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STRESS MANAGEMENT IN ADVANCED NURSING STUDENTS

Introduction

Without a doubt, it takes quite rigorous work and studying to become a fully registered nurse. Every student encounters stressful situations daily, from when they start their education to when they retire. Although, stress might provide motivation, when continuous it disrupts learning and can result in physical illness. These stressors include the number of patients and cases they have to observe, the limited time to work, conflicts with colleagues, and so on, which have been linked to accumulated stress and “burning out”.  Stress has numerous adverse effects on a person’s concentration and productivity. It causes fatigue, exhaustion, and even in some cases, infrequent periods in females. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that measures are put in place to adequately manage stress for all nursing students, especially those in advanced programs with more workload and stricter deadlines. If you need a comprehensive guide on effective stress-relief methods and how to build healthy coping mechanisms, this article is perfect for you.

Putting You First

A nursing curriculum is choked with activities that students must mostly compulsorily participate in. Schools offer nursing theory work, skills and simulation land, project work, and clinical rotations. As soon as you enroll and the program begins, you have really limited time outside school. Therefore, it is essential to create a standard self-care routine that keeps you emotionally and physically healthy. To live healthily, you should have a dietary plan that involves eating fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, and avoiding fast food. Also, it is good practice to exercise regularly through any physical activities you enjoy. It could be brisk walking, yoga, tennis, playing football, dancing, etc. Many suffer from sleep deprivation in coping with the hectic schedule, so you must endeavor to have a regular sleep pattern. Finally, you should identify your stressors and develop means to cope with them.

The School’s Stress-Relief and Student Support Programs

Before making the choice on your preferred nursing school or program to enroll in, you should consider the stress management options they offer for students. A good school cares about its students enough to put appropriate measures in place. Many schools structure their curriculums with time for students to recover from stress. Some even provide counselors and psychologists that students can talk to when in crisis.

Johns Hopkins University

John Hopkins University wellness program encourages students to engage in exercise, meditation, and offers a 24/7 hotline for students to call.

A proper example is The Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP), which was created to help students over the years to cope with the daily rigors of getting quality nursing education. It is a life management resource that has benefited countless students in identifying and addressing their issues through healthy means.

Duke University

Duke’s Student Success Center program offers free consultations and workshops for students experiencing high levels of stress.

Another school with a distinctive student stress-relief program is the Duke University School of Nursing. Led by assistant professors, Dr. Brandon Knettel, a doctorate-level psychologist, and Dr. Sean Convoy. The program dubbed “Student Success Center” provides students with mental and emotional support; and the meetings cover important conversations like mental health and well-being, stress management, academics, interpersonal relationships, etc.

University Of Pennsylvania

The Penn Program for Mindfulness offers a wide range of courses in mindfulness geared towards helping students manage stress and uncertainty.

The Penn Program for Mindfulness is an amazing program developed by the University of Pennsylvania to equip advanced degree students with powerful tools for coping with stress. The program teaches the students a combination of modern cognitive science and ancient mindfulness techniques that help shape how they experience the world and react to difficult situations.

Emory University

Emory University hosts a program called 30-day inspiration to enhance the emotional health and well-being of its participants.

The Emory University has a special program that provides students with a chance to engage in 30 simple steps that are sure to improve their emotional health and help to cope with stress. This program called 30-Day Inspiration teaches daily activities that prioritize personal care, mindfulness, and building meaningful relationships. It has equipped several students with the ability to refresh after stressful schoolwork and greatly increased their resilience.

Ohio State

Ohio State College of Nursing has a 7-week program to help students deal with stress based off positive findings from 16 research studies.

Every student of Ohio State’s prestigious College of Nursing can testify to the effectiveness of MIND STRONG, an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral skills-building program that is tailored to help students learn positive coping mechanisms and generally improve their overall wellbeing. The aim is to ensure every student practices healthy behaviors in dealing with their hectic schedule, instead of resorting to substance abuse and other maladaptive measures. The MIND STRONG program is structured as weekly sessions that run for seven weeks. Each session teaches students the strategies for developing healthier behavioral patterns that support positive adaptation to stress, anxiety, and depression. The program provides unaffected participants with preventive techniques, while those already suffering from anxiety or depression are taught methods that build their resilience.

University Of Washington

The University Of Washington hosts The Whole U program which includes online classes in exercise and mindfulness seven days a week.

There are many ways to relieve stress. You could become part of a knitting group, learn how to cook new recipes, perform some yoga, etc. University of Washington’s stress relief is known as The Whole U. This features free events, virtual handouts, workouts, and many other activities all geared towards dealing with stress and connecting with your colleagues. Students are provided with meditations, encouraged to exercise in between studying, cultivate good posture and listen to playlists while doing yoga. Participating students are followed up to ensure compliance as these significantly affect your health and productivity.

University Of Virginia

The UVA Mindfulness Center offers a series of intense online courses in mindfulness designed to help students develop better mind/body connection.

The University of Virginia Mindfulness Center organizes intensive training courses that are sure to develop mindfulness skills, which is the practice of focusing on how one experiences a moment while it is happening. This helps students to be more attentive to the details of their daily dealings and easily identify their stressors. Having this level of insight is the first step to recovery, making these courses an essential tool for every nursing student at the University of Virginia. Practicing mindfulness is a good way to encourage the habit of making conscious decisions, which is a skill every student must possess in abundance.

Their efficient and inclusive students’ stress-relief programs are one of the reasons these are some of the best nursing schools in the world.

Join A Support Group of Co-workers

It is true that no one can understand the stress of being a nurse than another nurse. Therefore, a colleague is in the best position to identify with your problem and procure a viable solution, if they have encountered it before. It can be very helpful to have therapeutic vent sessions to not only share your problems but also rub minds on possible ways of improving the situation. This can even be organized after work, so as not to disrupt the work schedule. Using a more comfortable environment makes everyone more relaxed and eager to outline their issues.

Seek Help

Despite being a nurse, you should know that it is normal to seek professional help, if necessary. It is possible for the stress levels to get so high that it shows physical symptoms and strains relationships outside and within your workplace. At some point, stress might even affect your performance at work which puts patients at risk. If you find yourself in this dilemma, do not hesitate to visit a psychologist or counselor. You can even access the school’s relief program.

It is commonplace for nurses to care for others without looking out for their well-being. However, this is really unhealthy and should be discouraged. There’s no way you can adequately care for a patient if you are unwell yourself. So, endeavor to keep in touch with your feelings, recognize stress and reach out for help in case you find things overwhelming. This is integral to building a successful nursing career.

Don’t lose sight of your “why”

It is easy to lose sight of the prize when the stress builds up. But the prize is to be the best nurse you can be. The profession is a call to serve others so, irrespective of what you might be going through, it is very helpful to keep your focus on why you started in the first place. It might be a passion to help others, an interest in healthcare, or even a childhood dream, but your reason should be strong enough to keep you floating through the waves.

Conclusion

Nursing school shouldn’t be so challenging. However, the weight of the human lives in their care leads to high levels of stress. Although this cannot be eradicated, it can be effectively managed so you enjoy your education, while living in good health. Learning stress-relief techniques is also very important. Successfully reducing the effects of stress to the barest minimum is sure to make getting your advanced degree a walk in the park. You would get through any hard time by understanding that nothing good comes easy.

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