Creating a balance between personal and professional responsibilities is a battle of modern times. This is even more challenging in professions such as healthcare.
This is why nurses also struggle to manage their work alongside personal life. Since they play a facilitative role in the system, their responsibilities span from catering to patients’ needs to coordinating with other healthcare practitioners. Thus, they have little time to balance different aspects of life, including relationships and personal interests.
However, the profession is not that gloomy and unmanageable. It requires expertise in handling responsibilities in a way that does not exhaust one’s capacity. Thus once they cater to factors that hinder their work and life balance, such as schedule, interpersonal instability, and inefficiency, they can resolve the imbalance effortlessly. That said, listed below are some tips for creating a healthy work and life balance for nursing professionals.
1) Avail occupational development opportunities
Healthcare is a field that continues to evolve. As a result, existing expertise and knowledge cannot fall parallel to emerging demands. In the end, professional inefficiency is more likely to exhaust individuals, leading to higher work and life imbalance.
In that capacity, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and nurse practitioner (NP) programs intend to polish nursing skills as per the field’s advancements. Specifically, MSN to NP programs online focus on enhancing professional proficiency so that nurses can avail lucrative and leading positions in the sector. Apart from nursing skills, these programs also equip nurses with management, planning, communication, and collaboration skills. Given such diversity, they become more proficient in managing professional responsibilities and get work done on time.
In essence, continuously refining professional skills is vital to serving in the challenging nursing profession. It is also crucial to preserve professional demand and relevance in the sector. Otherwise, the lower the professional expertise, the higher the professional instability.
2) Heed to personal commitments
Often nurses do not pay attention to personal commitments while carrying out professional responsibilities. The situation is even worse when the schedule is tight and extended. As a result, nurses attend to personal obligations on a low-priority basis.
However, professional engagements are not everything. Even when you have pressing professional duties, heeding to responsibilities outside the hospital is also necessary. It means you can only fulfill them if you have the capacity. Thus neglecting your personal needs can comprise your physical and mental well-being. For instance, attending to your dietary needs is crucial to sustaining energy levels during long working hours. It is equally necessary to uphold a fixed schedule to eat a nutritious meal. Otherwise, irregularity can cause disturbances in appetite, leading to gastrointestinal issues.
Similarly, since tiring work exhausts inherent elasticity, sparing time for rest is essential to work productively throughout the day. Hence, according to the sleep foundation, maintaining 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day should be unquestionable for healthy adults. Furthermore, do not overlook your fitness routine. It is vital to enhance your physical and mental capacity and build endurance.
3) Undertake responsibilities as per your capacity
Nurses often encounter challenges in carrying out responsibilities beyond their physical capacity. Since their job is supportive, every caregiving responsibility falls on their shoulders. Most of the time, they cannot even evade, given the ethical obligations of the profession.
Sometimes, they have to facilitate fellows and fill in for their absence while carrying their duties. Other times, they have to compensate for financial inadequacy with overwork and multiple shifts. As a result, nurses even consume their rest periods in looking after the sick.
However, such conduct is exhausting for them and can be harmful to the patients as well. Most importantly, overworked nurses cannot ensure care and quality at the same time. It is why nurses cause mismanagement errors, capable of harming patients.
In such cases, it is necessary to remember that compassion and generosity should not overwhelm you. Similarly, coordinate with the facility’s management in categorizing and relaxing your responsibilities. It is equally necessary to negotiate equitable compensation so that you can fulfill personal requirements without draining out or feeling underpaid.
4) Minimize interpersonal instability
One of the most easily deteriorating characteristics of demanding jobs in healthcare is interpersonal instability. This is because engaged professionals cannot attend to and nurture relationships, especially personal relationships. As a result, interpersonal instability is one of the primary causes behind higher work-life imbalance. As such, conflicts with loved ones can damage peace of mind, leading to lower productivity at work and bad health.
Similarly, clashes with coworkers can damage teamwork and affect performance. In the end, labor does not bear any fruit, no matter how hard you work. Thus it would be better to keep your loved ones in close coordination so that they can walk alongside you. Likewise, lend a helping hand or listen to your coworker whenever it is possible. It will foster trust and dependability.
In addition, interpersonal aptitude is crucial for nurses to intermingle with patients and attend to them effectively. Interpersonal stability also enhances their compassion and empathy towards the sick. In essence, relationships provide unwavering support when it comes to dealing with the challenges of life. The more reliable and durable the relationships, the more productive you can be in your profession.
Undoubtedly, a career in nursing has several challenges that accompany it, and poor work-life balance is one of them. In nursing, the imbalance is severe to the point of hampering their fitness, well-being, productivity, and even confidence. Even more, growing demands further intensify their professional challenges. This article mentions a few tips nurses can use to manage personal and professional commitments. These include leveraging better professional opportunities, prioritizing well-being, managing workload effectively, and fostering good relationships. By following these tips, nurses can keep both ends of the weighing scale at the same level.
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