7 Ways Pediatric Nurses Can Curb Stress


7 Ways Pediatric Nurses Can Curb Stress

By: Melissa Mills, RN, BSN, CCM, MHA            

Pediatric nursing is a rewarding and stressful profession. Knowing how to manage the good with the bad is important and developing solid coping skills, compassion and stress management techniques takes commitment and time. 

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These 7 ways can help you curb stress and burnout

1. Enlist the Help of a Mentor

Pediatric nurses need to have a trusted colleague they can talk to in an open, honest manner. Find another nurse who has real life experiences in a similar area of pediatric nursing.

A trusted colleague can be invaluable during periods of extreme nurse stress and burnout.  

2. Find Your Specialty

You know you want to work with children. but you have found yourself in a high acuity setting and are not coping well. Relax—it's okay!

Finding your kid-friendly zone can help with nurse stress and burnout. Maybe your niche is in a clinic or doctor’s office rather than a high acuity hospital unit. You can still live your dream of being a pediatric nurse if you remain open to all opportunities.

3. Peer Support

Inquire if your facility offers a peer support program. These programs are designed to help nurses and other healthcare staff deal with stress after traumatic patient-care events.

Offering a multidisciplinary network of peer counselors can help pediatric nurses deal with the loss of a patient, a stressful interaction, a medication error, or other stressful events.

If this nurse stress management resource is available to you, speak with your nurse manager or other supervisor to get information.

4. Self-Care

Whether you are on or off the clock, you need to care for your mind, body, and spirit. Schedule time to relax and care for yourself with these quick tips:

  • At work, take a quick 10 minute relaxation break after stressful situations. Find a quiet place to sit, practice deep-breathing, and just clear your mind.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Pack healthy, protein-rich snacks for busy shifts where a full meal may be difficult to take.
  • Get a full eight hours of sleep each night
  • Engage in 30 minutes of exercise each day that uses both your upper and lower body. This includes walking, running, yoga, or swimming.
  • Practice spiritual mindfulness.

5. Get Organized

Your pediatric nursing shift can change quickly. Find an organizational method that can withstand the stress.

Set your priorities. Write down things that must be done during your shift. Stick to this list of priorities and add in other tasks as you have time.

6. Don’t Take It Personally

Dealing with stressed-out parents is hard. Sometimes interactions can become heated. If so, remember that the parents are simply concerned with the health and well-being of their child. They view you as an extension of the hospital, not as an individual.

If you find yourself in a tense situation, remain calm. Keep the tone and volume of your voice even. Maintain a relaxed posture. Excuse yourself when it is acceptable and discuss the situation with the charge nurse or other nurse manager.

7. Create a Safe Space at Home

  • Make home a safe place to decompress.
  • Decorate your home in your favorite soothing colors.
  • Play music that helps you relax.
  • Place plants in every room.
  • Burn incense or candles that help you relax.

Pediatric nurses will encounter nurse stress and burnout. The key to survival is to find the nurse stress management techniques that work best for you and be intentional when using them.

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