The demands of nursing place a considerable strain upon nurses, often resulting in burnout. Nurses must multitask and communicate with patients, coworkers, and other healthcare professionals. It is easy for a nurse to be frustrated and bogged down with pressure. Contributing factors include:
- Lack of cooperation
- Incompetent management
- No breaks or downtime
Work-life balance is a harmonious way of living that allows nurses to integrate their professional and personal worlds. The American Nurses Association now has the initiative to help nurses take positive steps in sleep, nutrition, and safety. Here are ways to promote work-life balance for the nurses on your team.
Extended shifts and busy agendas keep many nurses from getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Encourage adequate rest and healthy eating habits. Remember that staying active is key to lowering stress. Although nurses move at work, it is not the same as walking, running, biking, or swimming. Promote activities that increase the heart rate, boost energy levels, and activate muscles they might not use at work.
Do members of your nursing staff need to continue their education? Perhaps they want more time to spend with spouses and children? Help them decide what is essential in their lives and let go of anything that does not support their goals.
Ask for Help
Make it known to your team that they need to ask for assistance if they find their responsibilities overwhelming. Nurses might be unable to keep up with housework and meals at home. Please speak to your nurses about ways to assist them at work and home.
Encourage Good Relationships
Create an atmosphere for cultivating supportive relationships and a peaceful work environment. Maintain professionalism and respectfully address conflict for a positive resolution. Avoid jumping to conclusions that adversely affect communication and collaboration.
Be Realistic About Scheduling
Speak to nurses about which shifts best correspond to their personal lives. While it is not always possible, try to provide nurses with shifts that fit their lives. Maybe they work better at night or have children in school during the day? Perhaps the late afternoon works so a nurse can get some personal time in the morning? Try to accommodate requests but be realistic.
Time Management Skills
Good time management is crucial for work-life balance. Managing time between work and personal life allows nurses to have the time to manage priorities. Suggest to your nurses the importance of setting small goals to accomplish tasks more efficiently. Teach them to plan their day around priorities to help them stay focused on achieving the most critical objectives.
Above all else, tell your nurses to do what makes them happy!
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