Nursing is a challenging field in various ways; therefore, it can be quite difficult for nurses to achieve balance in work and life. Factors such as shift work and rotating shifts disturb health care workers circadian rhythms, which results in sleep issues, accidents, and illnesses. Nurses with rotating shifts often suffer from psychological issues and feel isolated from family and friends who work do not work the same schedule. Also, the nature of health care work place patient needs over nurses’ needs (Simmons, 2012). The inability for nurses to obtain work-life balance is often the cause of nurse burnout and contributes to inadequate staffing patterns from call-offs. Therefore, we have come up with three tips for improving work-life balance.
We are conditioned to believe that saying no to overtime… to extra days and nights means that we are not a team player. Although, our profession and patient safety often depends on us helping our fellow co-workers by coming in when we are not scheduled, it is okay to say no every now and then if you are feeling burnt out. A burnt out nurse actually decreases patient safety and quality of care.
2. Stay Home When Sick
Although nurses are given allotted sick days, we often come to work even when sick. The body needs time to heal itself during times of illness. Getting the appropriate amount of rest during a sick day is essential and necessary for coming back to work rejuvenated. Coming to work sick not only is harmful to yourself, but it is also harmful to patients and fellow co-workers.
3. Use Your Hospital-based Resources
Many nurses aren’t aware of the resources offered to improve health such as hospital-based wellness centers, fitness programs and wellness/lifestyle coaching. My hospital offers a variety of coaching and wellness programs for those seeking to improve work life balance. Many other hospitals also have similar programs as well. Research and use what your hospital has to offer you.
Aufenthie (2014) says that it is a responsibility for nurses to empower patients to seek optimal wellbeing on their self-journey. Check out Graceful Med Boutique Services for more on how we can assist you in achieving Work Life Balance through our coaching services. As health care providers, work life balance is imperative in promoting health and in ensuring the ability to support the health and wellbeing of others.