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Top Tips to Prevent Nurse Burnout
Being a travel nurse has many benefits beyond helping others such as exploring new sites, learning new techniques, and a flexible schedule, but burnout can still occur. Burnout can physically and mentally affect you, and can be caused by heavy workload, working long hours, emotional stress, or feeling underappreciated at your current facility. Some symptoms of burnout include underperformance at work or not wanting to show up at all, lack of sleep or appetite, or distancing yourself from family, friends, and coworkers. As a nurse, it is important to recognize the symptoms of burnout and to take care of yourself to stay healthy and continue loving what you do. Read on to learn some top tips on how to prevent nurse burnout.
1 – Separate Work and Personal Life
This may be easier said than done but try your best to leave any thoughts or feelings from work, at work. Once your shift ends, clear your mind, and focus on the rest of your day. Whether you spend your day visiting with family or friends or spend the day inside to catch up on your favorite TV show or reading a book, be sure to leave work behind you so can be present and enjoy yourself.
2 – Get Plenty of Rest
The recommended amount of sleep a person should be getting each night is between 7-10 hours. During sleep is when your body heals and resets for the next day. Sleep also plays an important factor in boosting your immune system. Make sure you get enough sleep each night to not only feel well-rested, but to also boost your mood, concentration, and motivation.
3 – Socialize
Talking to and spending time with family and friends plays an important role in not only helping you to de-stress but to have someone to talk to about your workday with. Having someone to talk to about your workday can provide emotional support and help you work through problems or concerns that have occurred. While having relationships with coworkers can make work more enjoyable, it is important to have relationships outside of work to listen and provide support as well.
4 – Take Breaks
Besides lunch, it is important to take smaller breaks throughout the day to regroup and maintain motivation during your shift. As a travel nurse, most of your shifts will be 12 hours. Overworking yourself tends to add unnecessary stress and can cause a decline in performance. There may be shifts where taking a break is just not possible but do your best to save some time for yourself even if you are only grabbing a cup of coffee.
5 – Take on a Hobby
As mentioned earlier, you must separate work from your personal life. Spend your days off doing something that you love and relaxes you such as hiking, reading, or going to a local coffee shop. If you want to try something new, browse online to see if your town has any classes available for painting or woodworking for example. Taking on a hobby with help you think less about work and feel recharged for your next shift.
6 – Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health
A good diet and exercise can go a long way. Diet and exercise not only keep you in shape, but it can also help diminish stress, improve mood, and boost energy. Along with taking care of your physical health, be sure to take care of your mental health. If you are feeling overworked and exhausted, take a sick day. Calling in sick is more than having a virus or infection. Taking a day off can improve your mental health and help you feel recharged for your next shift. Do not be afraid to reach out to therapists or other counseling services to better help your health too.
7 – Remember What You Love About Your Job
If you are beginning to doubt your career choice, remember why you decided to become a travel nurse. As with any job, there will be hard days and times when you want to quit. However, take a moment to remember all the good times throughout your travel nursing career. Whether it be tending to patients or a special patient who is always on your mind, forming close friendships with coworkers, or maybe the town you visited in general and all it has to offer. There are many pros that outweigh the cons of being a nurse. Take some time to remember that and be proud of all that you have achieved.
Are you a nurse that craves adventure and loves helping others? Click here to apply today and begin your travel nursing career!