The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a projection of 1.2 million RN vacancies between 2014 and 2022. Why? Baby Boomers are slowly hanging up their badges and leaving the medical field, leaving many of their positions unfilled. By 2025, roughly 88.5 million people in the U.S. will be 65 or older, increasing the shortfall to be twice as large as any nurse shortage since the mid-1960s.
Read more on how to maintain no-drama nursing & rise above the haters!
1. Error Prevention
When handling many patients’ health and well-being, paying extra attention to what you’re doing and who you’re helping is very important – especially since hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Medical error is both costly to your patient’s recovery and their pockets. 10,000 American patients suffer from complications every day and the total cost of errors (including missing work, office productivity, etc.) amounts to $17-29 billion each year nationwide.
A good preventative tip for dodging error is to have the power of saying ‘no.’ Burnout is one of the quickest ways to fall short and make mistakes.
2. Listen to Your Limits
Along with preventing error and burnout comes taking care of yourself, knowing when to say no and getting the sleep and nutrition your body needs is just the start. Your health and wellness are just as important as your patient’s. Begin by setting strict schedules for yourself. Sometimes self-care needs a stubborn advocate (you). Set times to go to bed and wake up with the Go to Bed app – a bedtime tracker for those who always want to “just watch one more episode.” Try to start your day with an energy-boosting exercise or light yoga/meditation session so your body doesn’t go into shock when you get to work.
Download apps like Stop, Breathe & Think, Headspace, WelZen, & Calm to track your meditation sessions.
Read more tips on preventing the inevitable nursing burnout.
3. Find a Confidant
The Relationships @ Work study by LinkedIn reported 46% of work professionals worldwide believe work friends are important to their overall happiness. Suppressing your work stress has never resulted in a clear mind or making things seem better than they are. Having a friend at work to confide in can help act as a coping mechanism when dealing with impossible doctors or patients. After all, handling stress alone can be dangerous to your health. Stress attacks your body, thoughts, feelings, behavior, affects blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and more!
Make an effort to take a lunch and ask if you can sit with someone who is sitting alone or a group of people you’ve seen around the facility.
Don’t let the numbers scare you. Face the nurse shortage head on just like you face your job every day with fierce bravery. Talk it out, keep a strict eating and sleeping schedule, incorporate some zen in your life and know when to say ‘no.’
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