DiversityNursing Blog

Nurses’ Survey Results Show ‘Dangerous’ Stress Levels

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

 By Vickie Milazzo

how stress affects fertility resized 600

A huge thank-you to everyone who took our survey “Are You Way Too Stressed Out?”

A remarkable 3,312 of you took the time out of your busy day to complete the survey, and this high response rate highlights the seriousness of this issue to the nursing world.

The results of the survey reveal the dangerous levels of stress that RNs pervasively live with, both at work and in their personal lives. Lack of sleep, 12-hour shifts, night shifts, poor diets, unrealistic workloads, lack of authority at the workplace and unsupportive management are just some of the key contributors to the stress being experienced by RNs today.

RNs are neglected by a system that overworks, under-appreciates and marginalizes the experience of individuals who are the most connected to patients.

Respondents had the opportunity to answer the question, “What are some of the things that stress you out the most?” Many of you were brutally candid, and I cringe at what you continue to put up with on a daily basis. These five responses are representative of the thousands received.

  • “People who have never done your job telling you how to do it. People who have lost sight of the patient — the focus is the $$.”

  • “Not having the authority to take care of the things that need to be done, but being responsible for it.”

  • “Long hours (12-hr shifts), working nights, poor pay, poor benefits that are dependent on maintaining hours to prevent losing the benefits, lack of PTO to cover sick/vacation days.”

  • “Overwork with no relief in sight, working for $3 to $5 dollars less than average city wages …”

  • “Corporate chaos, lack of support, unrealistic expectations, being put in possible license jeopardy due to corporate greed and mismanagement.” 

The system is broken! The very people treating patients are sick and in need of healing themselves. This is crazy.

The stress placed on RNs is eventually going to cause many of them to quit. Our nursing system is already grappling with an aging workforce and an aging general population. While the nation will need an increased number of RNs, we’re likely hurtling toward a nursing shortage. Stress leads to mistakes and errors, and hospital errors are already the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Put it all together, and we may be headed for a national healthcare crisis.

This is a report you will not want to miss. Download the full PDF report below and click through the SlideShare presentation, and share your own experiences with stress as an RN in the Reply section below. I want to hear from you!

Download the Report

View the SlideShare

Source: nurse.com

Topics: survey, nurse, stress

REAL advice on stress relief for nurses

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 @ 02:25 PM



Stress Relief 298x185We all have moments in which the stress of our jobs threatens to make our heads spin around 360 degrees. Moments like that are fine, but if there’s a trend toward constant head-spinning, then you, my friend, need an intervention. 

Tip One: Make sure your personal space is as stress-free as possible.
When you come home at night or in the morning, are you faced with stacks of dishes in the sink and cat hair everywhere? You need to start taking care of that stuff on your days off. Your home is a haven. Even with roommates or kids, you can have one space that’s inviolable and neat and clean. That one thing will make such a difference in your mental health, it’s amazing.

Tip Two: Treat your body well.
Fast food is good once in a while, but for tip-top functioning, you really need to pay attention to how you feed your body. Good, clean food will help your body and brain work well and will lessen your stress levels immensely. Batch-cooking things you can stand to eat during and after your shifts will make you so much happier than a burger from Big Bob’s Burger Barn.

Tip Three: Simplify.
I have six of the exact same uniform, four bras that I know fit perfectly and eight pairs of socks that are identical. I have a zippered makeup bag that I got for a buck at Target that holds all my work stuff, from pens to stethoscope to ID. I have set jewelry to wear to work, and a set time in the morning by which certain things have to be accomplished. This makes my life so much easier, I can’t even tell you.

Integral to this plan is a coffeemaker with a timer. If you don’t own one, go get one.

Tip Four: Know which stress relievers are good in the long run.
I’m a big fan of carefully applied general anesthetic in the form of ETOH (as my mother says), but not after every shift. A glass of wine or other Adult Beverage of your choice can be helpful when you’re too wound up to sleep or if your brain simply won’t shut up…but don’t make a habit of it. Exercise is better (and I’ve never found that getting good and sweaty an hour before bed will make me insomniac), venting to a friend is good (especially if she’s not also a nurse), playing catch with your pup or the neighbor’s kids can work. Know what’s healthy (movement, talk, art, music) and what’s not (alcohol, too much food, drugs), and plan accordingly.

Tip Five: Get a massage. Seriously.
Touch is amazing for making you feel better. Find yourself a good massage therapist and get the two-hour rubdown. Don’t plan anything at all for the rest of the day. You’d be amazed at how small niggling problems and constant stressors seem when you can barely walk to the car. If you can afford it, do it once or twice a month: It’ll give you something to look forward to, and you’ll feel amazing for at least a day or so.

Source: Scrubs Mag 

Topics: wellness, relaxation, work vs home, relief, stress

Nurse Infographic

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 01:37 PM

describe the imagecredit to nursingschool.org

Topics: employment, nursing, nurse, nurses, care, career, stress, professional, infographic

University Launches Study into Use of Meditation to Reduce Stress Levels of Trainee Nurses

Posted by Hannah McCaffrey

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 @ 11:53 AM

Via MedicalNewsToday

University of Stirling researchers have secured funding to investigate the effectiveness of training student nurses in mindfulness to reduce stress levels.

The study, which begins next month, will involve student nurses undergoing a stress test and then carrying out four weeks of mindfulness training. The participants will then undergo another stress test to find out if the mindfulness has helped reduce stress levels and increase their ability to cope with stress.

nurse is stressedThe student nurses will have guided meditation sessions and keep a journal about their own practice sessions at home as part of the research.

Mindfulness, or meditation, is a technique which can be learned and helps individuals to relax and cope better with stressful situations.

PhD research student Jenny Jones and Research Fellow Mariyana Schoultz, based at the Highland Campus in Inverness, are carrying out the study with Professor Stephen Leslie, a cardiologist consultant at Raigmore Hospital and Professor Angus Watson.

Researcher Jenny Jones said: "Hospitals can be a very stressful environment to work in. In my nursing training there was no mention of how to cope with stress but this is something that nurses face on a daily basis. Student nurses are not prepared for the very emotional and sometimes traumatic events they may witness at work, or equipped with the tools to cope and carry on with their job effectively. This study hopes to change that.

"We want to find out if mindfulness will impact on how nursing students cope with stress. If the results are positive, we want it to be introduced as part of nursing training. The ultimate hope is that this will make the nurses of the future more resilient to work related stress."

Nurses experience high levels of work related stress and are at risk of stress related illness. At any one time up to four per cent of trained nurses and up to six per cent of health care assistants are off work with stress or stress-related illness.

Topics: education, nursing, healthcare, nurse, stress

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