Stress relief and burnout

7 July, 2013 § Leave a comment



I have not fallen off of the face of the earth, although I have fallen off of the face of the earth’s of everyone I know.  One thing that I love about nursing is that if you need extra dough you can always pick up an extra shift or two or three.  That same perk is also the downside to nursing.  Since healthcare facilities are open 24 hours and we need to ensure that those hours are staffed in order to provide care for the patients, sometimes it is also necessary that you pick up extra hours.  These past few weeks, with nurses going on vacation, I have been picking up some extra shifts and going into overtime and so any free moment I have had I have used it to spend with my family and to sleep.  The last pay period I worked 20 extra hours, which is not very hard considering I often schedule myself to work 2245-1200.  This pay period I will have worked about one extra shift in overtime.  Needless to say, blogging was not something I had the energy to do, let alone time to do it.

With working all of those hours, some of them the NOC shift, people have asked me “how in the world do you do that?”.  I have never really thought about how I get through long shifts or how I deal with working long shifts and overtime because for as long as I can remember I have always been scheduled to do something and kept a tight schedule.  When I received my first degree in Psychology at Marymount University in Arlington, I was always involved in the happenings of the campus, kept at least one part time job and held a course load of 15-18 credits.  Many times my days started at 0700 and ended at 2200 and I enjoyed it that way because I like having something to do.  During my nursing school at RACC I worked full-time during the day and took the evening/night program in order to get my ADN in Nursing to become an RN.  Schedules like this are just something that I have always done.

With this type of grueling schedule, and I am not the only nurse that works long hours and for long stretches in a row, it is imperative that we find ways to decompress and not let the stress get to us so that we can avoid burnout.  Going to the shooting range (when ammo prices are not so high), reading, sleeping…please allow me to say that again, sleeping is crucial to keeping me energized and avoiding burnout, watching a little TV, and spending time with my family are all things I do that help me to decompress and beat the stress.  There are other things too that can be done; meditation, exercise, sports, and other hobbies outside of work all help.  Humor plays a huge role in stress relief for me.

For more tips visit the following websites and then let me know in the comments section what you do to beat stress.

Advance for Nurses

Stress Busters from Scrubs Mag

Nursing Stress Relief on Pinterest


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