How to Make Nurses Less Stressed

How to Make Nurses Less Stressed Nursing is a profession that requires years of training and continued specialized education in order to care for patients in a variety of different settings. Nurses are usually the first healthcare provider you go to when you get medical assistance. They are a technical expert, an educator, a counselor, and a resource for the patient and their family. A nurse uses all of their senses to provide the best care for their patient and they take pride in the care that they provide every day. Nurses are extremely crucial to the healthcare environment, yet they are constantly battling challenges in today’s complex environment. The top concern for nurses is the shortage in staffing. “A 2017 survey conducted by AMN Healthcare showed that 72 percent of CNO’s acknowledge either moderate, significant or severe nursing shortage at their healthcare organizations”(beckershospitalrevire.com). Most of them believe that within the next five years that this shortage will become worse. “It is estimated that more than one million nurses will be needed by the year 2022 due to occupational growth and replacement hiring according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.”(beckerhospitalreview.org). This shortage in staffing concerns the nurses because it makes them feel as if they do not have the time they need to provide the best care necessary for their patients and their families. Now, nursing shortages are not a new problem that has just arose, it is a problem that we have faced more than once before, but this shortage now differs from the ones we have had before. “Previous shortages, like the one seen in 2001, were more about a lack of supply, meaning less people were choosing to make nursing their career choice”(alwaysculture.com). Now, we’re experiencing an aging population and workforce. Baby boomers are going into their golden years and as the population ages so does the nursing staff. “Approximately one third of the nursing workforce is 50 years of age or older”(alwaysculture.com). Also, there is a limited supply of new nurses. The budget limit to budgets and staff of nursing schools has created a sort of blockage in students graduating. There are only so many nurses that are entering the workforce each year and it is not enough to cover the deficit that is created by those who will soon retire.“A nurses role continually expands from the bedside to the waiting room to the boardroom”(mededwebs). The stress and business that comes along with this profession can equally escalate. “Nurses are on the frontlines of direct medical care, medical education for others and advocating for the needs of the patients and their families”(mededwebs). Combined, these responsibilities can easily result in a nurse burnout. A major factor involved in maintaining a high quality, multi-faced care is becoming familiar with the patients and their families. Making time for the emotionally taxing conversations with patients and their families adds a psychological affliction to a nurses already chaotic shift. However, to keep patient care a priority, it’s necessary for nurses to invest in each patient. Regrettably, this type of attentive care is what can drown the nurses own well-being. So, what can we do to help with this shortage and burnout in the nursing profession? “Many agree that addressing the imminent nursing shortage in the United States must begin with enabling the thousands of aspiring nurses to begin their careers, which will only be possible with more educators in the nursing programs to cope with the demand. With this in mind, several statewide initiatives have been put forth into motion to offer incentives like fellowships a loan forgiveness for future nurse faculty who commit to teach within that state after obtaining their degrees. In addition to government programs that incentivize the training of new nurses, healthcare organizations can implement short-term solutions to help prevent burnout and turnover among the current nursing workforce. This can be done by reviewing internal policies for productivity, better utilizing medical assistants as deemed appropriate and more effectively implementing technology to improve efficiency. Additional incentives from employers can also help with retention, such as offering paid training opportunities, student loan reimbursements, more comprehensive packages and increased opportunities for internal advancement”(rasmussen.edu). Hospitals must focus on recruitment and finding ways to draw in the best possible prospects and the best possible ways to make sure that they keep them. Administration should start by figuring out what separates their facility from the others. There is a relatively level playing field across the country with facilities and their technology, so what could make one employer stand out amongst all of the rest? The culture will appeal to the best nursing talent, along with how the employees are treated by their employer as well as how well the patients are treated through that specific facility. Transparency, communication and appreciation are some major keys to ensuring that the culture of the facility will be the best it possibly can be. It is important that the administration is open and clear about what is happening throughout the facility. Providing core information to your staff will make the employees feel as if they are a part of the decision making process. This is the transparency aspect that will contribute into making the culture of the facility. Going the extra mile to ensure that employees feel appreciated for their work is another critical part of making the culture. However, the core component of establishing an enticing culture is communication. Employees need to feel the administration understands what all they do and why they do it. “Creating a culture that supports, informs and empowers its nursing staff to give the best care possible is what will play a huge part in separating one facility from another and building a culture in which employees will enjoy working in.”(alwaysculture.com) It is highly important that administrations make sure that all of their nurses feel welcome in the workplace, especially their newly hired nurses. “Studies and surveys show that community, group cohesion and nurse autonomy reduce employee turnover among nurses. Nurses who feel like they have a sense of community at work report higher levels of job satisfaction”(shiftwizard.com). When bringing in new nurses, making them feel welcome with a program can help encourage employees to want to stay and continue working at that facility. A good program can ease new nurses into the job so they are less overwhelmed in their first few weeks at the new job. “A good example is to avoid assigning new nurses to problem patients right away. Also, considering events that would help the new nurses get to know the current nurses would encourage a sense of community.”(shiftwizard.com) Nurses that feel as if they are part of a community and feel welcome will not only stick with the job, but they are more likely to bring along friends. “For newly graduated nurses, a residency program may prove helpful in making the transition from being a student nurse to dealing with the responsibilities of being a nurse easier. It would offer a sort of mentorship for new graduates by combining the new nurses with experienced nurses, so they would spend time caring for patients together before they are released to practice alone.”(shiftwizard.com) This would help reduce the turnover rates among first year nurses and provides an atmosphere in which valuable peer groups would be formed. Many organizations are investing in methods that measure a nurses wellness. For example, healthcare providers are carrying out regular surveys that are monitoring the well-being of their nursing staff. These anonymous questionnaires assess positive mental health and healthy stress levels providing researchers with the most accurate insight into the psyche of nurses. Other ways to track the well being of the nurses is to perhaps include focus groups and regular reviews. However, some nurses might be reluctant to discuss the pressures of their job with a senior member of the staff. Occupational stressors are commonplace in the medical environment and they range from staff shortages to irregular breaks. Now, healthcare providers are measuring nurses well-being in order to tackle the factors that affect the care of the patient. “Long term, nursing still represents a stable and lucrative career path. As with any other job, the field of nursing is subject to economic trends, legislative changes and a wide variety of other variables”(nurse.org). “Solutions like these are not only important for the well-being of nurses, but also for the bottom line of the healthcare facilities.”(ramussen.edu) After all, it costs a lot of money to recruit and train new nurses. Works Citedhttps://alwaysculture.com/hcahps/causes-solutions-nursing-shortage/ https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/5-of-the-biggest-issues-nurses-face-todayjune15.htmlhttps://www.mededwebs.com/blog/well-being-index/the-biggest-causes-of-nurse-burnout-and-what-you-can-do https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/nursing-shortage/ https://www.shiftwizard.com/solutions-nursing-shortage/

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