Nursing has long been considered one of the most highly stressful occupations. Stress in nursing is attributed largely to the physical labour, continual exposure to suffering and the emotional demands of patients and families, work hours, shift work and interpersonal relationships with other staff.
Factors that have increased stress among nurses since the 1980s include the rising use of sophisticated healthcare technologies, budget cuts, increasing workload, and constant organizational changes in some healthcare environments.
Although all of these stressors are significant, workplace bullying and physical violence are of growing concern. It is often difficult to report or take significant action when the bully is a more senior staff member so many cases go unreported. This results in an accumulation of ongoing stress for the nurse on the receiving end of such treatment.
Everyone is familiar with the old saying “nurses eat their young”, and the research finds that this is true. New graduate nurses are particularly susceptible to bullying by senior nurses. When stress is at its worst, the bullying behaviours seem to come out the most. There is a clear connection between stress and bullying in nursing.
Effect of Stress on Nurses
These and other stresses need to be tackled directly in order to break down the emotional strain involved in them. They do not go away of their own accord and often escalate as one stress builds on another. Once a nurse reaches a high enough level of stress, work performance can be impaired as well as general health and well being.
Depression and sleep problems have been reported as frequent stress-related outcomes. Job stress has been associated with reduced job satisfaction, increased psychological distress, physical complaints, and absenteeism. Several studies have found that high levels of job stress contribute to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, lower self-esteem and irritability, which can add to an already toxic work culture.
Both stress and bullying can make nursing a very difficult job when it should be the most rewarding job on earth.
The culture of nursing needs to change but that will be a long term process. In the meantime, Solutions for Stress can have an immediate and profound impact on the day to day stress that nurses face.
Recent developments in the field of Neuroscience are changing the way stress is dealt with. Most techniques currently being offered as solutions are little more than distractions or band aid solutions which temporarily take the mind off the situation at hand but do little to address the cause. Such solutions include relaxation techniques, getting out in nature, deep breathing, a better diet, more breaks, relaxing music, hobbies and exercise.
While all of these are valuable and make us feel better, their effect is at best temporary as the ‘cause’ has not changed.
Real cause of stress
Solutions for Stress is based on the assumption that “All stress is caused by perception, not the actual circumstance or issue.” While that might be difficult to come to terms with for a nurse faced with the daily grind, it is true that once negative perception changes, stress diminishes.
This training is based on retraining the mind to process ‘stress’ differently until stress-free becomes the default mind program. It is a completely new approach and one which not only works to eliminate stress but has cumulative and spill over effects to other areas of life.
This training goes way beyond the traditional cognitive therapy approaches which have been the norm up until now in that they can ‘automatically’ change the way we feel, which is difficult when relying solely on mental techniques.
Resilience to stress can be taught and developed by corporate wellness programs based on these new approaches or through one on one coaching delivered by phone. If you would like to know more about our corporate wellness program for stress or results coaching contact us here.