EP 95: Managing Stress and Anxiety as a Nurse
In this episode, we will discuss stress and anxiety as a nurse. We discuss how to have a well-balanced mental life at work and outside your job. We all get stressed and anxious, it’s nothing that we can completely eliminate, but we can control it. Managing stress and anxiety is all about understanding the feelings, where they are coming from, and adequately reacting to them.
How to Manage Stress and Anxiety in the Workplace
Nursing is one of the most stressful career options out there. It is impossible to explain a nurse’s stress without being there. In nursing school, you have an idea of how nursing will be, but your imagination of a nurse is minimal compared to what it is.
What Stresses Nurses Out?
The workload is the primary stressor for a nurse. Many states do not have set up patient ratios, meaning if push comes to shove, you can have an extra patient or 2 to manage. Patient care is hard and time-consuming; we also have to chart everything. Short staffing also leads to higher workloads.
Lack of support
One of the main complaints by nurses is a lack of social support from coworkers and higher management. Anxiety is heightened when there is less support. Maintaining a positive and relaxed work environment is hard without someone to talk to.
Working with the sick
This is especially hard in the ICU. The ICU requires working with the sickest people; many die in the ICU, which takes a toll on an individual. Also, we maintain many different medications, which is very stressful when patients crash.
How to Manage Stress at Work
You can’t control everything that happens at work or the environment, but you can find ways to improve it. Try not to focus or change the aspects of the job you cannot; instead, find out what you can influence and learn to react appropriately to a situation.
Ask for help
One of the best things you can do when you are stressed and anxious is to ask for help. When you are running around, and a nurse asks, “Can I help you?” it’s ok to say yes. If you need help with a boost or a turn, don’t delay it or do it yourself. Just ask someone for help.
Talk with your coworkers
You are opening the room for conversation. You’re socializing with your coworkers, which makes it easier to ask for future help and work together. How many times did your shift improve after you talked to a nurse, conversed with a nurse, and joked with your coworker? Communication goes a long way.
Bonding with your peers is the best way to break a great work environment. The key to teamwork is good communication.
There will be a time when you feel comfortable enough to share emotions. There will be days when you will see a coworker cry, and you’ll be there to comfort them.
Improve your time management
The number one stressor for nurses is nursing itself, it can be mentally and physically draining. If you feel you are always chasing time, that will stress you greatly. Your shift always gets easier when you have a plan.
You should always mentally plan your shift. If you are forgetful, then the first thing you should do after the report and a quick glance at your patient is to write down what and when you will be doing for the next 12 hours.
Life is happening for you instead of to you.
Get your home life figured out
The last thing a nurse wants to deal with is a nurse who talks about how bad they have it outside work. Always so busy, never have time for anything, always sleeping in, and can’t get anything figured out. You have to enjoy life to be happy. We are not saying that you need to be happy all the time it is healthy to go through cycles of emotions. All emotions need to be expressed.
You need to eat a well-balanced diet most of the time. Nutrition plays a crucial role in mental and physical health. You’ll get mediocre results if you do not feed your body optimally. Headaches, bloating, and cramps can all stem from your diet. How can you be happy and successful when dealing with all those physical issues? It takes your mind off things you should be doing.
Exercise is essential as well. It doesn’t matter what workouts you do. They all promote blood flow to your brain and organs. Many people don’t understand that consistently working out contributes to more than just your physical appearance. It builds structure, routine, and mental strength.
The same issues nurses have in the hospital stem from their daily life or vice versa. If you’re always chasing time, you either need better planning skills or you’re taking on too much at once. If you’re the person who crams a lot in one day and then gets sad because you didn’t accomplish everything, you need to drop your workload. Tomorrow will come, but you are in the present.
Feeling stressed at work? Learn how to manage it in this episode 😎👇
00:00 – Intro
00:20 – Cup of Nurses and Dat Loud mugs plug-in
01:13 – Topic Intro
01:44 – Being a nurse is stressful
03:20 – 3 Most Common Causes of Stress Among Nurses
03:30 – Workload
07:32 – Lack of Support
12:13 – Working with sick patients
20:16 – Ask for help
24:10 – Talk to your co-workers
26:55 – Time management
34:38 – Have a routine
37:00 – Sit Down with Yourself
41:20 – Wrapping up
41:44 – End of show