How Nurses Can Monitor and Strengthen Their Mental Health
As nurses, the inclination to nurture and care for others is in our nature, yet sometimes we forget to care for ourselves. That’s an easy routine to fall into, but optimizing our mental well-being improves both the quality of care we provide and our overall health. So today, right now, is all about you. Here are four simple, sustainable ways you can safeguard your mental health, which includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, amid the ever-present chaos.
It Takes a Team to Confront Moral Distress
Unbearable levels of stress, burnout, frustration, disappointment, and even fear are plaguing today’s healthcare providers more than ever before. But for oncology nurses, moral distress and compassion fatigue have always been in the background when caring for patients with a serious illness.
The Key to Managing Moral Distress During a Pandemic? Resiliency
Oncology nursing has always been a challenging career with many stressors, but the moral distress brought on by a global pandemic has increased rates of depression, anxiety, and professional burnout among nurses, Patricia Jakel, RN, MSN, AOCN®, and Devin Ballentine, RN, BSN, both of UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, said during a session for the 46th Annual ONS Congress™ on April 22, 2021.
Experts Recommend Tailored Exercise for All Cancer Treatment Plans
Systemic use of exercise prescriptions not only lowers the risk of certain cancers but also helps to improve side effects and survival from cancer and should therefore be incorporated into cancer treatment plans, experts from the American College of Sports Medicine and 17 partner organizations said in articles published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Practice These Five Self-Care Strategies in Less Than Five Minutes
Oncology nursing is a rewarding profession that offers nurses opportunities to build meaningful relationships with patients and families, manage complex patient situations, and provide compassionate care during a scary time in someone’s life. But what makes oncology nursing so special can also make nurses more vulnerable to occupational stress, which can lead to compassion fatigue or burnout.
Reverse Compassion Fatigue and Grow Resiliency in Oncology Nursing
Compassion fatigue and burnout are adding to the cost of healthcare by personally affecting the nursing workforce, and in turn, the patients they care for and the workplace milieu. In their session on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Sue Childress, MN, RN, OCN®, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, and Pamela Bowman, MSN, RN, OCN®, of Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC, discussed defining, identifying and reversing compassion fatigue and fostering resiliency in today’s nursing workforce.
Writing for Wellness
No reliable method exists for determining how many conscious or unconscious thoughts a person has in a day; estimates range from 12,000–70,000 daily thoughts for an average of 52 thoughts per minute. Journaling your thoughts and feelings is a way of becoming an interested observer of your thoughts.
Use a Self-Care Mantra to Boost Compassion
Oncology nurses are generally compassionate people and dedicated to helping others live the best they can while experiencing a life-changing illness. Over time, such dedication can lead to compassion fatigue, especially when others suffer.
How Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Can Reduce Compassion Fatigue
When I received an offer for a position on the stem cell transplant unit at UPMC Shadyside in Pittsburgh, PA, I had no question about whether to accept it. It was, and still is, my dream nursing job. I started in August 2015 and have since grown as a healthcare professional and as a person. This setting is challenging physically, mentally, and psychologically. My undergraduate education prepared me well for the technical aspects of nursing, but I had little training in managing the emotions that would come with this job.
Learn to Recognize and Release Muscle Tension
Oncology nurses face abundant physical and emotional stressors, which, over time, can result in maladaptive muscle tension. Some degree of muscular tension is necessary to keep the body toned and mobile. However, unnecessary tension can lead to chronic pain and other health problems.