The role of a nurse is one of the most challenging yet rewarding careers in the healthcare industry. As a nurse, you must combat many challenges that come your way, which may consequently take a toll on your health. This profession comes with its own set of challenges and rewards.
Let this article serve as a guide to provide you with tips to help overcome those challenges.
Earn Your Degree Before You Kick Start Your Nursing Career
Before entering this challenging profession, getting registered and earning your degree from a licensed institute is mandatory. Many online and in-person graduate programs allow you to attain a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree.
Earning a degree online in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing is an excellent way to ensure you study on your schedule. The degree can be attained by studying 100% online, with no GRE requirements.
This way, you can sit in for either an AANPCP or the ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination. Registering for an online degree will allow you to study at your own pace if you are already working as a nurse.
Lectures and study materials are online so that you can access them anytime. Moreover, you can invest time during breaks. There are several online MSN FNP programs offered by recognized institutions, so without wasting time, get registered.
What are the Common Nursing Challenges, and How to overcome them?
It is no secret that nurses occupy the most space in the healthcare industry. As primary care providers, nurses are exposed to various physical and mental stressors that may impact their health. These frequent challenges can lead to stress, burnout, medical errors, and poor patient outcomes.
- Long Working and Underpaid Shifts
The work schedule of nurses often revolves around working 12 hours a day, and even then, their shift never seems to end. Surprisingly, they don’t even get paid enough for that. If a nurse is working for very long hours or doing the work of two nurses, it can affect the patient’s quality of care.
Working long hours can lead to fatigue, medical errors, and burnout. For such long hours, the hourly pay rate is too low to justify the service they are doing.
The solution to this dilemma can be found in communication with your employer. Communicating with your healthcare facility and care providers to let them know that you are facing issues will lead to a positive working space and your concerns being heard.
For underpaid shifts, negotiating improvements and pay rates with your employer will allow you to be paid for the work you do.
Pro Tip: To avoid burnout from long working shifts, remember to take a break every once in a while. Communicate with your co-workers to discuss your worries to help decrease frustration. Keep nutritious food and drinks nearby, just in case.
2. Handling Difficult Patients
Every healthcare facility comprises complex patients who become living nightmares for the nurses. They are the ones you instantly think of avoiding as you spot their name on your nursing schedule.
They come from being too dependent, controlling, self-destructive, hostile, and often showing frequent emotional outbursts and tantrums. Their behavior makes you feel like you are not doing enough, making you feel guilty.
However, it is immoral to blame the bad nurse-patient relationship entirely on the patient. The patient and nurse must come on common grounds to improve patient outcomes. A nurse can achieve that by improving their ability to understand anger better. Talk politely, as medical jargon can become a barrier between a patient and a nurse.
Pro Tip: Understanding the patient’s mindset while being patient will go a long way to producing improved patient outcomes.
3. Emotional Involvement
When you become a nurse, there is a lot of emotional vulnerability, especially if you are emotionally invested in a patient’s life or if they are terminal. Engaging in difficult conversations with patients and citing grim news to their families can become mental stressors for nurses.
To overcome grief, the nurse should establish a strong support system. This involves talking their hearts out with their families, close friends, or therapists to help them with their feelings, allowing them the freedom of expression.
4. Prone to Health Hazards at the Workplace
Working in a healthcare facility exposes you to the danger of many illnesses and diseases. As a nurse, looking after sick patients puts you at a higher risk of contracting contagious diseases such as TB, Hepatitis B and C, and hand-to-hand transmission (Clostridium difficile). So, keep in mind that while choosing this path, you are also signing up for health hazards and putting your health at risk.
However, you can avoid that by frequent sanitization, wearing protective equipment, and instilling routine practices in your schedule that avoids the risk of infections and diseases. Ensure that your workplace has established safety standards so that it is not risky for your physical and mental health.
5. Workplace Violence
If you work at a hospital, you can experience violence from bullying, physical and verbal abuse from doctors, co-workers, patients, and their families.
According to America Nurse Today, there have been alarming statistics of patient violence against nurses, as at one regional center, 70% of the 125 ED nurses were victims of physical assault.
To avoid violence, report it to the hospital management, which will lead them to structure their workplace violence prevention program accordingly. Use responsive communication strategies to calm down the hostile patient, yielding a better environment for nurses and patients, avoiding labor turnover, and maintaining good staff retention rates.
The bottom line is that this career is not for the weak, as it is both demanding and rewarding simultaneously! It may get overwhelming at times to face constant challenges at the workplace, but once you get the hang of it, you can tackle anything that comes your way.
Make sure to plan and keep a healthy routine to advocate for your mental, emotional and physical health for your own sake and the patients.