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Coping with Stress in a Nursing Clinical Rotation Schedule

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When a nurse starts into a regular nursing rotational schedule, the hours and the work can cause a lot of stress, which one needs to cope with. It’s normal to be a little nervous at a new job, but rotational shifts combined with patients and an unfamiliar nursing staff can be a lot to handle. Here are some tips on how to cope with stress during a rotational schedule.

Stay Calm – This sounds like some of the most obvious advice that one could expect to hear, but it’s especially good advice for nurses. Things can change quickly in the nursing profession and it’s best to keep on top of it by not letting the situation get the best of one’s self. There are many different techniques to staying calm under pressure including counting back from ten, closing one’s eyes and taking a deep breath, but whatever is the best solution for each person is what should be used.

Not only that, but it’s best to figure out the best stress-relief techniques for one’s self before that first day on the job! It’s also important to remember that the entire hospital doesn’t depend on one new staff member. Always keep in mind that this is a group effort and that everything doesn’t rest on one person’s shoulders.

Stay Focused – There could be a hundred things going on in the background, but if a patient needs the help of a nurse, then that is their sole care, unless a superior changes that. It’s not easy to keep out someone screaming in pain, but it’s important to keep focused on the task at hand. Again, this is an issue of other people on the team knowing what they’re doing, so stay focused on the task that’s been assigned.

Manage Your Time – There will be days worked and others not. There will be shifts at night and then during the day. This is pretty normal and would be a challenge for anyone. The best solution to this is to have a day organizer, or better yet, a rotational manager app to simplify things.

Smile – This is true for the nurse, the staff they work with, and the patients they help. Smiling is good for the patients in that it reassures them that everything will be fine and that there’s nothing to worry about. Do it even when there is something to worry about!

This is true for the staff in that other staff members need to be cheered up and it helps the general mood to be a little lighter. Think of it this way: it’s better than everyone frowning all the time or looking worried!

Most importantly, smiling is better for the nurse in question. There is evidence to say that smiling actually improves one’s own mood and feeling of self-worth. Not only that, but it has a number of positive effects, including a better immune system and a longer lifeexpectancy.

Above all, always remember that each shift is just that, it’s just one period of time that will end. With a few positive changes to a person’s approach, that shift can be a positive experience.