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3 Easy Ways to Make Life as a Nurse Easier


Let’s be honest, deep down, everyone knows that being a nurse is one of the hardest jobs out there. You deal with all the stress and mess that comes with hospital work but without the prestige, pay, and respect that doctors get. When you hear the phrase ‘frontline workers’ that’s a perfect description of what nurses do.

There’s no telling what each shift holds and being exposed to bodily fluids, unnecessary drama, and a total lack of free time. Data tells us that 56% of registered nurses in the U.S. experienced high levels of stress. If you are just getting into this field, it’s natural to feel unsure of how you will manage each day.

Well, in this article, we will look at three simple ways you can make your shifts a little more bearable. Let’s dive in.

1. Invest In Time-Saving Habits

One of the biggest factors that makes life tough for any nurse is the lack of time. The thing is, it’s not just a hectic life at work. Nursing is the kind of profession that ends up influencing your entire life. You come back home from your shift and if you have kids, you have to be a good mom to them as well.

It’s common to see nurses not having any free time to relax and unwind. Thus, it makes sense to start looking at ways to reclaim your precious time. Nurses know that it’s often hopeless to talk to their nursing manager and expect a lighter load. As attractive as that idea sounds, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be assigned an easy shift by asking.

So what do we do? Well, think smart and find ways to free up your day in small ways. Maybe you spend a lot of time doing the laundry and that ends up snowballing into a lot of wasted time. If so, ensure you have enough scrubs to last you through the week without needing to use the washing machine.

Get yourself several pairs of comfortable Cherokee scrubs, maybe two for each working day. This ensures that even if you need to change scrubs mid-shift, you can leave laundry for the weekends.

As A1Scrubs notes, Cherokee scrubs are easy to care for, so worrying about your fit each day becomes less of a hassle.

2. Measure The Blood Pressure First Before Anything Else

If you’ve been a nurse for a few years, you will probably know this already. However, it’s mainly the new nurses reading articles like this, so it’s worth mentioning. When dealing with a sleeping baby or toddler, measure the blood pressure before anything else.

As a nurse, you will be taking a lot of BP measurements, and getting an inaccurate read can be frustrating. With young children, measuring BP can become way more complicated than it needs to be if they start getting agitated.

So if there are assessments or medicines to administer, ensure that you do them after measuring BP and not before. A crying and squirming baby isn’t exactly going to be easy to get an accurate reading from, so remember this tip.

3. Master the Skill of Cluster Care

Basically, one of the most annoying aspects of your job will be how much you have to walk. You are constantly on the move, making rounds, trips to the pharmacy, med distribution, code responses…it can be a lot. Most days, you will end up with well over 10k steps.

The attention and focus you need to maintain for each patient becomes even more exhausting when things are disorganized. This is where cluster care comes in. Your aim will be to improve efficiency by reducing the number of interruptions that take you on yet another trip.

This might mean grouping tasks and activities together. For example, patient assessments would be one visit. Hygiene and comfort measures would be another visit, and therapies and procedures would also be grouped.

Now you no longer have to finish up an assessment to give another patient their medicines before bandaging a third patient. Your workflow now gets streamlined and far easier. To put it simply, cluster care makes your shift a whole lot easier.

In conclusion, being a nurse is most probably going to exhaust you. There’s no getting around this fact that healthcare is a stressful field to work in. You rarely get time for yourself and when you do, the last thing you want is to think about work. Thus, taking a few measures like the ones we talked about today can make a difference.

It’s worth remembering that in a field like nursing, even small benefits count. An extra ten minutes of free time may not seem like much to most people, but for nurses? It can feel as good as an entire hour.


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