The unpredictability of healthcare is both exciting AND stressful. If you’re like many nurses, you leave work feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Nurses spend their lives caring for others yet we often suffer the consequences of that care by getting burned out.
60% of all healthcare employees report feelings of burnout and fatigue.
DEFINITION OF FATIGUE
Fatigue is a combination of physical, emotional, and mental depletion caused from repeated and consistent stress.
MY DEFINITION OF STRESS
When you don’t feel you have the RESOURCES to meet the demands placed upon you.
You get report from your co-worker and find out that 2 of your patients are in active alcohol withdrawal; 2 are active acute stroke patients and 1 is in isolation with a trach, copious amounts of secretions requiring suctioning and the nurse tells you he needs Q1 hour Morphine and Q2 hour Ativan. And, you don’t have any nursing assistants because they had to use them as sitters.
That was my assignment one day last year.
Rinse and Repeat – day after day.
And now you know why nurses get burned out.
However, nurses don’t have to be passive victims when it comes to stress. Numerous studies show that even in similar situations, some people don’t succumb to the negative effects of repeated stress like others do.
Because they incorporate strategies into their daily lives that counteract the effects of stress. They equip their brains and their bodies with the tools necessary to kick the crap out of stress and burnout.
In my presentations on nurse fatigue and my eBook titled, “From Exhausted to Extraordinary: Strategies to Reverse Nurse Fatigue,” click here, I share numerous proven strategies to avoid the toxic effects of stress.
In addition to the simple strategies I share, here are a few other steps you can do immediately upon wakening that can prepare you face the day better equipped.
As soon as your alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze button. Instead, do the following 3 things:
1. Name 3 things you are grateful for
Studies show that when people start their day in a place of gratitude, they find more reasons to be grateful throughout the day. In this TED Talk, Shawn Achor talks about the power of gratitude. His research proves – when you focus on gratitude, you decrease stress and increase happiness!
2. Take 10 deep breaths
When we are stressed, we tend to pull our shoulders up and forward. This position causes us to breathe shallow and when we breathe shallow, we don’t oxygenate our brain or our cells. Read this blog post (click here) by Women to Women on the power of breathing on physical, emotional and mental health!
3. Expect good things to happen to you today
You are as happy (or not) as you make your mind up to be. Our brains are trained to focus on what we expect. If we start our day expecting good things to happen, our brain will find them. Likewise, when starting our days in a gloom and doom fog, that fog follows us.
If you are one of the 60%, don’t be a passive victim! Do something about it!
Thanks so much for reading. I’d love to read YOUR comments about nurse fatigue. Any good strategies YOU could share?
Take care and stay connected
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About the author: Dr. Renee Thompson is a keynote speaker, author and professional development/anti-bullying thought leader. Renee spends the majority of her time helping healthcare and academic organizations improve the work environment. To find out how you can bring Renee to YOUR organization or nursing event, click here.