How To Prevent Nurse Burnout

How To Prevent Nurse Burnout

While being a nurse can be highly rewarding, the job itself can also be incredibly stressful. On top of the plethora of daily duties on your plate, there is the very real pressure of having the health and wellbeing of other human beings in your hands. Add to this the crazy hours and hectic schedules and it’s easy to see why many in this profession struggle with major fatigue. If you or someone you love happens to be a nurse, here are a few tips for avoiding personal and professional burnout.

Reduce triggers

What are the things that trigger stress, anxiety and frustration for you? Obviously you can’t eliminate certain job duties, but if there are other areas in your life – both at home and at work – that you know are causing you grief, try to reduce exposure to them as much as possible. For instance, perhaps working too many hours or picking up particular shifts are causing unnecessary problems. Be willing to make adjustments when and where you can.

Take care of yourself

It seems simple enough, but so many in the nursing profession are so busy helping others that they forget to take care of themselves. Make sure you are eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. Incorporate physical activity into your regular routine. Find what helps you relax and unwind – whether it’s spending time meditating or reading a good book – and make room in your schedule for those things.

Be honest

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to be honest with yourself and your manager. It’s in nobody’s best interest for you to run yourself ragged. In fact, doing so could potentially place your patients in harm’s way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and let others on your team support you – just as you would do for them in their time of need.

Take time off

Arguably it can be challenging to take even a single shift off, let alone an entire week, but down time is absolutely essential in the nursing industry. It allows you to relax and recharge your batteries. So don’t feel guilty about asking for a few vacation days. It will make you a more effective worker, which means you’ll be better capable of delivering the kind of exceptional care your patients deserve.

Not sure if you’re already at the breaking point? Here are a few signs that you might currently be experiencing nurse burnout:

  • Difficulty getting out of bed or getting motivated to go to work
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Lower energy levels
  • Feelings of frustration
  • Difficulty getting along with others (particularly co-workers)
  • Physical aches and pains that weren’t previously there

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it’s probably time to take a step back and reevaluate your quality of life. Taking the right steps toward overcoming burnout and creating a better, healthier work-life balance will enable you to better serve others.

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