Nurse Burnout: Tips on How to Prevent this from Happening
To some extent, nursing burnout is like any other. If you are constantly on the go, never taking a break, and fully consumed in your work, you may burnout and perhaps even crash and burn. Or, the worst case scenario is losing your cool at work. It is completely normal to feel frustrated and exhausted, especially if you work long hours.
However, the nursing profession is far worse than most other professions when it comes to burnout. You are dealing with high-stress situations and highly emotive relationships. Since the hospital cannot afford to take care of you, you must be able to see the symptoms and be proactive, so you can avoid burning out, and perhaps leaving the profession you love altogether. Symptoms might include anger, detachment, personality changes, drug abuse, or erratic behavior. Avoid burn out by following these five tips.
Tips on How to Avoid Burning Out as a Nurse
Nurses should always have specific goals they are working towards, so they do not feel that this is all meaningless experience. Your goal doesn’t have to be career-oriented. For some nurses, a simple goal like improving certain skills, or making a patient laugh, might suffice. The point is he or she should use the goal as a motivator to get through the day.
You might be surprised on how many stressful situations are caused by poor communication. You as a nurse must be able to communicate your thoughts, needs and sometimes your feelings (when appropriate). When communication is clear there tends to be fewer problems, less stress and a more efficient hospital. Clarity is essential. You must be clear about the work you do, and clear about communicating the wishes of others. When everyone works together, it goes like clockwork.
Be Supportive of Your Peers
When you are supportive of your peers, you are a positive influence throughout the facility and amongst the whole profession. You will always have friends and supporters when you prove yourself to be honest, and a team player. This also means being able to leave your ego behind and celebrate someone else’s accomplishments. Staying bitter and having resentment serves no purpose and will only make you more enemies over time. Nursing is a team effort, and the next day in the sun could be yours. Always be a positive influence. This is far more important in the long-run than always being number one.
Don’t Play the Gossip Game
While nursing is and should be a team effort, there are going to be petty feuds, bickering and gossip amongst many people. One sure way to elevate your career and avoid burnout situations is to stop playing the gossip game. Don’t contribute to it; don’t ask for personal or “politics” type information, and if you do hear something, keep it to yourself until you get official notice. This is a destructive factor in team work and can easily turn you into the bad person, if you get caught in the middle of someone else’s feud.
The only way you can keep up this hectic work pace is to stay in optimal shape. This means eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly (great for relieving work stress) and getting out socially. By taking care of yourself, you will be ensuring that you’re in tiptop shape to take care of other people.
Following these five essentials can help you stay a lifelong nurse and avoid burning out before you even begin your career.