Stress management for nurses

by Istone

5,479 Views | 5 Comments

When we feel overwhelmed at work, we lose confidence and may become irritable or withdrawn. This can make you less productive and less effective in your job, and make the work seem less rewarding. If you ignore the warning signs of work stress, they can lead to bigger problems.

  1. 4

    Stress management for nurses

    I am a nurse and I could not be prouder. I have the knowledge and the skills to ease pain and suffering, to make my patients feel better, and to help families cope with healthcare issues. If I can provide adequate and reliant information to a patientís family, then I know I have accomplished something in my day.

    Nursing is a rewarding and satisfying profession. It can also be extremely stressful. Nurses deal with pain and death with the young and the old. We are often caught as the middlemen between doctors and families. Long shift hours, constantly changing environment at work and home, and the fast rate of technological changes contribute to a stressful environment if we do not know how to properly organize and deal with new every day knowledge and information.

    Today the rapidly changing world demands a higher level of adaptability. Our old reaction patterns will bring us nothing but problems and I am talking from my personal experience. It is extremely difficult to let go of old habits, especially if they were working for you all these years. Sometimes we do not look ahead to recognize that in the long run change is good.

    As nurses we are exceptional caregivers and healers to others. Yet all too often we forget that we need care giving too. Time for self is often the last item on our ďto-doĒ list. We become fixated on the external stressors that we strive to control.
    I believe the key to stress management actually resides within each of us. Some of us may suffer from variable degrees of health problems linked to work-related stress. Stress can negatively affect our personal lives.

    So how can we decrease and manage every day stress of life and work all together? I am sure you heard a lot of suggestions about this matter, but let me share my own experiences with you.

    I begin my day with a SMILE. Try it; it helps to get your day off to a good start. Put your best foot forward, one step at a time.

    Here are some of my suggestions for stress relief in our hectic and busy lives. Letís start by changing one stressor at a time:


    1. Keep a positive attitude, and accept each days offering.
    2. Prioritize your tasks and responsibilities and delegate when appropriate or necessary.
    3. Ask for help and accept it when itís offered.
    4. Do not try to control people or events or expect certain outcomes.


    Remember that service means enhancing another personís life, not giving yours away. At the end of the workday, acknowledge and congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished.

    Please share your stress managing tips with us. Letís celebrate a ďDay without Stress.Ē
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 12, '12
    Xminus1, agabl2012, Shelbster, and 1 other like this.
  2. Read more articles from Istone

  3. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  4. About Istone

    Istone joined Jul '12. Posts: 1 Likes: 4; Learn more about Istone by visiting their allnursesPage


    Find Similar Topics

    5 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    I just had to read this article since this is a major area that I've been dealing with lately.

    I've actually tried all of the suggestions you listed. My problem is the patients who are NEVER SATISFIED NO MATTER WHAT.

    I'm grateful to work in an environment where coworkers are very helpful and we actually support each other very well.

    Its just that it feels as if it's the nursing staff against the patients AND families. Not all patients' and families just the difficult ones.

    When I went to my ADON to explain to her an ongoing issue I (and all the other nurses) were experiencing with this verbally abusive pt.
    she simply replied "I cannot do anything about you problem child, you must deal with the pt."

    No support from administration/management regarding difficult pt's and families.

    This level of stress gives me a constant anxiety feelling in my belly and chest tightness.

    Some people are just never satisfied no matter what you try. Just my experience.
    m_88_mago and VivaLasViejas like this.
  6. 2
    You often can't choose the pt or situation but you can choose how you want to be about it. Really. You can choose to have a sense of humor or be compassionate that someone is mean because they are in pain and have lost a lot of control in their life. Also--go for a run. It's crucial to keep your body strong and helps stress!
    Xminus1 and m_88_mago like this.
  7. 0
    This is such an awesome post. You are very encouraging and this was a refreshing read!!!
  8. 4
    Hi, nursewithskills!

    The approach I take with patients who are never satisfied is "So what?" Seriously, I think to myself "So what?" whenever I interact with them. So a patient threw a tantrum, so what? These people are miserable and I know I am not going to be able to change that. The belief that you can make every patient happy is a fallacy. Knowing that gives me a shield against being drawn in to their misery. If the patient yells at me, I just nonchalantly ask "Is there anything else?" and go on about my business. These patients can only stress you out if you let them in.
    brandy1017, Shelbster, kookiepumpkin, and 1 other like this.
  9. 4
    Quote from Istone
    I am a nurse and I could not be prouder. I have the knowledge and the skills to ease pain and suffering, to make my patients feel better, and to help families cope with healthcare issues. If I can provide adequate and reliant information to a patientís family, then I know I have accomplished something in my day.

    Nursing is a rewarding and satisfying profession. It can also be extremely stressful. Nurses deal with pain and death with the young and the old. We are often caught as the middlemen between doctors and families. Long shift hours, constantly changing environment at work and home, and the fast rate of technological changes contribute to a stressful environment if we do not know how to properly organize and deal with new every day knowledge and information.

    Today the rapidly changing world demands a higher level of adaptability. Our old reaction patterns will bring us nothing but problems and I am talking from my personal experience. It is extremely difficult to let go of old habits, especially if they were working for you all these years. Sometimes we do not look ahead to recognize that in the long run change is good.

    As nurses we are exceptional caregivers and healers to others. Yet all too often we forget that we need care giving too. Time for self is often the last item on our ďto-doĒ list. We become fixated on the external stressors that we strive to control.
    I believe the key to stress management actually resides within each of us. Some of us may suffer from variable degrees of health problems linked to work-related stress. Stress can negatively affect our personal lives.

    So how can we decrease and manage every day stress of life and work all together? I am sure you heard a lot of suggestions about this matter, but let me share my own experiences with you.

    I begin my day with a SMILE. Try it; it helps to get your day off to a good start. Put your best foot forward, one step at a time.

    Here are some of my suggestions for stress relief in our hectic and busy lives. Letís start by changing one stressor at a time:


    1. Keep a positive attitude, and accept each days offering.
    2. Prioritize your tasks and responsibilities and delegate when appropriate or necessary.
    3. Ask for help and accept it when itís offered.
    4. Do not try to control people or events or expect certain outcomes.


    Remember that service means enhancing another personís life, not giving yours away. At the end of the workday, acknowledge and congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished.

    Please share your stress managing tips with us. Letís celebrate a ďDay without Stress.Ē
    Here is my way of dealing with the stress < first turn off your phone and do not answer it ,especially if it is work! -2ND leave work at work< and third Busch beer is 16.49 for a 30 pack and will sit on my back pouch and watch the deer and watch the breeze blow and forget about work while i prescribe to my self as many beers as it takes to just relax and forget about work , i have been in this profession long enough to know that THE MORE U DO THE MORE THEY WANT ! AND THEY WILL NEVER REMEMBER WHAT U DONE FOR THEM COME RAISE TIME . THEY ONLY REMEMBER THE NIT PICKING THINGS U DID NOT DO. just my 2 cents


Top