Stress Management Strategies for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

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While stress is an unavoidable component of any job, it has the potential to cause both emotional and physical harm. Nursing is a field where burnout is at an all-time high. Nurse practitioners (NPs) in leadership positions have an unwritten obligation to efficiently handle stress. A good leader should be a “stress management” expert. In the hectic world of healthcare, NPs are role models for how to handle and deal with the stresses of life and work.

Working with children can be extremely rewarding, but the stress and obligations that come with it can have major health consequences. Pediatric NPs must know how to look after themselves to fulfil their responsibilities, which includes managing stress and learning to reclaim a sense of balance in their lives.

This is not always as easy as it sounds but there are numerous tips and ideas of how every nurse practitioner can benefit from stress management to help them get through even the most difficult of days.

Stress Can Be Helpful

It’s a well-known fact that the more stress you face, the more equipped you are to deal with it. Each time you are exposed to the stimuli, whether it is emotional or physical, it becomes a bit easier. No one goes looking for stress, but it finds us all at some point in our lives. Working with children can be exhausting on a physical, emotional, and intellectual level.

Stress is something we want to avoid like the plague but research has proven that it improves our mental and physical strength right down to the molecular level. Maybe if we accept the concept of stress, it can actually help us.

Practice Self Care

Taking care of your mind, body and spirit is important if you want to be able to give your patients the care they require. Include fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains in your diet. Snack on healthy foods such as granola bars and dried fruit in between shifts.

Make sure to get a good night’s sleep every night. Eight hours is recommended for most adults but some people can get by with less. Be careful of getting into sleep debt as this can lead to complications. Your body heals and fixes itself while you sleep, preparing you for another productive day at work.

Maintain an active lifestyle. Regular exercise, such as walking, swimming, yoga, and gardening, performed for at least thirty minutes three times a week, helps to calm our bodies and brains. Exercise aids in the burning of stress chemicals that can build up in our systems. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs, park your car as far from the entrance as possible, and take a walk during your lunch breaks. Additionally, staying active keeps you fit and healthy for lengthy shifts at work.

Keep hydrated: drinking roughly two liters of clean, purified water per day will help you stay calm and prevent health issues including constipation, headaches, and hypertension.

Know How to Relax

It is critical to have fun, relaxing activities that you can look forward to. Your body will always be in fight-or-flight mode if you bring all of your stress home with you. This does not have to be a physically demanding activity. Look for something that makes you happy. The most important aspect of having an outlet is to make sure you do it regularly. Have a few preferred activities, such as baking, reading, or playing an online game that you can do when you get home. Develop or revive hobbies such as music, painting, going to the movies or crafting. These will enrich your life as well as provide a welcome diversion from the daily gloom that stress can bring.

Stay Organized

In the field of pediatric nursing, staying organized is crucial. Your shift can change quickly, depending on whether your patient is having a bad day or if the family requests something different. You’ll be ready to adapt to whatever changes come your way if you stay on top of things, which is especially useful when dealing with children!

Ask for Help

While talking to relatives and friends is important, they are unlikely to understand all of your career hardships. This is why having a mentor who does is beneficial. You can count on this person for support on difficult days and you can rest easy knowing that they understand your role as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Baylor University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program provides you with a preceptor who will serve as your on-site role model and will assist you in growing as a nurse. This mentor can assist you greatly in learning how to deal with the stress that comes with the job.

If you’re having trouble dealing with the stress associated with pediatric nursing, seek professional assistance. This isn’t a sign of weakness but rather a sign of power. Just because you work in the field, doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by it. Be open about your emotions and seek professional help if they become overwhelming.

Learn Stress Coping Strategies

Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, stretching and journaling are all stress management techniques that can be very useful for pediatric nurse practitioners. Breathing exercises can aid in illness prevention by improving immune system function and reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Take a Break

Now and again, a scenario arises that you are unable to manage. Sometimes the greatest approach to defuse tension is to physically remove yourself from the scene. Taking a bathroom break, completing an errand, or finding another method to politely remove oneself from the situation are all options. It’s time to take a break if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by stress. Take five minutes to center yourself and renew your mind.

Don’t Make it Personal

We can only control one simple thing at the end of the day: ourselves. We can’t even control the world, much less every moving aspect of our workplace. Life is not what happens to you but rather how you choose to respond to what happens.

If you have to pick a side, always go with the patient. While we should all stand firm in our beliefs, what is best for the patient at the end of the day? Make an effort not to waste time proving that you are correct.

Think Positively and Stay Motivated

The term ‘learned optimism’ refers to the practice of reserving the right to be hopeful and think creatively about solutions to issues. Negative mindsets can all be changed using this technique. Learning how to employ affirmations to attain desired results in life can be a powerful tool for pediatric nurse practitioners. This is a great skill to teach the children you may be treating.

Create a stress management strategy with a friend or co-worker. Regularly check in on each other’s progress. This can include things that you can do together. This way, you’ll both meet your stress management objectives while also keeping each other motivated and on track. This aids in the development of abilities and understandings for dealing with stressful situations.

When faced with tight schedules and demanding responsibilities, pediatric nurses who are working hard to provide exceptional care for patients may struggle to manage stress. They must learn to control their stress to be healthy, successful, and happy.

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