6 Stress Relieving Tips for Nurses
Being a nurse is a stressful job, and it’s not even a joke! Knowing different kinds of stress-relieving tips can help nurses from all walks of life.
Why are Nurses Stressed?
As a nurse, your life is extra busy most of the time. As a nurse, the most helpful way to combat stress is to understand what stresses you out. It is not always easy to identify stressors but we can help you narrow it down, here are the most common causes of stress for nurses:
Constant use of critical thinking skills
Being a nurse you are always critically thinking, either how medication can impact a patient or when a family member has a difficult question. it can be a mentally draining job. A nurse’s job is demanding, and you do not always have the time to check out even if you want to.
Work environment demands
There will be constant pacing while working with doctors and other healthcare providers when you are at work. It is common to clash with coworkers and patients at times or have miscommunication, leading to pressure and stress.
A 12+ hour job
Long shifts can be exhausting, and nurses often work insanely long shifts. Many nurses work 12+ hours a day any extra overtime leads to increased stress and a drain on energy. So it is prevalent among nurses to be a little cranky after each shift as it can be physically, emotionally and mentally draining, especially on the night shift.
An emotional job
When you look at it, a nurse’s job is to take care of the sick and dying. But while they are caring for sick people, they also take care of the families left worrying or grieving. It can put an emotional strain on nurses and also be stressful on their part. In addition to that, some families can be challenging to deal with. While nurses are empathetic, coping with demanding families adds pressure to their jobs.
We were not prepared for the pandemic, and among healthcare providers, nurses are the most affected. Their responsibilities did not only double but also folded twice. They deal with the increased workload a pandemic brings while also putting their health on the line. Some are even assigned to do a job they were not adequately trained for to meet the nursing demands. Because of this, saying a nurse is stressed is underrated.
Helpful and Stress Relieving Tips You Can Apply
So, what can you do to release the stress you feel each time you are under pressure at work? Knowing different stress-relieving techniques can help nurses big time. Here are a few:
Find a nursing path that you love
Are you stuck in a nursing job that you don’t like? Or are you looking for an option to do something else? If you answered yes to either, it’s time to move on to a different path in nursing. Keep in mind that nursing is an ever-dynamic field, so there is always something to do. If you love traveling, become a travel nurse, and if you enjoyed your time in the Operating Room as a student nurse, pursue a career in OR nursing. Maybe you are done with acute care and want to settle down in an outpatient clinic. The options are endless. Just make sure that the path you selected is something you would like to do for the long haul.
Remind yourself why you became a nurse
Earning a high salary is one of the benefits nursing brings, but is it all you want? When things get tough, ask yourself why you became a nurse. Is it because you love helping others? Was it a good route for financial security?? – Whatever your reasons are, going back to the reason why you became a nurse will shed light on your darkest hours. So, whenever you feel stressed, use that reason to get back on your feet!
Sweat it out!
Another good way to relieve stress is through exercise. Many nurses find themselves sweating their stress out in the gym more often these days, so why not do the same? If you don’t like the confines of the gym, you can always work out at home. You can follow exercise apps or YouTube videos and burn those calories of frustration! Not only will you feel good, but you will also feel energized again, improve your health, and be pumped for your next shift.
Since we are talking about exercise, you might as well include your diet. To stabilize your energy, pair your workout with a balanced meal. Your diet must consist of energy-giving foods to keep you on your feet all the time. Eating green leafy vegetables, fruits, juices, and superfoods like nuts, avocadoes, sardines, berries, etc., must be included in your daily meals. These will keep you healthy and help reduce the stress and anxiety that you may feel at work.
Practice meditation and breathing exercises.
Besides doing your workout routines, you must also practice breathing exercises and meditation. When things get crazy, pause, meditate and be mindful of your breathing. You don’t have to bring a yoga mat! Breathing techniques can be done anywhere, even at work. So, plan out your day, and take time to meditate, and refocus. It will help you get through even the most toxic shifts!
Don’t forget to take time off.
All work and no play make you a dull person. So, relax, take time off and socialize. As much as you want to sleep on your day-offs, set time to socialize with friends or family. It is always good to have an outlet and to be yourself without worrying about the next patient chart you need to update. You don’t have to work all the time, find balance, and learn to live a stress-free life as a nurse.
As a nurse, facing stressful situations at work is a given. It is part of the profession. It is why you must find ways to destress. Don’t let the daily chaos of nurse life ruin your determination to help others. Try and see how these stress-relieving tips for nurses can help you.
8 Mistakes That Rookie Travel Nurses Make While on the Job
Working as a travel nurse is one of the best decisions you will ever make in your nursing career. Of course, just like any other newbies, you can’t wait till you are assigned to a different location. While waiting for an assignment, it is best to read about the eight mistakes that rookie travel nurses make so you can avoid doing them in the future. Here’s what you need to know.
Avoid These While Going Through Your Contract
#1. Skimming through your contract.
It is a big booboo on your part if you do not read your contract thoroughly. Your travel nurse contract is an essential part of your assignment, so any responsible nurse will carefully read through it before signing . Skimming through your contract will place you in a situation that you might not like.
Before signing, make sure to check for accuracy and completeness. Check also for the assignment, pay rate, dates, travel reimbursements, bonuses, time offs, and other special agreements that you may have. Your agency should be able to answer all your concerns if needed. So, don’t just skim through it; read your contract well!
#2. Being unprepared for your assignment.
As nurses, we are trained to be ready at all times. We can even make boy scouts a run for their money if we talk about preparedness! It is a part of our nurse skills to be alert and ready for anything. However, rookie travel nurses are too complacent about their assignments that they don’t bother preparing – big mistake! They let their excitement get the best of them. Remember, you are traveling for work, not for fun. Be in a work mode mindset as you take on an assignment. While you can still see sights along the way, or maybe during your offs, you still have to be prepared to do your nursing duties. Avoid these mistakes that rookie travel nurses do and you will save yourself from trouble.
Agencies will help you process everything you need – even your license entering a compact state. In short, you have all the help you need. All you have to do is show up on time and make sure that you make a good impression on your first day. Always bring your supporting documents if your supervisor needs them – it will show how responsible you are for a rookie travel nurse!
#3. Bringing too much stuff with you.
The shortest duration of your assignment is around four to eight weeks, with the longest of thirteen weeks. There’s no need to bring too much stuff with you. Bring only the essentials, and make sure you have enough to reuse. If you are assigned to a different state during winter, bring clothes suitable for the weather. Other than that, leave the ones you don’t need during this assignment. Besides, the weeks will fly by, and the next thing you know, you are off to another location again.
Take note also of the place you are staying. Is it furnished or not? See what is included in your accommodation. This way, you can decide whether to bring other items along or not.
#4. Not asking questions.
As a travel nurse, you will always be the “new kid” in town. And as much as you want to do your job and go, it is not always the case. Whenever you are assigned to a new facility, be sure to ask the right questions. You need to learn where things are, who you need to call for emergencies, what practices are done, or protocols to follow. Asking these questions will help your survival on each shift.
Be sure to make new friends too. Sure, you are the extra hand, but it won’t hurt if you greet people and be friendly. After all, you work in the same facility. Besides, having new friends broadens your network. So, do not hesitate to be nice to everyone you meet along the way. You will need guidance and help as you go.
#5. Acting like you are not part of the team.
Sure, you may be a temporary nurse extending help, but that does not mean you should also exclude yourself from others. Staff nurses will expect you to do your best. Showing up on time and doing your duties are essential, but you are not hired to work there to separate yourself.
Try to be a part of the team, be nice to people, be prepared, and do your part. If you work like you are part of the team, your coworkers will treat you the same. Don’t be a total stranger.
#6. Acting like you know it all.
Another mistake that rookie travel nurses make is acting like they don’t need help from anyone. Being a know-it-all is something you should avoid. Sure, you have the skills and knowledge, but ignoring protocols and not following the standard procedures in the facility you are working in is a huge mistake.
Take time to listen and learn from your coworkers. It does not matter how long you have been a travel nurse or new to the job. Being open to suggestions and learning the trade is vital if you want to keep your job. Besides, learning new skills will only strengthen your ability as a nurse. Once you have shown that you are valuable to the team, you might find your coworkers asking for your input.
#7. Joining the hospital drama.
One mistake that rookie travel nurses make is by joining the hospital politics during their brief stay . As a result, they found themselves tangled with the drama that they could’ve avoided in the first place.
As tempting as juicy gossip can be, avoid engaging in it. Remember, you are only working in this facility for a few weeks. It is always better to build strong relationships than to be part of the gossip crew. Besides, you don’t know the people involved or the whole story, so why bother becoming a part of it? So, do what you came to do, avoid gossiping, and focus on your patient care. You will be appreciated more!
#8. Working hard or hardly working.
Last but not least, one of the mistakes that rookie travel nurses make is working too much or too little. As a nurse, your work is a priority, but you can become a workaholic when you work too much and don’t pause to breathe. So find time to balance work and recreation. One of the reasons you became a travel nurse is to see other places, so do it! Take a look at your schedule and plan an activity for the day. While you are assigned a job, why not take the opportunity to see places? Knowing when to work and have fun has its perks. Besides, after a long day of serving patients, a breather sounds about right. So, enjoy the moments while you can!
Find Balance on Your First Job
Becoming a travel nurse is exciting, primarily if you are assigned to a place that you haven’t been to before. But as you do, find balance in your work and play. Be mindful of your ways, be presentable, arrive on time, and leave work at work. Over time, you will enjoy each assignment, and you don’t have to make the same mistakes rookie travel nurses make! Being a nurse is a rewarding job, and for you to deliver quality care, you must also take care of yourself. Hopefully, this list cleared it out for you. Best of luck!
5 House Hunting Tips for Travel Nurses
One of the essential things to secure as a travel nurse is your accommodation or housing. Whether you are a seasoned travel nurse or just starting on your first assignment, you must settle in a place that is already furnished, so you don’t have to worry about where to sleep, cook or take a shower after shifts. It would be best to secure a place to stay during the duration of your work, and these house hunting tips for travel nurses are the answer.
House Hunting Tips for Travel Nurses 101
Looking for suitable accommodation, apartment, room, or housing during your assignment as a travel nurse can be stressful. But the question is, would you prefer looking for accommodation and receiving a stipend? Or let the agency take care of it, so you don’t have to worry? Are you bringing your pets along? – indeed, looking for a house or apartment to accommodate all your needs as a travel nurse is challenging. But, don’t worry, these tips can help you with that.
Tip #1. Beware of “Too Good to be True” Offers
There are plenty of places to look for housing as a travel nurse, but you must be wary of where you are looking. One of the most common places to look for is Craigslist. No doubt about it, there are many good sources of for-rent units on this website, and there are also bad ones. How can you distinguish the difference? If the offer is too good, too cheap, and almost impossible to believe in, then you might skip that one because it could be a scam. A good source will always have positive feedback and reasonable prices. If you find one that offers you cheap accommodation in a well-off location, then there is a chance that you are being baited for a scam.
Tip #2. Look at ALL options.
You have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to housing and accommodation. However, it will also depend on your preference. It would be best if you checked out all your options first before deciding which one to pursue.
Option A is staying at hotels. Plenty of hotels or motels offer long-term stays for 30 days, perfect for travel nurses like you. Low night rates and tax breaks are also provided if you book an extended stay. If this is the option you would like to take, be sure to call the hotel manager ahead to make arrangements.
Option B, on the other hand, is staying on Airbnb locations. These are usually popular choices for many travel nurses and travelers alike. Not only do you get to pick the spot of the Airbnb, but you can also view the kind of bedrooms you will be using. As someone who travels for work, you may need one bedroom (if you are working alone) or something small for your convenience. You can also choose to live close to the facility you are working, or downtown where you can enjoy the sites and do exciting things after your shift.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that the accommodation you pick suits all your needs.
Tip #3. Find a Roommate or Work with One.
Another good tip for house hunting as a travel nurse is finding a roommate with whom you can share the rent and save expenses. It could be a fellow travel nurse you are assigned with or a traveler staying in the accommodation for long-terms .
When choosing a location for work, check if you have relatives or friends living nearby. While having accommodation is excellent, you can also live with family or friends living near the facility you are working as a travel nurse. Of course, IF and only IF you are allowed to live with them. If not, choosing to have a place of your own is always a good idea. Besides, you don’t want to disturb anyone, especially if you are assigned on night shifts.
Tip #4. Do Some Research Before Accepting a Job Offer.
As a travel nurse, you are often looking forward to your next assignment. However, it would be best if you also do your research before accepting any job .
First, understand what benefits you can get if the agency finds the accommodation for you. Many travel nurses utilize this option when it comes to housing needs. One of the benefits of this is that agencies can find you a suitable place to stay, especially if the work location does not have a lot of options to choose from. It also saves you time and energy looking for a place to stay. Using the ones provided by your agency is more practical.
You must also understand what furnished means when it comes to finding a place to stay. When we say that the home is “furnished,” it means that it already has the amenities you need for the duration of your stay. This type of accommodation is helpful for travel nurses who do not like to bring furniture or housing necessities when traveling. Of course, every location to go to is different, and when they say furnished, the things included could be a dresser, dining table, couch, or chairs. Keep in mind that washers/dryers, microwaves, iron, and others are not always included. It would be best to visit the place or talk to the manager about what you would like to be included in your accommodation before you stay there. Otherwise, you will bring some necessities with you.
Tip #5. Pet-friendly Housing is a Must.
Some travel nurses love to travel with their dogs or cats. If you have a pet and would like to bring them along, be sure to remember this house hunting tip for travel nurses – check if the accommodation allows pets.
If you want your agency to find you a place to stay, be upfront about bringing your pet/s with you. It would make your life easier, but if you are looking for a place to stay, calling and personally asking if pets are allowed in your housing is a must.
These House Hunting Tips for Travel Nurses are Practical
Finding a suitable place to stay during your assignment as a travel nurse can be stressful, but if you want to save yourself from this predicament, it would be best to use your agency and let them find one for you. Of course, extra stipends are helpful, but be practical if you are stressed about looking for accommodations.
How Covid-19 Impacted Nurses at Work
Covid-19 impacted nurses in the most brutal ways. Many nurses are exhausted, depressed, and in some cases, dying. While the pandemic is still on the rise, nurses suffer more than ever. But how did the pandemic change nursing? How can nurses get help?
Covid-19 Impacted Nurses Psychologically and Physically
Caring for patients sick with Covid left many nurses not only exhausted physically but mentally as well. As a result of this, many nurses are no longer functioning well at work. And when nurses cannot function properly, the quality of care delivered also decreases. Here’s how Covid-19 impacted nurses:
Many nurses are facing pressure as they continue to care for sick patients. As the number of patients also increases, the levels of stress among nurses also rise. Because it’s not specific as to when the pandemic ends, many nurses anticipate the worse. That said, many of them have developed anxiety.
Taking care of sick patients along with the dying ones caused some nurses to develop depression. Added to the high stress that they face every day at work, it’s not surprising to see nurses develop feelings of depression and anxiety. This depression also caused nurses to be less adaptable to the changes in their environment. It also makes them less susceptible to the needs of their patients.
Burnout is the most common psychological phenomenon among nurses characterized by an emotional, mental and physical decline in energy. It is often caused by work-related stress, leading to cynicism towards colleagues and low self-efficacy. Many nurses feel the burnout of their job due to long hours of work and less time for rest.
Anxiety, depression, and burning out are not the only problems nurses face but the physical exhaustion from their day-to-day jobs. It’s a nurse’s job to check on patients and always be on their feet, moving. With longer working hours, nurses barely get the rest they need to de-stress.
Vacation days are also kept short because of the shortage of nursing staff and the new Covid variant that’s been on the rise. As a result, nurses are drained of energy, stressed, and physically exhausted as they care for Covid-19 patients.
How Covid-19 Impacted Nurses with Stress
Nurses deal with stress differently. Some can still function well at work while others can’t. In this pandemic, it’s hard to tell who is anxious and depressed among our nurses. However, while many nurses don’t verbalize how they feel, there are still signs that they are under extreme stress. 
- Nurses are slow to respond during crises or emergencies.
- They have difficulty concentrating and managing time.
- Nurses often make errors while charting or giving medications.
- They show signs of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and depersonalization.
- They have poor interpersonal skills and prefer working alone.
- Nurses who are anxious and stressed are known to have a short fuse.
- They are known to be quick to anger towards colleagues, their families, and even patients.
- Nurses perform poorly with simple tasks like calculating doses or care mapping.
How Can Nurses Deal with Anxiety?
The Covid-19 impacted nurses’ mental health in waves. As the pandemic continued, many nurses developed anxieties. Having anxiety can be crippling, and if you are a nurse, it’s a significant hindrance in your job. So, how can nurses like you deal with stress? Here’s what you can do:
1. Being aware of your condition
Identifying that you have anxiety is the first step in managing it. Understanding that having anxiety does not impact your value as a person and as a nurse helps encourage you to seek the support you need.
2. Ask for Help
When you have anxiety, asking for help seems like an impossible thing to do. In some cases, nurses will choose to ask for help in situations that are too stressful. Others will inform close people that they are dealing with anxiety and depression. Regardless of how you want to ask for help, reaching out to your peers or mentors will help you get the support you need.
3. Get enough rest
Nurses work long shifts every week. Dealing with different people, sick patients, and working with other healthcare professionals can be exhausting at the end of the day. Getting enough sleep, exercise, eating, and having space to de-stress is crucial for your well-being. It will also help you get back on your feet so you can help others again.
4. Seek professional help
If getting enough sleep, exercising, and relaxation doesn’t help ease your anxieties, it’s time to seek professional help. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health counselors can help manage your depression and anxiety. They will teach you coping techniques and help empower nurses like you to manage their mental health and minimize its effects on your work.
How Can Nurses Get Support from their Workplace
Nurses must get the support their needs regarding mental health at work. The nurse administrator’s job is to provide help, guidance and mentor nurses suffering from burnout during the pandemic . Other ways they can help nurses are as follows:
1. Educating staff/team
One of the best ways to support nurses suffering from anxiety and depression is by educating their team or staff. New and veteran nurses that are suffering from mental health issues may experience isolation among their peers. It is why it’s essential to help educate staff members about mental health and that talking about it is not a sign of weakness or insignificance.
2. Provide support systems
A reliable support system in terms of mental health is vital to nurses. Leaders at work should help motivate and encourage nurses. Providing space for them to talk about their feelings about mental health is also a good idea. It will help them realize that they are not alone and their feelings are valid.
3. Campaigning for self-care
As nurses, it’s easy to get lost in work and focus on the goals of taking care of people. However, when it comes to mental health, nurses are encouraged to take care of themselves first. Think about it, how can nurses take care of others if they don’t care for themselves? Nurse leaders must set an example on balancing work and personal care by allowing them to catch the much-needed breaks.
4. Give access to resources
One of the best ways to help nurses suffering from anxiety and depression is to access internal and external behavioral health resources. Crisis hotlines, mental health counselors, or mental health screening must be readily available for them. Nurse leaders should be alert on giving access to their staff so they can get help early on.
Nurses Are Still Going to Work, But They Need Help
The Covid-19 impacted nurses like an iceberg. No one knew how big and wide the pandemic was going to be until it reached countries around the world. Being a nurse during the Covid-19 pandemic is a challenging position to be.
There’s no denying that many nurses are tired, physically and mentally. But because they need to keep going, many nurses suppress their own emotions for fear of being stigmatized.
However, this is not going to benefit them at all. It is up to nurse leaders and managers to reduce this stigma surrounding mental health and make their nursing staff feel supported during these trying times.
Why Nurses Leaving Bedside Care is a Big Problem
Nurses leaving bedside care is not surprising news anymore. Ever since the pandemic broke out, the workload of nurses has increased not just once but a few times over. Because of this, many of our nurses are exhausted and burned out. The long hours of work and the overwhelming number of patients to care for have caused some nurses to consider leaving the profession. In this post, we will talk about the cause of nurses leaving the bedside and how it affects them.
Nurses Leave Bedside Care Due to the Pandemic
There have been plenty of reports regarding nurses quitting their jobs in the middle of the pandemic. Honestly, I can’t say I blame them. The effects of the pandemic have exhausted the nursing workforce. Not only do nurses feel exhausted, but the overwhelming number of patients affected by the new Covid-19 variant has also affected their mental health. Many nurses suffer from anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. 
The roles of nurses also changed during the pandemic. Nurses took on new positions beyond their scope as they adapted to the “new normal.” Due to the increasing number of new Covid patients, nurses are needed more in clinics, emergency rooms, and intensive care units where care for sick patients is much needed. That said, the interruption of work due to infected people have created an extra workload for nurses.
Nurses also work to the bone; they are also in charge of deciding which patients can go to intensive care units or respiratory devices. They also help accompany patients and families as they transition to the end-of-life stages. In addition to that, other risks that nurses deal with include the lack of resources, protective equipment, the risk of getting infected, obligation in new work areas, and many others pushing nurses to give up and leave their jobs amidst the pandemic.
3 Good Reasons Why Nurses Leave Bedside Care
Besides the threat of the pandemic, other factors also contributed to nurses leaving bedside care. Here’s what we gathered:
Toxic Working Environment
The primary role of nurses has never changed; they are still the main characters that provide care to enhance the patient’s quality of life along with their knowledge, so they carry out the best care plan. As the media proclaimed, they are heroes and advocates for the wellness of patients and the general community. However, there have been changes in the last 20 years in the nursing environment.
It mainly involved how nurses should carry out their roles. With the Affordable Care Act’s help, more patients can now access health care for the first time in many years, resulting in an influx of patients with co-morbidities. That said, plenty of nurses work in areas for long hours, tending to more patients than average.
Toxic Nurse Culture
Ever heard of the phrase “nurses eat their young”? If not then we will break it down for you. This term refers to an almost rite-of-passage in the workplace for new nurses. It’s when seasoned nurses display a form of lateral violence or bullying, and those who have gone through this situation repeat the said behaviors with new nurses under their charge.
It’s a common culture among the nursing staff and is the reason why some nurses leave. Those who cannot connect with fellow nurses in the workplace are often isolated or have feelings of isolation from the group. Add this to a heavy workload, and new nurses can easily get overwhelmed with the demands and stress of work.
Dealing with sick patients can drain your energy, and sometimes, it is emotionally draining as well, especially if you have made a deep connection with your patients. It is why its recommended for nurses to learn how they can balance their emotions and connect with their patients without becoming too attached.
Dealing with the death of a beloved patient is also viewed as a reason why some nurses leave bedside care. So as a nurse, it is your discernment to choose the proper nursing role where your personality traits fit. Nurses who find the right nursing specialty that works best have better work performance and career experience without becoming too emotional for their patients. 
How to Help Nurses
There’s no doubt that nurses are valued members of the healthcare world. Without them, bedside care is not possible. Hospital facilities and health organizations must create rules to help nurses function better at work. Creating a program that encourages nurses to stay in bedside care must be available too. These can help educate nurses and catch up with the latest trends to promote a healthy work environment. Flexible schedules can also give nurses the break they need.
Nurses do their job because the world needs them, especially at trying times like this. They do their best and put their lives on the line for others but at what cost? Hopefully, more healthcare facilities will develop laws that protect the lives of nurses and future nurses. Only then will you see fewer nurses leaving bedside care.