply being able to sit for a few minutes.
If you find that short breaks aren’t enough to keep you from suffering burnout, it might be time to take a vacation. Staying away from the hospital for a few days is a great way to recharge and put some distance between you and your work. Your vacation days are there for a reason, after all.
Practice Engaging Activities
Burnout is something you have to deal with even in your off hours. Many nurses are still thinking about the job even when they’re at home, so it’s important to find something to focus on that can take your mind off work for a while. This is most effectively accomplished by engaging in activities that your focus in order to enjoy.
Quite a few activities require focus, and many are easily accessible. Among the most common is reading, since it requires you to virtually drop everything to absorb the words. Sewing can also be a good activity to try. Even some athletic activities go a long way to help you focus on other things. Yoga, for example, allows you to focus on something other than work while simultaneously improving your overall physical and mental well-being.
Finding the Right Nursing Work
Once you understand how to avoid burnout as a nurse, it’s time to find the right nursing job. With the help of TheraEx Staffing Services, you can find work that fits your needs and allows you to shine and excel in your career. Get in touch with us today, and learn more about all the services we’re happy to offer you.