4 Painful Parts of Being a Nurse

4 Painful Parts of Being a Nurse

4 Painful Parts of Being a Nurse

Parts of being a nurse involve the things ordinary people don’t do. Yes, nursing is exciting, but as exciting as it is, many nurses have seen and experienced things at work but have not discussed them. It is also true that it’s one of the most stressful jobs in the world. While nursing is rewarding, there are also many challenges regarding life-and-death situations and patient care. 

Nursing is one of the most underappreciated professions, yet, the most regulated. It is because nurses are handling the lives of people every day. Not only their patients but the lives of nurses too. It is why there are also the worst parts of nursing. What are the painful parts of nursing? And what can nurses do? 

We Can’t Save All Lives

The sad reality is nurses deal with death and dying patients every day. It doesn’t matter what kind of area they specialize in; nurses deal with death. The worst part is that nurses are human beings, and it’s not easy each time they lose a patient. Many nurses wish they could cry with patients’ families, comfort them, hold their hands, hug them, and grieve with these families, but they can’t. Nurses refrain from crying not because we can’t but because we must stay professional. We need to stay strong for the families left behind.

Nursing is not for the faint of heart. You will see many things that make an ordinary person queasy or heartbroken. Patients’ suffering is part of our daily lives, and whether we like it or not, we deal with losing them the best way we know how. 

We Handle All the Gross Stuff

Handling the things no one else will touch is part of a nurse’s daily life. From body fluids, mucus, blood, sputum, and phlegm – we handle them. Lucky for us, we were taught earlier about these things in nursing school. And you must provide nursing care for patients suffering from all kinds of conditions, including those that secrete the grossest things. We don’t shy away from these things because it’s part of the job. 

Seeing the Bad and Sad Side of Life

It is a known fact that medical work can expose you to some horrific things that can take an emotional toll on you. And a nurse is one of those healthcare workers that sees these things up close and personal. 

As nurses, we see the terrible things that would make you question life. How can a 5-year-old go through multiple heart operations? A 20-year-old who needs a heart transplant because of drug abuse? We’ve seen a young mother of four battling cancer. We’ve seen healthy people robbed of a good life because of a botched medical procedure. Let’s not forget those who said goodbye to their loved ones who’ve gone too soon—all of these and more. Being exposed to these things and seeing them unfold in your eyes makes you wonder why life is unfair to those who need it the most. It can be hard to deal with and sometimes affect your mental health. 

You’ll feel unappreciated and overworked

Sometimes, you feel burned out from working too much. As nurses, we work endlessly, and sometimes we feel unappreciated. Long shifts, understaffed units, increased patient ratio, and Covid-19 made this job more demanding than it used to be. Our sacrifices and compassion go unseen by the public and administrators. Sum all that, and you have an exhausted nurse who is on the brink of giving up. And we cannot avoid this. It’s there, an ever-present occurrence that many nurses experience. It’s a problem that nurses face, but at the same time, something that we cannot resolve entirely. 

In Closing

While we experienced many losses, touched many gross things, and did so many overtime hours, nursing is still one of the most rewarding jobs. It is an honor to be called to be a nurse. And while many nurses are made, only a few are born to be one. If you are one of them, stand up and be proud. Nurses are heaven-sent!

6 Nurse Tips for Social Media Posting

6 Nurse Tips for Social Media Posting

6 Nurse Tips for Social Media Posting

Social media posting and being a nurse are exciting, but their potential has been underutilized. Nowadays, social media is being utilized by nurses to educate people and voice their concerns. However, it is essential to understand what nurses can and cannot post on social media platforms. Are there any limits to what they can post? Here are helpful nurse tips for social media posting.

What Can You Post on Social Media as a Nurse?

So, posting stuff on social media is pretty fun, right? But as nurses, we must take responsibility for what we put out there. No need to panic, though. Here’s how we can be responsible with our social media presence:

Avoid posting ANY patient information

Sharing any information about your patient online is strictly prohibited. You may discuss certain aspects of what you did for your patient, but avoid divulging their personal information. For instance, if your patient gave you a thank-you card, you may post a picture of the card without revealing who it’s from. You may also share what they wrote, but keep their name and location confidential.

Avoid taking photos or videos of your patients on your phone, as this violates patient confidentiality and could lead to a lawsuit against your workplace. Although asking permission from your patient may be an option, if your employer has strict rules against it, do not risk it. Even if your patient does not report or sue you, your workplace can still take action against you for violating their rules.

Would you like to see an example of how we navigate healthcare on social media? Check out our Cup of Nurses Instagram or Facebook page.

Keep it Professional

Sometimes we must be more thoughtful about what we post on our social media accounts. If we’re not careful, we can hurt people or ourselves. Others can misinterpret a seemingly harmless post.

Healthcare professionals must be mindful of what we say or post on social media. It’s important to draw a clear line between our personal and professional lives. Remember to keep it professional and avoid posting anything unkind or naming names, especially if your employers monitor your account. Keep your posts clean to stay out of trouble.

Check Your Privacy Settings

When it comes to social media, not everyone on your friend list is actually your friend. Some people are just there to watch your activities. While some are genuine, it’s important to be wary of those who aren’t. Luckily, you can control who you share your content with on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow users to customize their privacy settings to share their content with only those they want.

Check your privacy settings and review your friend list. You can remove or block people, not within your circle of friends. You can share your posts with the public or only your real friends on Facebook. However, while these settings provide privacy, they can also give you a false sense of security. As a rule, only post things you’re comfortable with employers, patients, or coworkers seeing. Always be aware and mindful.

Think Before Staying Connected with Patients

Nurses love our patients dearly, but sometimes we must establish boundaries. It is different when you care for your patients in a hospital setting compared to when you are friends with them online. In this case, boundaries are essential. Although many patients are comfortable with us, and vice versa, if you ever decide to accept a friend request from them, make sure to keep your posts as professional as possible.

Remember, just because a patient added you on social media doesn’t mean you have the liberty to discuss them or their medical case. Always exercise extreme caution with each interaction, as this could breach patient confidentiality. If you are not careful, you could lose your license..

Join Healthcare Discussions

Participating in healthcare discussions is a great way to stay active on social media. It helps you stay visible and relevant. By expressing your interests and passion for healthcare, you can also spread awareness about the industry and inspire others to join the field. Additionally, this can give you an advantage if your employer checks your social media account, as it shows your dedication to your career.

You can join our healthcare discussion on our Cup of Nurses Facebook. CLICK HERE.

Hold the profession accountable

Nurses must uphold strong ethical and moral standards, which apply to social media. If you see a fellow nurse or colleague breaching their patient’s privacy, talk to them about the importance of patient privacy and any content that could harm or expose a patient’s right, privacy, or welfare.

If you’re unaware of your company’s policy about social media posting, learn them now to set boundaries for your posts. Be always mindful and exercise caution to protect your patient’s personal or professional confidentiality. And when in doubt, don’t post it at all.

Hope this post gave you insight into navigating social media as a nurse. These six awesome tips allow nurses to use social media without being unprofessional. The tips are pretty simple: don’t post patient information, keep it clean, make sure your privacy settings are on point, think before connecting with patients, join healthcare discussions to empower nurses, and ensure you’re living up to the profession’s standards. It’s super important to be ethical and respectful of patient confidentiality on social media, so ensure you’re doing your part! If you’re interested, check out the Cup of Nurses podcast. It’s a great listen!

If you’re interested in nursing and healthcare, you can join the Cup of Nurses Facebook group to join the discussion and stay updated on industry news and topics. CLICK HERE.

Podcast episodes related to social media and healthcare:

EP 86: Professionalism as a Nurse: Balancing Work and Social Media

How Burnout Causes Nurses to Change Their Career Paths

How Burnout Causes Nurses to Change Their Career Paths

How Burnout Causes Nurses to Change Their Career Paths

Nurses are a crucial pillar of the US healthcare system, particularly for their roles in service delivery and patient care. However, recent years have seen the nursing workforce face critical shortages.

In light of a nationwide nurse staffing crisis, there have been strikes to demand an increase in nurse-to-patient ratios in states like New York. When hospitals and health institutions are short-staffed, nurses are routinely put in high-stress environments. Some are even asked to work overtime to compensate for the shortfall.

However, this only exacerbates the staffing problem. As nurses become fatigued and burned out from stressful work environments. Some consider taking on new nursing roles or leaving the field altogether. In this light, the article looks closely at how burnout causes nurses to leave their jobs and which careers they find themselves in after experiencing burnout.

Why do nurses change jobs or professions?

As discussed earlier, nurses play an important role in driving better patient outcomes, but this work is at risk due to burnout. To illustrate, a study on the prevalence and factors of nurse burnout published in the JAMA Network found that more than 400,000 nurses in the US reported leaving their position. Among these nurses, 31.5% cited burnout as the main reason for leaving their job.

The study further nuanced these nurses’ decisions to leave by associating burnout with other aspects of the work environment. These include certain aspects such as increased workloads, lack of good management or leadership, and the need for better pay and/or benefits. Burnout alone does not cause nurses to reevaluate their career paths.

Rather, true burnout also stems from a lack of control and consistency in the workplace. As outlined in LHH’s post on the difference between burnout and dead ends in professional contexts, those who are burned out tend not to leave the profession altogether. They only need to recharge and rejuvenate their passion for their work before seeking new jobs with greater freedom and autonomy.

It’s a different case when nurses realize they’ve hit a dead end and are incompatible with their career choice. This happens when nurses’ long-term goals — such as increased pay, career advancement, and learning opportunities — are no longer valued. They can also feel inadequately supported by their employers and the healthcare system. These nurses thus chart new career paths where they are recognized, challenged, and allowed to grow personally and professionally.

Common Career Changes Among Nurses

Travel Nurse

As nurses facing burnout consider their next move, travel nursing is a viable option for those who want to stay in the field but with a different nursing role. The advantages of travel nursing mainly lie in job security and competitive salaries. As the demand for nursing care persists, hospitals are willing to compensate additional staff fairly.

Beyond the countless opportunities to travel and explore different places. Unlike those in permanent positions, they are also given freedom and flexibility over their schedules and days off. Finally, the lack of workplace politics paves the way for a stress-free experience, as you are only expected to show up and do your work.

Online Nurse Practitioner

With the rise of telehealth, becoming an online nurse practitioner (NP) also allows burned-out nurses to take a step back while still being able to provide quality health services. It’s a natural evolution for registered nurses, as the qualifications for NPs include earning a master’s degree in nursing. They can also obtain specific certifications for pediatric care or women’s health. Among the typical responsibilities of NPs are gathering patients’ medical histories and creating treatment plans. They also collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

Health Educator

Lastly, nurses can transition from patient-specific curative care to community-wide preventive health and programming by becoming public health educators. Job career platform Joblist expects the demand for health education to grow by 17% from 2020 to 2030. This will create job opportunities in healthcare settings, government agencies, nonprofits, and community organizations.

As observed, there are many options for nurses to address burnout and change careers without necessarily starting from scratch. On top of being paid fairly for their work, nurses deserve to be valued personally and professionally across all workplaces.


Steps to Moving on From Your Current Healthcare Provider

Steps to Moving on From Your Current Healthcare Provider

Steps to Moving on From Your Current Healthcare Provider

If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll know that change is a constant in life. People come,
and people go; perhaps your doctor is one of those individuals. From Cup Of Nurses, here’s
how to move on to a new healthcare provider if this is the case.

Check their credentials

Apart from checking the credentials of your next doctor to see that they have the relevant skills
and education, you’ll also want to check that their area of expertise is a close match to what
you’re looking for and need in a healthcare provider.

Check how soon they’ll be able to squeeze you in

If you have been referred to a doctor by your current health practitioner, there is probably a
high chance that they are well in demand. And while this may be a positive thing because it
points to how popular they are, it may also be challenging for them to take on a new patient
simply because their schedule might be jam-packed. Therefore, you may want to keep your
option open, i.e., look out for other healthcare providers who can accommodate patients outside
regular office hours.

How much can you afford?

It might be a good idea to reassess your budget to see if you can afford to increase your
insurance premium if need be. If not, then eHealth notes that sticking with ‘in-network’ doctors
may be the most financially sound decision. However, if you’re a freelancer or self-employed,
you could take advantage of affordable healthcare coverage if you join a Freelancers Union or
your Chamber of Commerce.

Keeping your documents up to date

It will also be helpful to ensure your medical documents are always up-to-date and ready for
when you find your ideal match. If your documents are difficult to find because they are in
multiple places on your computer, then a tool that converts various file formats like Word to PDF
might help. With this tool, a PDF converter will let you convert from other files so you can select
only the PDF pages you wish to use and then combine them into one file, making this easier to
find when you need it.

Meet them before you make a decision

If you want to get a more accurate picture of what your doctor-patient relationship will be like,
then there’s no better way to do this than an in-person meeting. This way, you can assess
whether your interaction with each other shows the potential to progress into the type of
doctor-patient relationship you desire it to be.

Don’t feel pressured to rush the process

The National Institute on Aging points out that when it comes to choosing a doctor you’ll feel
comfortable around for years to come, you need to be absolutely sure about your final choice.
Therefore, don’t put pressure on yourself to rush the process. Instead, use all the resources
around you to help expedite the search if time is of the essence.

Apart from asking your doctor for any referrals, you could also use your own network to ask around and see who comes out on top as far as recommendations from friends and family go. Reach out to past acquaintances in the area, especially those who are around the same age as you, to see if they’d recommend their primary care doctor or another reputable physician. A great place to start is with old schoolmates.

Certainly, finding a new doctor when you’re used to your current one will probably feel a little
unsettling at first. Making sure you can afford the healthcare provider you want should help remove some
of the worry associated with this stressful search.

Cup Of Nurses is your source for current health news and hot nursing topics. Contact us today
to find out more! (708) 414-0237

Nurses Are Resilient But They Also Need Help

Nurses Are Resilient But They Also Need Help

Nurses are Resilient, But They Also Need Help

Nurses are resilient beings. Out of all professions, nurses have the most contact with the sick. They constantly face difficult situations regarding patient care, comforting families, and communicating with healthcare providers to deliver quality patient care. Nurses are there, ever-present, and ready to help because they love their jobs. But who takes care of the nurses? What happens when nurses are battling their mental health issues? 

What Causes the Stress in Nurses?

Being a nurse is both physically and psychologically demanding. The amount of stress is always high at any given shift. All of which can affect the mental health of nurses. But what are the causes of these stresses? 

Long shift hours 

Some hospitals run short of nurses, and because of this, many nurses must extend their working hours to provide round-the-clock patient care. This includes overnight shifts, which could take around 12-16 hours.  working hours affect the natural sleeping pattern. It leaves them feeling fatigued and exhausted even before their actual shift starts. Although nursing is a 24-hour job, there are no resources to help nurses. The expectation is to figure it out and show up. 

Heavy workload

The increase in demand for health care services and the number of nurse retirees are among the many reasons why the usual workload of many nurses doubled. This situation has forced many hospitals and healthcare settings to function with skeleton crews. As a result, this makes the workload for existing nurses much heavier. The lack of nursing staff leads to picking up overtime, further increasing their weekly workload and leading to burnout.

Death of a patient

Losing a patient can also take a toll on nurses. It is one of the most challenging parts of this job, especially when the nurse and patient form a bond. Although some nurses understand that they will lose some of their patients, it can still affect a nurse’s emotions. After all, nurses are human beings too. Nurses face a constant emotional toll. They work with people in some of the worst times of their lives; no one ever wants to be in a hospital. Nurses feel those emotions, and it can be hard to separate them. While nurses are resilient, there is only so much they can take. 

Bullying at workplace

Nurses also experience bullying at work. It usually comes from co-workers with seniority privileges and even patients. A toxic workplace and coworkers can impact a nurse’s mental health. Sometimes nurses forget that their coworkers are human too. The expectations are high, and some nurses forget that they don’t always know what they know now. 

Safety and health concerns

The lack of adequate personal protective equipment, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, inadequate staffing of nurses, and insufficient resources can cause safety and health concerns. When hospitals do not provide nurses with protection during a health crisis or an adequate amount of staff, stress is inevitable. It also puts the health and safety of nurses at risk, putting the healthcare system in an even deeper hole. 

How can nurses manage stress? 

Stress will always be present no matter what we do; the key is to learn how to manage it more effectively.. . Here are good examples of what you can do when you feel stressed at work:

  • Aromatherapy has proven to be effective in calming the nerves. It also reduces anxiety. Essential oils like lavender can help lower stress, so having a diffuser at work can help. Smelling something that’s nice will always boost your mood, even if you are not a big believer in aromatherapy. 
  • Eating healthy can also help lessen stress. Start eating more fruits and vegetables to help increase your energy. Caffeine is helpful, but make sure not to overdo it. . It would also help to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water, especially if you have long shifts. The rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water before your 12-hour shift. But if you can’t drink all that water, bring some to work. 
  • Be sure to engage in activities that help stimulate your mind, like puzzles, crosswords, or books. It helps reset your mind and keeps it busy but in a healthy and enjoyable way.
  • Take time out to meditate. Align your thoughts and mind to focus on what you need to do. A good 10-minute break to meditate will help shift your mind into a better place and lifts your brain fog. 
  • Lastly, get enough sleep. Adjust your sleep schedule to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night, and try to sneak in a nap during the day or your shift. It will help improve your concentration and reduces the risk of making impulsive decisions. When your mind has rested, it can help you see things more clearly. 

When Should Nurses Seek Help for Their Mental Health?

Stress is almost synonymous with being a nurse. It comes with the job, and while many can adjust, some find it difficult to ask for help. So, when should you ask for help? Nurses are resilient people, but burnout can also take a toll on them.

Nurses should seek help once they’ve developed these signs and symptoms:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches or frequent migraines
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Having nightmares
  • Trouble sleeping for days
  • Quick to anger or irritability
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Confusion or trouble concentrating or staying focused
  • Have difficulty remembering instructions
  • Being forgetful

Nurses with more pronounced mental health issues may also experience depression, inability to cope, and social withdrawal. They may also feel compassion fatigue or experience burnout, leading to a lack of empathy for patients. When you’ve experienced these symptoms, seeking professional mental health assistance or support would be best. 

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

The nursing shortage has been an ongoing issue for many years, but this is all propaganda. We now know that there is no real shortage of nurses. But then again, what will happen if we are short on nurses? What happens when there are not enough nurses in the healthcare field? Here are six things that will happen.

When Nurses Disappear

Nurses are the jack of all trades in the healthcare industry. They do almost everything. From completing their front desk duties to transferring patients, and laboratory work, nurses, are there, working all the time. But when nurses are gone, will the world still be the same? Six things could happen when nurses are no longer here to do their job.

There will be more burnouts

When there are not enough nurses, more nurses are compelled to work more and stay on longer shifts. There’s no more downtime, and spending time with their family and friends is little to none. Tasks will pile up, and the remaining nurses will feel overwhelmed. This will drain them more to the point that they are no longer happy to do their job. In time, they will also quit, leaving fewer nurses to do the same routine and heading to the same route as their former colleagues. If no more nurses are left, this cycle will continue until no one is left to care for the sick and dying.

Low-quality patient care

Burnout causes nurses to lose patience quickly. When you’re always tired, dealing with difficult patients is challenging. And worse, burnout nurses won’t bother getting to know their patients or their cases any longer. This could affect the kind of care they give to their patients. And as a result, this could lead to poor quality care and many problems for patients and nurses.

More medical errors

No other healthcare professional stays with the patient longer than nurses. We are the ones who take care of the patient when the doctors are not around, and we make sure that all of them are taken care of. But what happens when a nurse is burned out? Tending to one patient can take around 15-20 minutes tops.

If you have ten patients waiting in line for their medication, you must take time and assess each medication so the right one goes to the correct patient. And when you’re a burned-out nurse, you could miss a small yet important detail about your patient’s medication. It can cost your patient’s life and your job on the line.

Low patient satisfaction

A burned-out nurse cannot provide quality patient care, leading to low patient satisfaction. The lack of available nurses can also affect this; many patients will feel like they are not given the care they came to the hospital for.

High mortality rate

Nurses are the ones who care for the sick and dying. When there are not enough nurses on the floor, emergency patients will be forced to wait longer. Emergency services will be delayed, and medical assistance will also be slow. We know that time is of the essence, especially when it comes to critical patients. When nurses are burned out, the lives of our patients are at stake.

Animosity among nurses

A short-staffed hospital means more work for the remaining nurses. This puts them under a lot of pressure and stress. And when stress takes over, peer relationships can get strained easily. Misunderstandings, like a simple bathroom break, coming in a few minutes late for work, or late endorsements, become a big deal to each other.

Your Takeaway

There is no nursing shortage if healthcare facilities take care of their nurses. Providing them with the help they need when they’re feeling down, like counseling or some needed time off, will make a difference. Nurses are not robots; we must take care of them. If we want nurses to be around longer and happier, we must find a way to help them too.