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Handling Stress articles

Handling Stress
A new nurse self-care survey can help you identify your blind-spots.

“Take care of yourself!” - Wouldn’t it be nice if your job description included this directive?

Unfortunately, nurses, who pour themselves into caring for others, are notorious for self-neglect. There’s no one around to make sure you make “you” a priority.

It’s a conundrum—you know you ought to take better care of yourself, but you don’t. Maybe you’re too tired to care. Maybe you don’t know [...]
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Handling Stress
How nurses can get beyond the goof-up.

Nurses are human—we all make mistakes. But knowing how to deal with mistakes is what will make you a better nurse. Despite what your fears tell you, it is possible to live through, and benefit from, a mistake. Here’s how:

Avoid mistakes in the first place.
This is a statement of the obvious, but it’s better to avoid mistakes than to learn how to deal with them. [...]
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Handling Stress
How real nurses find energy for work and home.

Laura’s plate of cookies sits at the nurses' station after the unit potluck. You walk by and take one. It’s just a harmless cookie. When you pass by again, you take another. Pass again: another cookie. By the end of your shift, you’re not sure how many cookies—and calories—you have consumed.

Gretchen Vanderbosch, a dietician for Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL, calls this cookie [...]
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Handling Stress
How new nurses can banish their negative self-talk.

Everyone has to work to stay positive. It’s human nature to focus on what went wrong. As a new nurse faced with situations that are terrifying and challenging, you have to work doubly hard at it.

All new nurses have been there: at a point of giving up because they’ve repeatedly told themselves they know nothing and will never get it all right. But you will. [...]
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Handling Stress
Why healthcare professionals are at risk.

“I thought having knowledge of addiction protected me from developing an addiction.

“I thought I was immune,” says Patricia Holloran, RN.

But she was wrong. A recovering drug addict, Holloran has become a strong advocate for other nurses facing the same struggle.

Most nurses think they will never fall into addiction, but, according to Holloran, even as healthcare professionals, nurses are vulnerable.

Look around your unit: You may [...]
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Handling Stress
How nurses can stay positive and focused in high stress environments.

Tony Schwartz, founder and president of The Energy Project (, an organization currently launching a project to improve the nursing work environment, and co-author of The Power of Full Engagement, says that nurses are by nature better at caring about others than they are at caring for themselves.

Isn’t it time to start caring about your own health? In this exclusive RealityRN interview, Schwartz discusses how [...]
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Handling Stress
Advice for the nurse on nights.

Nights: You either loathe them or love them. But as a new nurse you usually don’t get to choose your ideal shift. Nights are often all that’s available. And either you adjust, or you don’t.

Melissa Granger, an oncology nurse at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Elmhurst, Illinois, was “on the brink of depression” because she couldn’t handle nights when she first graduated.

But Christy James, a labor [...]
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Handling Stress
How to replenish your energy for work.

Extreme tiredness, negative feelings, weight gain, and marital problems.

One moment, Kayla thought she was depressed and that medication would help. Another moment, she thought her husband was the problem and that she should quit her marriage.

But Kayla wasn’t depressed. She suffered from something that affects many professional caregivers.

In recent years, Mary Jo Barrett, author and social worker from the Center for Contextual Change, in Elmhurst, [...]
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Handling Stress
Avoiding chronic pain at work.

Simply, slow down.

That advice for new nurses comes from Sharon LaCroix, who experiences chronic neck and back pain because of 15 years as a nurse.

Nursing, obviously, is a physical profession. Aches and pains are the norm, after days filled with moving patients, lugging cumbersome equipment, wiggling around in awkward positions to accommodate patients. Even if you’re young, healthy, and physically fit, at the end of [...]
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