Not everyone is cut out for the hard work of being a nurse. This week is a great time to recognize nurses for all they do in the healthcare community and their role in patient safety. It is imperative that Nurse Educators and nursing students avoid burnout by balancing mind, body, and spirit to keep the flame of care alive.
Beth Telesz, Corporate Nurse Educator at Pocket Nurse, feels strongly that the culture of nurses being overworked needs to change.
“Nurse Educators can shape cultural changes by enabling their students to have a voice in their self-care,” Telesz says. “As students enter the work force, they should have developed healthy habits.”
Using Simulation to Find Balance
Simulation can be used to help students focus on teamwork and communication, which are key to providing safe patient care and reducing medical errors. Simulation in healthcare turns “teams of experts into expert teams.” In situ simulation, which is medical education that takes place in the workplace, is especially valuable for instructing in teamwork and communications.
Telesz says, “The opportunity in simulation is to have students recognize how to help one another. We have a responsibility to make it easier for nurses to take care not only of patients but also of each other and themselves.”
(Learn more about In Situ training at Laerdal)
Recommendations for Nurses to Avoid Burnout
1. Take Care of the Basics. When on a shift, the basics are hydration, nutrition, and elimination. Teach students to advocate for responsible shift work and teamwork so that nurses can take appropriate breaks. Water bottles remind nurses to stay hydrated. Help students learn to maximize nutrition during lunches and snacks. Make lunch breaks happen, and build bathroom breaks into the day.
2. Learn to Relax. A method of at-work stress relief can be as simple as taking five deep breaths between patients. Deep breathing resets the body to deal with the next situation in which it needs to engage. Short bursts of stretching can help, too. Give students access to fitness centers and classes at school to help them get in shape. Nursing is a very physical job, and students should be reminded that strong bodies ensure better patient care.
3. A Life Away from Work. As with all careers, having a life away from the workplace is important. Being able to work long shifts, but leave work at the clinic, classroom, or hospital benefits nurses. Develop hobbies, spend time with family and friends, and learn what relaxes you. Some people like reading or watching TV in their free time, others enjoy time in company, whether hiking or sharing a meal. Find what nourishes you so that when you return to the sim lab and patient care, you come back relaxed and ready to provide the best care and educational experiences possible to your patients and students.
Pocket Nurse appreciates nurse educators. Our role is to provide solutions and reduce frustration by making sure you have the tools for the classroom, sim lab, and beyond.