7 Ways Nurses Can Cope with Stress Without Impacting Their Patients

Every nursing shift can bring on a new type of stress. It might be patient related, mismanaged leadership or even team member conflicts. Regardless of your stress, as a professional, you do not want the negativity to impact your patients. Leaving that stress behind you can be more difficult on some days but here are 7 ways nurses can cope with stress.

1. Create a relaxation spot.

Healthcare facilities can designate a private room, a no-work zone. This room or area might have soothing features such as dimmer lights, soft colors, comfortable chairs, relaxing music, unique artwork, and some of your teams’ favorite snacks and drinks. It’s an area to decompress and get away from work for even a couple minutes.

2. Offer free or low-cost massages.

Chair massages are popular in the workplace; even just 15 minutes of massage can help your team relax and return to work refreshed without having to change out of their scrubs. Some nurses may prefer a massage at the end of their shifts so schedule accordingly.

3. Decrease extended shifts.

Hospitals looking to reduce anxiety, stress, and employee turnover should work to create a culture where your team won’t feel pressured to stay for “voluntary” overtime or to pick up extra shifts.

4. Get outside.

Some healthcare facilities have created small outdoor gardens where their teams can go outside and get away from the chaos of the hospital for a few minutes. If the facility is lucky enough to be located near beautiful natural surroundings, your team might enjoy a simple bench outside or clear window views.

5. Host social events.

If your facility doesn’t host social outings regularly, hospital employees can still coordinate their low-key events, such as cookouts, potlucks, and game nights. Even if it’s just a couple people getting together for a casual lunch, it’s still a good opportunity to de-stress with coworkers who understand the unique demands of the job.

6. Organize classes and activities.

Healthcare facilities can host or subsidize group activities that encourage creativity, social time, and stress relief. Some class ideas might include dance, pottery, painting, knitting, and group journaling exercises. You might also want to try activities that focus more on fitness and nutrition, or group fitness classes like yoga or aerobics.  

7. Ask for help.

Your facility may want to call in experts talk about the stress and provide emotional support to their employees; some doctors and nurses benefit from talking to peers who have experienced similar situations.

For more support and advice from other nurses, download the Nurse Backpack app that helps you stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.