The job of a nurse is never easy and there are multiple factors that can make or break a nurse’s shift – the demands and neediness of a patient’s family members, the behaviour of the patient and, the health and fitness of the nurse itself. With stress being a constant factor, it can lead to nurse’s making mistakes or worse, burning out and quitting the job altogether.
As important as it is for the nurse to be able to concentrate on the job at hand; it is equally important for them to work out certain routines that will help them relieve their stress and make their job smoother and easier. Here are some hacks that can be incorporated into your daily life to ensure a stress free working shift:
Looking after your patients
Different patients come in with different kinds of health issues. Developing a routine on how you look after your patients, will go a long way in keeping both you and your patient happy and stress free.
- Patients are normally in some kind of pain – set up a pain schedule right at the beginning. Inform the patient what you will be doing at what times. Once the patient is aware of your schedule regarding their medication and care, they will refrain from calling you frequently.
- A bath will normally help a restless patient – schedule a bath, if possible, before the patient’s bed time, to ensure that the patient gets good night’s sleep.
- Administering Zyprexa for unruly alcoholic patients can be a trying job. Stick the Zyprexa to a swab, wet and insert it into the patient’s mouth. This will help keep your fingers safe from any biting tendency of the patient.
- Work your schedule to check on every patient of yours on an hourly basis. This will allow you to monitor them, take care of any impending needs and keep your patients feeling happy and cared for.
- If you have total care patients, work out a plan with your CNA first thing as you start your shift.
- Always jot down all required information and observation before leaving the patient.
Looking after the patient’s family
Family members are generally nervous and stressed out at hospitals. After all, they are just helpless bystanders to their loved ones treatment regime. Taking time out to interact with the family, will lead to relieving their stress.
- Ensure that your patients are clean and presentable. Looking at soiled bandages or blood stains on their loved ones clothes can and will make family members nervous and stressed.
- Introduce yourself to the family members and inform them of your care regime. This will allow them to be confident about the care their loved one will receive.
- Family members are generally not experts at healthcare procedures. Make an effort to answer all their questions, keep them involved in the care regime and comfort them if need be.
- Even though unqualified, family members tend to give suggestions on how care should be provided. Listen to them patiently and ask them about the patient’s special needs, likes and dislikes. This will show them that you are concerned about the patient’s well-being and care.
Looking after yourself
You cannot take care of others if you are not fit and relaxed yourself. It is very easy, in the rush to take care of your patients, to forget about yourself. However, if you are not in the pink of your health, it will be difficult for you to look after your patients.
- Eat foods that provide energy for long periods of time. Make fruits, vegetables, brown rice, beans etc a part of your daily diet. These will help you last the long shifts without feeling drained out.
- However busy you may be, do not skip your meals. Take time out to grab a snack at least twice a day, to maintain your blood sugar levels and keep you alert and active.
- Ensure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Air conditioning dehydrates your body that in turn makes you lose energy.
- Take out time to do some stretching exercises – you could even do these while sitting on a chair. This will help keep your muscles supple and avoid cramps.
- Listen to music or read a book whenever you get a few minutes between your schedules.