There is no secret that nurses make very lucrative salaries, but the salaries that nurses make come with a great deal of stress. Nurses work long hours and handle difficult situations on a daily basis. Nurses must have the ability to handle the daily stressors that they encounter because patients and other medical professionals depend on them for the daily operations of medical facilities. Learning how to handle stress is one of the many ways that nurses can be productive on their jobs.
How Stress Affects Our Bodies?
Stress is something normal that everyone faces. Stress happens as the body adjusts to any type of change. The body reacts to change in different ways. The reactions can be emotional, physical, and mental. Stress can occur in any environment—even thoughts can be stressful on the body.
By design, the body is supposed to experience stress. The body is also designed to react to the stress it experiences. Stress is positive when it alerts people that their bodies are headed for danger. Stress becomes bad when the body experiences continuous challenges that does not allow for any relief between challenges. As a result of continuous stress, the body experiences many stress-related issues.
The body experiences distress after the body experiences continuous stress without any type of relief. Distress can cause the body to experience such physical symptoms as elevated blood pressure, asthma, depression, diabetes, arthritis, anxiety, heart problems, skin conditions, chest pain, headaches, problems sleeping, and upset stomach. There is research to support that stress can also lead to diseases, and it can worsen current symptoms.
Some try to alleviate their stress by turning to drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. These substances actually have the opposite effect on the body; they actually cause more problems and keep the body is a state of stress.
Daily Stressors Nurses Face on the Job
Nurses deal with a number of stressors on their jobs, including:
- Hours – Nurses can work shifts of 12 hours or more in one day. These long hours can be extremely stressful on their bodies and their minds.
- Patients – Not all patients are easy for nurses to handle. Patients can be very demanding, and at times, some patients can become violent when they suffer from mental conditions. Nurses may have to dedicate a great deal of their time to please some patients.
- Disease and Infections – Medical facilities are filled with patients with contagious diseases so nurses have to worry about contracting many diseases. Nurses come in direct contact with those who may have tainted blood. These medical facilities also have a number of infections that can spread very quickly.
- Responsibilities – Nurses have a massive number of responsibilities that they encounter on their jobs. Besides the weight of the moral and ethical responsibilities of the job, they have a never-ending list of other responsibilities that they must perform.
- Balancing Life – Many nurses bring their stressors from home to their jobs. It may be extremely hard to balance their work and personal lives for many nurses.
- Work Relationships – it may be extremely difficult for some nurses to get along with their supervisors and other medical professionals where they work. Difficult relationships at work are almost impossible to ignore.
Tips on How to Manage Stress as a Nurse without Medications
- Make good use of vacation time.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Take some time to do something self-fulfilling each day.
- Take a day off when stress levels get too high.
- Do not work more than 4 or 5 days without taking a day off to rest.
- Schedule daily alone time.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day 3 to 4 times per week.
- Take frequent breaks at work.
- Find something humorous to laugh at each day.
- Find a hobby or two in which to participate.
- Make sure to have a good support system of friends and family.
- Do not think about the responsibilities of the job when away from the job.
- Schedule fun activities outside of work.
- Realize that it is impossible to do everything in one day.
Nurses have one of the most stressful jobs in the medical profession. They must maintain some level of balance or they may encounter a number of health problems along the way. Nurses must be in the best health possible each day because their patients and coworkers depend on them to be in the best shape possible.