Nurses are susceptible to high levels of stress. After all, they frequently work long, unpredictable hours in high-stress conditions while caring for several patients. The pandemic has added to nurses' already high levels of anxiety. According to one study, nearly half of all nurses now report moderate to high levels of stress, with more than 60% expressing emotional tiredness.
High amounts of stress can have a negative impact on a nurse's health and well-being, as well as deplete their energy and make it difficult for them to think critically. While nursing stress is an unavoidable aspect of work, there are things that may be taken to reduce it.
Common Causes Of Stress Among Nurses
Occupational stress can affect nurses can be due to a lack of skills and communication, fear of making mistakes, staying on top of tasks, organizational problems, and a lack of social support at work. Distress, burnout, and psychosomatic disorders may result, as well as a decline in quality of life and service delivery.
Impact Of Stress In The Nursing Profession
Nurse stress can have far-reaching implications. They frequently contain both short- and long-term physical health impacts.
The American Psychological Association, for example, states that stress can have a significant impact on the musculoskeletal system. Muscle tenseness is a defensive response to pain and injury caused by stress. Continuously agitated people's muscles are constantly on alert, resulting in transient or chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. Tension headaches are another common stress symptom.
Cardiovascular issues can also be caused by stress. An increased heart rate is one of the direct impacts of stress. This can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and hypertension over time.
The following are some additional repercussions of stress.
- Immune system dysfunction
- Insomnia and weariness during the day
- Shortness of breath and other respiratory issues
- Blood sugar levels are too high.
- diminished job satisfaction
- lower productivity
- lower patient care quality
Taking Steps To Cope With Stress At Work
Here are ways how nurses can help manage stress at work
Identify Your Triggers
Recognizing your triggers can help reduce anxiety What were your emotions at the time? It's totally OK if you can't determine the particular reason of your problem. For a week or two, keep a journal to track which circumstances cause you the greatest stress and how you react to them. Keep track of your thoughts, feelings, and details about the situation, such as the individuals and events involved, the physical surroundings, and how you behaved. Taking notes might assist you in identifying patterns in your stressors and responses to them.
Develop Good Coping Mechanism
Instead of turning to fast food or booze to relieve stress, try to make healthy choices when you're feeling stressed. Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Yoga is a good option, but any type of physical activity is useful. Make time for your hobbies and favorite pastimes as well. Make time for the things that make you happy, whether it's reading a book, attending concerts, or playing games with your family. For successful stress management, getting adequate good-quality sleep is also critical. Restrict your caffeine intake late in the day and limit stimulating activities such as computer and television use at night to develop healthy sleep habits.
Have Some “Me” Time
Taking time for self-care is another crucial method to deal with nursing stress at work. Nurses, in particular, might schedule time to recharge after very long shifts or exhausting work weeks. This could entail sleeping in late, taking a long walk, or sipping tea while reading a nice book. Regular yoga, meditation, or massage treatments can also be prioritized by nurses.
Accepting assistance from reliable friends and family members can help you manage stress more effectively. Your workplace may also have stress management services accessible through an employee assistance program, such as online materials, counseling, and referrals to mental health professionals, if necessary. If work stress continues to overwhelm you, speak with a psychologist who can help you better manage stress and change bad habits.
While nurses face a lot of stress at work, choosing a more realistic approach that works for you might help you relax. Try these coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job.