In 2021, it was reported that over 90% of nurses feel burnt out while looking after patients. While there is no doubt that nursing is a noble profession, as a medical expert, you cannot deliver care if you’re not at your optimal. Likewise, besides the stress you deal with, numerous challenges are lining your path, making the job more difficult. The medical industry is one of the busiest sectors, and as a nurse, you have multiple tasks to accomplish. But, before you can extend your care and warmth, you must address these roadblocks and work on improving them.
The smoother the road ahead, the better you’ll be able to provide care. Read on to learn how:
1. Go For Career Advancement
As a nurse, your career depends on the experience you gain and the education you hold. While working gives you experience, you must return to school to gain higher qualifications. Starting as a registered nurse, you can carry out elementary tasks such as recording patients’ information, treating their injuries, and administering medication.
However, you don’t have the space or capacity to work with a patient directly and with complete autonomy. This keeps you from progressing in your profession and earning a handsome salary. It is also not easy going back to school full time when you’re too busy looking after patients. Fortunately, you can choose to get an online degree to bypass traditional school.
By fast-tracking your education, you can easily acquire a terminal degree and a specialization in no time. Opting for RN to FNP allows you to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, a highly-skilled qualification, enabling you to move up from assisting doctors to working with patients one-on-one. So, without taking a break from work, you can get the education you need to excel and make a steady profession for yourself.
2. Deal With A Packed Schedule
As a nurse, you are no stranger to receiving a jam-packed schedule. You may be pulling ten to twelve hours shifts or even following through forty hours a week. A demanding timetable takes a toll on you on your well-being. Your sleep, diet, health, and mental peace take the back seat in your list of priorities.
It is also not easy juggling between patients since each comes with their needs and demands. But, you cannot work like this. Soon fatigue and exhaustion will catch up, forcing you to take time off. You have every right as a medical practitioner to vocalize your concerns and request a more manageable schedule. Talk to your senior nurse manager and discuss possible changes. You cannot perform optimal care when you are barely keeping it together. Ask for a department switch and take on more accessible roles for a while, such as working with routine patients than in critical care. This will alleviate some pressure off your shoulders and give you the space to recoup as you complete your daily tasks.
3. Dealing With Workplace Depression
Nursing can be mentally challenging. You may have to deal with traumatic cases, witness patients passing away, and be long hours away from your loved ones. Everyone wants the comfort of a loving home after a stressful day at work. At the same time, you would wish for immense emotional support as you deal with deeply tragic events and may feel isolated from what you experience.
However, working as a nurse can get very lonely. You have to try and maintain your composure and power no matter how the case unfolds. But, when you continue bottling up how you feel and choose to neglect your mental health, there is a chance you may exhibit signs of depression and withdrawal.
You can try talking to a coworker or start a nursing support group to discuss mental health openly. Therapy and counseling can help you too. These professionals have the tools and resources to guide you through your mental health issues and empower you to cope.
4. Risk Of Contracting An Infection
Over 3,000 nurses passed from contracting the COVID-19 virus back in 2019. As a nurse, you’re vulnerable since you deal with various patients daily. Some of them may have contagious diseases you can get infected with if you don’t have enough protective gear. A patient’s body fluids, accidentally injuring yourself with contaminated medical equipment, or inhaling an airborne pathogen can all make you sick.
Without adequate help, your condition may deteriorate and can be fatal. Therefore, you must have sufficient protection before you check any patent. Wearing safety gloves and masks is safe while examining routine patients. Still, for those with dangerous infections, you need safety coveralls, goggles, an N95 respirator, and gloves before you go near them.
This reduces the risk of disease and prevents you from becoming a carrier of a lethal microbe. You should separate biohazards and ensure they get safely deposited out of the hospital. Be careful with sharp medical apparatus and get rid of them quickly to avoid injuries.
Nursing is a challenging job; your well-being and safety also matters. However, there are ways you can cope with turbulences and make the best of your career. By going for career advancement, you push yourself to the front of the sector and gain more stability and footing in your profession. If your schedule is too hefty, make sure you speak up and get your routine sorted. This can save you from going down with professional fatigue.
However, getting the right help and support can build your mental capacity and stamina to get through challenging circumstances. Finally, push for safety while working with highly infectious diseases to prevent a risk of outbreak and you getting the condition. With these measures in mind, you should be able to jump through your career as a nurse and successfully achieve new milestones.