Nursing can be one of the most rewarding careers you’ll ever have, and also one of the most demanding. Patients and families turn to nurses when they need comfort and compassion, so you must always be ready to help them through stressful times.
However, nursing can also be exhausting and draining if you don’t learn how to deal with all the challenges that come with it. This career requires you to be on your feet for long hours, making quick decisions and reassuring frightened patients.
Therefore, knowing how to overcome the most significant challenges in nursing is essential to get through your day and excel at your job. Check out this article to learn about some of the most significant challenges in nursing and tips on overcoming them.
Nurses must work shifts that often change throughout the week, making it challenging to plan their personal lives. For example, nurses might have three days off one week and then be scheduled for an entire weekend shift the following week.
Nurses, or individuals studying for a non-nursing degree to BSN online in order to become a nurse, can experience a lack of sleep and exhaustion. Nurses can also experience emotional difficulty due to dissatisfaction with their life. The struggle with changing schedules is a common complaint among nurses.
However, there are some ways to overcome this challenge. One option is to devise a system or routine for managing your time when your schedule changes so that you don’t struggle to keep track of appointments and other obligations.
Nurses can handle this by using a planner or a phone scheduling app. This remedy will allow them to quickly update their work shifts and keep track of what they have planned outside work.
Stress and professional burnout
A common cause of stress is professional burnout. In most cases, burnout results from high stress levels, which can occur due to work overload, poor working conditions, and a lack of support from supervisors or colleagues.
Another cause for burnout is a feeling of hopelessness that stems from a sense of powerlessness when faced with difficult situations. To combat this feeling, nurses must find ways to care for themselves outside the workplace.
For example, if you feel that your workload is too much, talk to your supervisor about taking on fewer tasks. If you feel like your coworkers are not supporting you enough, try talking to them about how you might be able to help each other out more.
Feeling alone and isolated
Nurses are often the sole providers of care for their patients. This task can be very challenging, especially when you’re working long hours and don’t have much time off.
The feeling of isolation is also common among nurses, who are often surrounded by sick people all day. Finding ways to connect with other nursing professionals on your terms is essential – for example, you could join online forums or make friends at conferences.
Getting involved in activities outside of work, such as taking up an instrument or cooking a new recipe each week, will help combat feelings of isolation. It’s vital to take some time off every so often to stay fresh and motivated in your work.
Nurses often work rotating shifts that can be very long, sometimes more than 12 hours. When this happens, nurses must take care of themselves by eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
Long-shift nurses need to ensure that they eat, drink fluids, and get some rest when possible because exhaustion could lead to mistakes on the job or taking their frustrations out on patients or other staff members.
The best way for nurses to overcome the challenge of long shifts is by planning to have something to look forward to after the shift ends or asking their employer for reduced hours if possible.
Nursing is a very emotional job. Nursing work often entails situations that evoke strong feelings of compassion, empathy, anger, sadness or joy.
It’s important to acknowledge these emotions as they arise, take care of yourself, and know when to step away from the situation.
For instance, you may feel like you can’t handle seeing a child die but still want to be there for their family. In such a case, find ways to be helpful without actually doing anything medical.
The best thing you can do for yourself during these challenging moments is to be mindful of your mental state, while also caring for those around you.
Exposure to illness and chemicals
When working as a nurse, the health professional can come into contact with bacteria, viruses, or other illnesses. It’s essential to understand that using personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, gowns and protective eyewear is necessary during specific tasks.
For example, a nurse may not need gloves if they’re only doing paperwork, but they are recommended for handling bodily fluids such as blood or urine samples. Keeping supplies up to date, promptly cleaning surfaces, and washing hands can also reduce the risk of contracting an illness.
Understanding how to use personal protective gear properly will keep patients safer while at the same time reducing your exposure to any potentially harmful agents.
The ever-changing nature of technology can be a massive challenge for nurses. With new updates and advances constantly being released, nurses are always scrambling to keep up with the latest information.
Not only do nurses need to know about the newest developments, but they also need to educate their patients on how these changes will affect their care.
Nurses today have become walking libraries, providing information on any topic, from medication management techniques to nursing education programs.
Despite these challenges, nursing is a gratifying profession. If you are considering pursuing a career as a nurse, know that it is possible to overcome the challenges that come with it.
Whether it’s finding ways to take care of yourself or building relationships with colleagues, there are many ways that you can prepare yourself for this profession. Make sure that you’re knowledgeable about what nurses do, and consider whether this is something that you want to do for the long term before committing.