Ways to Prevent Nurse Burnout

NursingOctober 24, 2013

The job of a nurse is highly rewarding, but it can be quite stressful at times. If you are not careful the job can begin to wear you down and lead to nurse burnout. The combined stress of your nursing career, a marriage and children, or any other responsibilities in your life can take a toll on your health. The signs of burnout are not only seen mentally in a person, but physically as well.

Signs of Nurse Burnout

Here are some signs to indicate you might be experiencing a form of burnout:

  • Do you find it difficult to get out of bed and get ready to go to work?
  • Are you having trouble sleeping or eating too much or too little?
  • Are you less energetic than you used to be?
  • Are you feeling cranky and having difficulty getting along with others, especially in the work environment?
  • Are you experiencing little aches and pains throughout your body that were not previously there?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you should step back and look at your quality of life.

Ways to Avoid Nurse Burnout

  • Reduce your stressors: Find out where you are feeling the most stress in your life. Identifying the main "burnout" area is key to reducing stress and moving on in a positive way. Do you work a lot of hours? You may need to cut back. Are there many events filling up your calendar? Keep them to a minimum.
  • Eat healthy and exercise: Be sure that you are eating healthy foods at least five days out of the week. Exercise at least five days a week as well. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel. Take a yoga class. Yoga is a wonderful way to meditate and relax your body and your mind. There is great healing in self-meditation.
  • Meet with your nurse manager: Meet with your nurse manager to discuss how you are feeling. Let her know of anything in the work environment that may be weighing heavily on your mind. Tell her any suggestions you may have to resolve any problems.
  • Consider time away: Think about taking some time off. Even a few days off in a row will help you to feel better. Do the things you love while you are away from work. Take long naps, go on a day trip, visit friends. Do whatever will make you happy and relaxed. This is your time.

It is wonderful that you are a dedicated nurse, which is definitely what the nursing profession needs, but when it affects you in a negative manner, you need to take care of yourself first. If you don't take care of yourself, your family, friends and patients will ultimately be affected in a negative manner because they are without you. You cannot be all things to everyone. Try to avoid nurse burnout so you can better serve others.

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