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Although nursing is engaging and rewarding, it does come with challenges. It is a demanding profession that requires your dedication and commitment to provide safe patient care for those who have entrusted their lives to your hospital. Your career may be intertwined with some of the same problems healthcare providers have been struggling with for years. However, these four challenges are critical to your future and your safety.
Violent behavior can occur from patients or co-workers and not necessarily from someone in the public walking into the hospital. Workplace violence includes harassment as well as threats. If you believe you have been threatened or are being stalked, it’s important you report this behavior to your manager and human resources. Be sure you understand the procedures you’re to follow should someone brandish a weapon of some kind. It is easy to think you’re immune from this kind of violence in the hospital, but the sad truth is that you’re not immune anywhere.
Nurses have been working short-staffed for decades. On occasion, your hospital will be fully staffed, but that does not usually last long. Recruiting and keeping excellent nurses is a challenge, and the demand for healthcare services is only continuing to rise. While this offers new opportunities to be promoted or garner better salaries, it also means you may be working in situations where there just isn’t enough time to get things done. While quality care is being linked with third-party payment and governmental incentives, demands on your time for paperwork, treatment, education, and communication often affect this quality. Be proactive and work with your management staff to find creative solutions to this chronic problem.
Although you might think of hazards at the hospital as those that encompass dealing with bodily fluids, sharp instruments or infectious diseases, some of the simplest activities may cause disabling back pain that can put you out of business for months at a time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites back injuries as one of the chronic hazards of the nursing profession. It also might be logical to conclude this kind of injury is a factor in the nursing shortage as nurses who are disabled by back pain or unable to work must leave the profession permanently. Although it is important to be very careful while dealing with patients who have infectious diseases or while handling sharp instruments, it is equally important to care for your back, legs, and knees as they are important instruments in your ability to perform your job duties.
Burnout and chronic stress are challenges that nurses have faced since the beginning of their nursing careers. Caring for others creates a stressful environment, whether you’re in a hospital, a home or a residential care facility. On call, overtime hours and trying to balance work and life can result in mental exhaustion and burnout. Understanding the necessity of self-care and practicing strategies that will improve your ability to withstand stress, will reduce your potential for exhibiting symptoms of burnout. Some of those strategies include eating a nutritionally sound diet, getting eight hours of quality sleep, getting exercise outside of work and practicing stress-reducing activities, such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and engaging with friends and family.
At Capital Healthcare Solutions, it’s our job to help you find a position that matches your skills and help you succeed in the job. Contact our recruiter today so we can get started together to help you grow your career.