How Hospital Nurses Can Stay Positive During Challenging Workdays

How Hospital Nurses Can Stay Positive During Challenging Workdays

A day in the life of a hospital nurse is fast-paced and often with high stakes.

Some days, you may need to address patient emergencies or help people in distress.

You may find yourself juggling many duties at once as you conduct your regular administrative tasks while handling your patient load.

You’ll usually have a lot on your plate, primarily if you work in the emergency ward, where your patient load may vary day by day.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when working in a hospital setting.

Three are so many moving parts and staff members from various wards and departments that you may not have had the time to connect with yet.

During these unprecedented times with the COVID-19 spread, hospital settings can be challenging to work in as you treat infected people when supplies are low.

In the past year, the nursing role looked very different as you needed to help floods of people suffering from the highly contagious virus while trying to protect yourself and the people you’re going home to.

You may have been understaffed, overloaded with patients, and lacking all the necessary equipment to treat patients, like ventilators and other breathing aids.

Becoming stressed in your situation is natural.

However, you must know how to manage it so you can remain productive.

By maintaining a positive mindset and practicing techniques to help you prevent becoming overwhelmingly anxious, you can stay focused on your daily tasks.

Your role is a patient-facing position.

This means your composure may influence how the people you’re helping feel, too.

If they recognize that you are worried or stressed, they may feel concerned about their treatment.

While being positive doesn't mean you need to deny your natural feelings, it will help you overcome them and get your job done.

Here are some ways you can remain positive during challenging times at the hospital:

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness entails putting extra effort into the way you think.

When you catch yourself feeling anxious or thinking negative thoughts, you can pause and refocus with mindfulness.

As you breathe and either repeat a mantra or concentrate on something simple, like your breath or the walls around you, you can slow your mind before it’s caught in a flurry of anxious thoughts.

Fortunately, you can easily fit mindfulness into your busy days at the hospital.

If you allow yourself just thirty seconds, you can:

  • Be still
  • Focus on your breathing
  • Notice how you’re feeling and what’s around you
  • Be aware of your current thoughts
  • Recognize how your body feels in the moment
  • Smile

This brief moment could make a massive difference in your composure throughout your workdays.

You’ll be more able to cope with stressful situations and treat your patients with a clear, positive mindset.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

Positivity is contagious.

So, if you interact with people who know how to look at situations with a positive outlook, you’ll find it easier to do it yourself.

If the people around you tend to catastrophize things or negatively perceive them, you’ll be more prone to think negatively and have a hopeless attitude in general.

Have conversations with people who are optimistic, hopeful, and kind.

You’ll feel calmer around them and develop supportive relationships that will make you feel happier in general.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for helping your mind reset and find balance.

Without sufficient sleep, you'll have less emotional control, making you more vulnerable to anxiety and possibly depression.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your energy and focus levels will be weaker, making it more challenging for you to carry out regular tasks.

You may be more prone to making errors which could escalate stressful scenarios in the hospital.


Take advantage of your body’s mood-boosting endorphins by exercising regularly.

You’ll feel stronger, more confident, and have plenty of energy by being active.

Exercising helps make you feel happy, which will leave you more inclined to think positive thoughts.

Consider a pre-shift workout so you can receive a surge of endorphins before heading into work.

That way, you’ll be more able to concentrate on your work while feeling good throughout your shift.


Often, your negative thought processing may be a result of mental burnout.

From consistent stress, long workdays, or having little time off because you’ve taken extra shifts, you may feel mentally exhausted.

When you’re in this state, it’s more challenging to practice positive thinking.

By practicing self-care, you can help your mind and your body relax to prevent burnout.

Self-care comes in many forms, but it ultimately means taking time for yourself and giving you what you need.

By taking care of yourself, you can ensure you have a strong base, so you’re more able to help others.

As you would on an airplane, you need to make sure you’re okay before you can be an effective aid to others.

Some ways you can practice self-care include:

  • Taking a bath
  • Setting time to be with friends
  • Enjoying pleasant smells like essential oils or candles
  • Walking outside and soaking in your surroundings
  • Watching your favorite movies
  • Cooking a gourmet meal for yourself

Practice Gratitude

Another way to find a positive mindset is actively practicing gratitude.

This involves developing an appreciation for everything, including the stressful elements, in your everyday life.

Being grateful for what’s around you, like your family, friends, coworkers, patients, having a job, your me-time during your commute, and more, will provoke you to smile more and see things in a positive light.

You can even consider difficult times as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and gain skills to help you in your career.

Excel in Your Work With ProMed Certifications

By being positive, you’ll be a valuable asset to your team as you encourage coworkers, take advantage of learning opportunities, and establish connections with patients.

Positive workers are precious as they influence their work environment, so everyone feels welcome and less stressed.

With ProMed certifications, you can complete your online ACLS, BLS, PALS, and CPR training from the comfort of your home.

You can pause and pick up where you last left off so your training will fit into your busy hospital scheduling.

ProMed is unlike any other online medical training platform, as you can receive your North American-approved certifications with a 100% money-back guarantee.

That way, there’s no risk and only a high reward.

Start earning your ProMed certifications today.