At least once a year it is good to take stock of your life and your career and take steps to get yourself back on track, or even to change directions if that is what is needed.
Some of the top things you can do for yourself as a nurse to make your career more rewarding and to avoid caregiver fatigue or burnout include the following:
1) Stress management is a must. Learn techniques that work well for you and use them routinely. Exercise, diet and sleep habits should be considered as well.
2) Managing your time efficiently and effectively is vital. Get organized and stay on top of things. Don’t procrastinate!
3) Replenish yourself. Make time for you and do it often! Nursing is a demanding/giving profession. If you have given all you have to give, you have nothing left for yourself, and you can’t continue to give. You’ll burnout.
4) Nursing is a lifelong learning process. Use your continuing education opportunities to first, stay up to date with your selected field and to learn and hone new skills. Secondly, make sure to learn something about other fields of nursing whenever you can. Know your options and keep them open.Don’t get pigeon-holed and stuck.
5) Nurses are overachievers. Strive for excellence and set the bar high. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Encourage others to do the same. But be realistic and set goals you can attain without setting yourself up to fail because you set the bar way too high.
6) Be a mentor. Help those around you to strive for, and achieve, excellence as well. This is key to providing excellent quality care with the best possible outcomes.
7) Be a sponge. Learn from others. Pick up on their tricks and tips, and then share them with others.
8) Always be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. Don’t just complain. Get involved in strategic planning for your workplace, and help to make it a better place.
9) Be a good TEAM player. Be a leader when you need to be, and a supporter always. There is no “I” in TEAM. Be a good role model to others who “just don’t get it” and help them to become team players too.
10) Learn your limitations and how and when to say “No.” Respect yourself and always set a good example for others. It’s just not possible to say “yes” every time and not become resentful or get burned out!
11) Remind yourself often WHY you became a nurse. Think about the lives you have touched and the difference you have made.
12) Encourage others to become nurses and to strive for excellence.