Preventing Nurse Burnout Before It’s Too Late

Posted On October 9,2015

Nursing is a noble profession; it’s a selfless career with tremendous benefits that can greatly impact the lives of the sick, injured, or disabled. Nurses work long hours, endure tremendous stress, and are often undervalued for the work they do. But, nonetheless, they keep going. Nurses deserve a standing ovation for the tireless work they do.

A few studies published in recent years, however, have found that nurses are more likely to take sick time for depression and heart disease because of their long shifts and stressful environments that they work within. This can certainly lead to nurse burnout. This particular nurse staffing report found that it 2015, the bedside nursing turnover rate in hospitals was between 16 and 17 percent, costing hospitals tens of thousands of dollars per nurse! Although there are many contributing factors to nursing turnover, burnout is certainly one important factor to look at.

So, if you’re a nursing student, anxiously awaiting your opportunity to begin a career in nursing, here are a few important tips to consider that can help reduce the chances of nurse burnout before you even start your first day on the job.

  1. Choose your nursing specialty carefully. You’ll get bored or disinterested in your job pretty quickly if you’re working in an area that doesn’t appeal to you.  Think about what interests you most. Babies? The elderly? Doctors’ offices? Fast-paced hospitals? When you think about where you really want to spend your nursing career long-term from the start, you can take steps from the onset of nursing school forward to get there! If you enjoy your job, you’ll want to stay there longer.
  2. Take up a hobby. Even though nursing school can be demanding, first-hand work in the field is tremendously more complex, chaotic, and stressful. From day one, find something else to occupy your free time that will require your focused attention. This will allow you to leave your work at work and enjoy some of life’s finer things. Do you run? Read? Enjoy puzzles? Dance? It doesn’t matter what it is. Just take time on a regular basis to do something you enjoy.
  3. Pay attention to your feelings. Nursing requires an ability to balance the good with the bad. You have to deal with sickness, death, and stress every day. It’s important that you find healthy ways to deal with your natural, emotional reactions to these stresses. Find a trusted friend to talk to, keep a journal about your experiences, or even consult with a therapist as necessary. Your mental health is important to your long-term success as a nurse.
  4. Athena Career Academy offers Practical Nursing in Toledo, Ohio. Take time to remember why you enjoy nursing. Nursing school is challenging, and you may find yourself wanting to give up before you even start your first job. Remind yourself about what interested you nursing in the first place. Remember that the most worthwhile things in life are usually some of the most difficult, too. Those feelings of satisfaction and joy that you experience from helping a patient from start to finish through their recovery process can help minimize the harsh impact of even the toughest of days.
  5. Look for ways to de-stress. Similar to taking up a hobby or finding healthy ways to deal with your emotions, there are intentional actions that you can take to help you minimize your stress levels everyday throughout nursing school and beyond. Take up yoga, prayer, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. There are numerous studies that have shown the tremendous health benefits of prayer, meditation, and other similar activities. It’s been shown that these types of exercises help to decrease blood pressure, depression, migraine headaches, and susceptibility to various illnesses, while also improving the immune system, too. Many of these symptoms result for stressful environments similar to those that nurses work in. A little bit of prayer just may be solution to the burnout problem!

At Athena Career Academy, it’s our goal to prepare every one of our students to be successful, happy, and ready to tackle the exciting challenges that come with nursing in Ohio. Is a career in practical nursing right the right step for you? Call Athena today at 419- 329-4075 and get started on your journey now.