Healthcare is a difficult job, and no one would suggest otherwise. Nurses and other medical professionals have a lot of pressure on them to ensure that care is quality and processes are being met. And there are days, or nights, where everything is put to the test. So, how do you deal with a particularly difficult shift? How can you maintain your calm and avoid stress when you aren’t feeling up to your performance standards. Here are some ways to deal with stress at work.

Determine your triggers.

The first step to determining why you’re stressed or why you’re having a bad day is to determine what is causing the problem. What exactly is triggering you? It can’t be everything, so what threw you over the edge? Knowing what the problem is means you can take steps to solve it.

Learn healthier responses.

Many people rely on unhealthy responses to stressors. They may be over eating or alcohol consumption. But these only compound the problem. Instead, consider the other ways you can respond to these bad days. Start out your day by exercising, so you’re already feeling positive endorphins before you start your shift.

Create boundaries and keep them.

It is also important to make sure you have boundaries in place to help avoid stress in the workplace. For instance, if you’re off work you should avoid checking in. Let people know that when you have time away, you are not to be disturbed. Or, if there are stressful situations in the facility that you can avoid, be honest with others that you are not to be draw into the drama.

Take a break.

When the stress becomes too much, walk away. Don’t abandon a patient or avoid work, but take a few moments to get out and breathe. Go outside if you can, but get away to clear your mind. Even just five minutes can help you readjust and return with a clearer head to help you focus better on your job.

Ask for help.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Others are there to help you out, so if you truly can’t handle a situation don’t try to take it on by yourself. Talk to your supervisor or ask a coworker to help you out so you don’t compromise the care you’re providing.

Are you looking for a better fit in your medical career?

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