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5 Key Ways To Reduce Stress In Your New Healthcare or Nursing Role

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick
Starting any new healthcare job can be stressful. Being faced with numerous new challenges, combined with the pressure to impress, will naturally cause you a certain amount of stress.

However, while occasional stress might push us to excel in certain situations, constant stress and anxiety can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated. In addition to reducing your productivity, this can lead to career burnout.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to both relieve stress and combat its negative effects. Here are 5 ways you can reduce stress in your new nursing role.

 

1. Organisation Is The Key To Success

Getting and staying organised is not only essential for keeping your stress-level down; it’s also a key to your career success and longevity, especially if you want to chart a career as a great registered nurse.

Set up a system for categorising your emails as well as scheduling any ongoing tasks and projects. If your hospital uses some type of task-management software, make sure that you get adequate training on how to use this as it relates to your role – it will not only show your management that you’re an adaptable team player; it will also make your life much easier in the long run.

Even if your healthcare organisation doesn’t use dedicated task-management software, you can still implement your own system. This might mean using your own planner app, or if you’re not the most tech-savvy, you could always do things the old-fashioned way with a daily planner. Regardless of which system you choose, get yourself in the habit of coming up with a rough schedule for how you will go about tackling your daily tasks.

 

2. Know (And Accept) Your Limitations

It’s natural to want to impress when you’re starting your nursing career, and management will often expect you to go above and beyond during your first few months in a new role. While it can be tempting to take on more than you can handle, try to be realistic with yourself about your limitations.

If the goals you’ve set for yourself are beyond your current capabilities, you’ll start to get frustrated and discouraged when you’re unable to get everything done. Even the most experienced nurses fall short of a goal now and then, and as a new hire, it’s naturally going to take you time to learn the ropes of your new role.

Therefore, allow yourself the chance to learn during this transitional period and try to view your setbacks as a way to become a more efficient and knowledgeable healthcare professional.

 

3. Strike The Right Balance

When starting a new nursing role, it can be tempting to throw yourself in headfirst. However, as with setting realistic professional goals, it’s just as important to establish realistic life goals. Don’t lose sight of your work-life balance. If you don’t make time for the things and people you love outside of work, you won’t be loving your new role for very long.

Finding the right balance between work and family is one of the most important ways to reduce job-related stress. Making time for yourself and your loved ones, as well as disconnecting mentally from your job, will allow you to return to work refreshed. Try to schedule out your week in advance to ensure that you have time blocked out to unwind with family and friends. This is especially important to do if you have a rotating shift. Setting aside personal time in advance will help ensure that you don’t get overly stressed or burnt out in your new nursing role.

 

4. Your Healthcare Comes First

Just as crucial as finding the right balance between work and play is maintaining your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. As a healthcare provider, you of all people understand the importance of proper rest and nutrition. Eating poorly and not getting enough sleep will cause you to be tired and less productive, which will only lead to more stress. After all, how can you expect to be able to take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself?

In addition to maintaining a proper diet and sleeping routine, one of the best ways to manage stress is by staying active. Exercise is not only advantageous for your body; it can have a positive impact on your mental health, as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to join an expensive gym or punish yourself with an extreme workout. A simple routine of either half an hour of yoga or a quick run before your shift will simultaneously reduce your stress and improve your performance.

 

5. Make The Most Of Available Resources

Your first couple of weeks in your new nursing role will likely go by in a blur; the combination of being in a new ward or clinic and learning to work with a new group of nurses and patients, as well as adjusting to new ways of doing things, can leave you feeling overwhelmed with information overload. It’s normal to not remember something new that you might have only been shown how to do once or twice during your first week of onboarding.

You should never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand how to do something. It’s possible that you will be placed with a mentor or someone you can go to with questions during your onboarding – don’t hesitate to seek out their help when you need it. While asking your co-workers or boss questions may feel like it shows incompetence, asking for help lets your colleagues know you're serious about understanding how things work, rather than trying to do something you aren't sure of on your own.
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