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Friendships Between Nurses – An Effective Way to Reduce Stress

Nursing is rarely boring or predictable. In few other professions we are present at life’s most momentous events, from birth to death, from crisis to recovery. – Diane Barnet

Nursing is undoubtedly a profession that requires utmost patience. Nurses are the ones who spend maximum time with patients, compared to any other medical professionals. As a part of their daily job, nurses have to deal with patients of many mindsets, health problems, and backgrounds. This is obviously not at all an easy thing to handle.

Stress at workplace is common in many professions; but the stress in nurses can be hazardous both for them and patients as well. Health care centers must take enough measures to provide measures that help nurses bring down their stress levels.

Common Causes for Stress in Nurses
If you are wondering, why nurses face so much stress that it needs utmost care, you should understand the following aspects that are specifically related to nursing profession ultimately causing a huge amount of stress on them:

Shifts
Nurse jobs and shifts are synonymous. While doctors and other medical professionals work under certain pre-set timings, it is the nurses who are accountable for the round the clock care of patients. The stress can be more when taking care of patients who need critical care and in intensive care units. Besides, in nurses working in night shifts, sleep deprivation is another additive factor for stress.

Dealing with People
Patients and their relatives, friends and family members come up with many doubts and concerns about the health condition, the treatment and care being offered. It takes the utmost patience for nurses to answer all their queries without showing any signs of stress or damaging the reputation of the hospital.

Little Social Support
Nurses often have to work individually in taking care of patients. They are answerable to their higher-ups and patient’s caretakers, with sole responsibility.

Exposure to Risks and Infections
Nurses deal with many risky conditions such as needles, bodily fluids, and equipment that can spread the infection easily to them. This needs alertness and attention from nurses to ensure that such risks are minimal.

Workload and Understaffing
Hospitals with limited staff often tend to pose more load on nurses by giving them more responsibilities and shifts. This causes both physical and mental tiredness in nurses.

Limited Career Growth
Nurses find themselves with limited scope for promotions and career growth. Though the career span is longer, the scope to expand their careers is limited in the nursing profession. This can make their job monotonous and they feel lack of enthusiasm or inspiration sometimes.

In any profession, having workplace friends can help to reduce stress. A study by Gallop confirms this too. The study observes that those who have strong friendships in the workplace are more productive than those who do not.

Marry Wilson, an author & content strategist at NeedAssignmentHelp observes that nurses need good friendships with other nurses to help them alleviate their workplace stress. She explains the reasons for how friendships between nurses can make a huge difference in bringing down their stress levels.

Unlike friendships in other professions that give great relief from office politics, friendships between nurses can work in many more ways. A senior nurse can offer guidance to a fresher nurse with their experience and guidance which can work a long way in shaping the career of a fresher nurse. Similarly, a fresher nurse can suggest new techniques and methods for taking care of patients which a senior nurse might not be aware of.

Often for nurses, maintaining a balance between family can also add up to a lot of stress. The hectic shifts, the stress of dealing with patients of various medical conditions can all add up and de-energize nurses at the end of the day which may impact their family lives too.

Having a nurse friend can help to share such problems and find solutions easily. In fact, a nurse friend is the best channel for another nurse to get good guidance too – both emotionally and professionally.

Nurses are often held highly responsible about the treatment of patients. Every dose of medicine that they administer makes a difference to the patient and hence every time they address the patient, it is that their life is in the hands of nurses.

Often, it can be emotionally heavy for nurses to deal with patients who have life-threatening health conditions. Such patients need constant uplifting of mood and a morale boost that shows them the brighter side of the life. In this process, it is the nurses who have to display the utmost empathy irrespective of their personal emotions and feelings. This is often not an easy job and adds immense pressure on the mental health of nurses too.

Owing to the reason that nurses have little social life, having a nurse friend can help in having a good support system too. Benjamin Evans, the president of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, feels that no one else can understand what a nurse undergoes than a fellow nurse, and hence it is a good thing to have friendship between two nurses.

The shifts that nurses work in making it tough for them to attend for personal emergencies. In case if they have good nurse friends, it will be easier for them to adjust the shifts and have a happy balance between work life and personal life.

When stress levels are lesser for nurses, they can stay emotionally happy and take better care of themselves. Ultimately, this ripple effect of happiness falls on the care they show to patients too. Isn’t that good news both for patients and the hospital too?

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