The Newbie Nurse’s Guide to Coping with Stress

The nursing profession is a high impact, high stakes field. As nurses we cope with staffing shortages, high patient acuity, and stressful work environments.  Moreover, these things can interfere with productivity and adversely affect patient care. In particular, new nurses who experience high levels of stress may become physically ill or experience emotional burnout. Although I am a new nurse, I utilize stress-relieving techniques while working during my shift.  Early on, I grasped that I would face many situations that are out of my control, and I have discovered that these techniques aid me in coping with existing and potential stressors. 

Here are my coping techniques…

  • During my breaks and during peaceful times, I perform slow, deep breathing exercises.
    • This releases endorphins and decreases my heart rate.
  • Organization is key…
    • I set goals and deadlines. Being organized decreases anxiety that in turns lead to improved patient care and outcomes.
  • The Power of Positive Thinking!
    • I set goals and work toward them.
    • Avoid negativity and spread a upbeat attitude
  • It’s okay to laugh…
    • Laughing release tension, cultivates bonds, and lightens the atmosphere!
  • Take a break. It’s necessary!
    • Once you return from your break, you are more relaxed and ready to provide quality patient care.
  • Talk it out…
    • I have a colleague at work that helps me put things into perspective, which reduces my stress.

Hopefully, these coping techniques decrease work related stress. I encourage you to share your coping strategies, and I am looking forward to reading your posts.