Motivational Tips: How to Bring Your “A Game” to Every Shift


Nursing burnout is more than being stressed. It’s characterized as physical, mental and emotional exhaustion where every day is a bad day. Nurses may experience burnout because of long shifts, the habit of putting others first and the daily exposure to sickness and death. Part of avoiding it is learning how to deal with stress and keeping your body healthy. Another factor is learning how to stay motivated so you can bring your A-game to every shift in your facility. Sometimes the greatest challenge of working a long shift is maintaining your motivation, especially if you experience long lulls at work or have not had enough rest. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and develop strategies that eventually improve your care.

Work Friends 

Good friends can make the hard times more bearable and that’s never truer than during a busy shift taking care of patients. Your friends are an outlet for social interaction and when you can achieve that at work it can make the hours more fun and relieve some stress. Having friends at work also increases how much you may enjoy your job since nurses who love their job are more likely to be productive and happy about coming back the next day.

Career Goals 

When you have career goals and specific benchmarks on your road map to achieving success, you’re more apt to look out for opportunities at work to expand your professional development and growth. This can help you stay motivated to come in every day and do the kind of work most people can’t imagine.

Create Boundaries

You can’t get motivated when you feel overwhelmed at work. Learning how to separate your work life from your home life may help you experience greater joy in the work you do each day. This entails creating a boundary between yourself and work. When you’re not at work you don’t think about work. While nursing is a 24/7 operation, you are not part of that operation 24/7. Define a ritual you do each day when you come home from work to signal to yourself that work is over and non-work time is just beginning. For some, it may mean taking off your work badge or removing your shoes. For others that means taking a shower after work or changing clothes. Whatever you choose, see this ritual as a way of defining your space and leaving work behind.

Take Care of Yourself 

When you’re on a plane and the flight attendants instruct you on adjusting an oxygen mask, they tell you to put yours on first and then help others. When you’re in a caring profession you may fall into the trap of caring for others first and forgetting about yourself. This only leads to burnout and definitely affects your motivation. By caring for yourself at home you’ll be better able to care for others at work.

Remember Your Purpose 

One of the most important ways to remain motivated at your job is to ensure that you have a purpose at work. Remember why you became a nurse in the first place, or the kinds of patients that you wanted to care for and the impact you wanted to have on their lives. Giving every day, and all day can become taxing. It’s impossible to give out of an empty cup. Remember why you went into nursing and what you wanted to do to help others. This can help you to find value in the work you do and remind you to take care of yourself first so that you can care for others.

Find Your Next Career Fit

At Capital Healthcare Solutions we’ll help you find a motivating, professional position that suits your needs. Don’t delay – contact our recruiters today.

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