Once again, we find ourselves at May 6, Florence Nightingale’s birthday and the kickoff for Nurses Week 2017!
The American Nurses Association has, as usual, lots going on including a free webinar, “A Nurse’s Guide to Preventing Compassion Fatigue, Moral Distress, and Burnout,” which is a great way for those who spend so much time and energy providing great care to learn about stepping back and making sure their own needs are met as well.
This year’s theme is the “Year of the Healthy Nurse,” so in addition to the webinar, nurses (and those who love them) are encouraged to explore all the ways to maintain the proper balance with body, mind and spirit.
First up, it’s good to be aware of all the things that can cause nurse burnout. Even the most devoted caregiver can, if not careful, get run down quickly. You know what they say, nurses are the worst patients! Here’s a few tips to avoid getting worn thin:
Take breaks. No one, nurse or otherwise, can run full steam for 8+ hours. Meals are essential — and sit down for them, don’t grab something and gobble it while running from one task to the next. And take 5 minutes every so often to just relax; maybe even do some short breathing or relaxation exercises.
You can’t do it all. No matter how great the intention, no one person can heal a hospital full of sick people, make all the family and visitors happy, or make HCAHPS scores magically rise. A positive attitude and a willingness to work hard will see you through the day, but know that you’re only one person. Rely on the team!
Decompress. And speaking of the team … make sure to talk to people. Whether it’s a supervisor, coworker, spouse, therapist or friend, have someone (or a group of someone’s) available as a friendly, nonjudgmental sounding board. Sometimes your best answers to ongoing problems come when you speak the issue out loud, and get some input.
Being a nurse is more challenging than ever before — but also more exciting! From nursing informatics to assisting with in-hospital clinical trials, as well as the growing number of CNO and supervisory positions throughout healthcare, there are more ways than ever to find success in the field of nursing. Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself as much as you would any patient in your charge, and from all of us at Scrubin Uniforms, have a wonderful Nurses Week!