Nursing is a demanding profession that requires an investment of your time, energy, and skills. But as a result of your dedication, you get to witness your patients improve, secure a stable job for yourself and make a difference in your community.
However, your attention cannot be limited to your career alone. You also need to work on your education and personal life. Learning never stops. Whether you want to pick up better techniques to look after your patients, study the modern healthcare system or add to your current skill set, you need to pursue an advanced degree.
Likewise, your hobbies, hanging out with friends, and relaxation outside of work cannot take a backseat. Finding a way to balance all these factors may sound overwhelming, but it is much easier than you think. So to ensure you get to enjoy all aspects that govern your life, here’s what you need to do:
- Utilize online resources to study ahead
Higher education opens more doors for you. It gives you the autonomy to practice as an independent healthcare giver, apply for more senior positions, and mentor future nurses. Hence, while striving for an advanced qualification like a nurse practitioner, use every online resource at your disposal. Many tools can facilitate your nurse practitioner education and provide helpful information that can update you about your new role.
As a result, you’ll know the areas of your new field that need the most attention and how you can build your nursing profile to stand out as a professional. When you’re well aware of the skills you need, licensing exams you need to clear, and technology that is now part of the sector, it becomes easier to fast-track your career. Your knowledge will make you an asset to your patients and encourage future nurses to lean on you as a mentor.
- Manage your time well
Time management is an important skill to hone. When you get better at utilizing every minute of your day to T, it saves you from submerging into stress and allows you to stay on top of your workload. If you are an active nursing student, you cannot spend all your time at work and ignore your degree. At the same time, if you’re a working nurse and have a family back home, your loved ones also deserve your attention and care. Therefore, you need to work out a routine that supports various factions of your life.
Plan out your day carefully by prioritizing your tasks according to their urgency. Always try to get to your shift early, at least 15 minutes before the expected time, to go over your files, send out emails and page your teammates. This saves you the trouble of visiting patient charts while doing your rounds, allowing you to skim through and address pressing concerns without wasting too much time in one room. Use an alarm and reminders to ensure you administer medication on time instead of rushing at the last moment.
Ensure your schedule includes your breaks, during which you can call friends and family for a quick chat. Stay away from your devices when you are home and notify your clinical manager you are off your shift and only available for emergencies. You can also take your laptop to work and whenever you have time between your checkups, try getting some studying done.
- Talk to your partner
When you work in a fast-paced and demanding job, there is also a chance you may end up neglecting your family. Nursing is hard work. Unlike a regular nine-to-five job, you may need to put in overtime and even work through the weekends. As a result, your children and your partner may not get to see you much, which can strain your relationship and make them feel unwanted. In such cases, you must speak to your loved ones and, with their help, learn to balance your work and home life. Try to make your partner’s life easier by pitching in and not letting them handle chores alone.
You can also look into hiring a babysitter and house help so your significant others can relax and not consistently worry about keeping the house in one piece. Certain hospitals have inbuilt daycare centers for the staff. If you have a toddler, you can take them to work without needing extra arrangements. On the other hand, you can also talk to your nurse manager and schedule day offs so that at least once a month, you can go on holiday. If you run an independent clinic as a nurse practitioner, partner up with another professional, which allows you to divide the workload with them.
- Don’t skip out on your meals
Choosing not to eat and skipping having your meals on time does more harm than good. The long hours you put in at work can exhaust you, and unless you eat to regain your strength, you will continue feeling fatigued. Likewise, when you are hungry, your body starts reacting strongly. Symptoms like hunger pangs, headaches, and irritability begin settling in, which can steal your focus from your job and make it harder for you to complete your tasks. Therefore, take time out of your busy schedule to eat and replenish your strength. Your diet plan should include leafy greens, lean protein, fruits, and minimal starches.
You can keep granola bars and dry nuts on you for snacking instead of using the vending machine. Occasionally, eating out or getting fast food delivered is okay, but try not to make it a habit. Greasy food is only empty calories and doesn’t give you adequate nutrition required for healthy functioning. You will notice a marked difference in your over well-being once you eat on time and cut out all unhealthy options.
Nursing is a demanding field that requires you to put all hands on deck. To have a prosperous life, you cannot focus on your career alone but also give an equal amount of time to your personal life and academia. While finding a balance is hard, it is not impossible. Use online resources that can facilitate your education and fast-track your career. On the other hand, get better at managing your time by making a routine and planning your day so you don’t miss any necessary tasks.
Furthermore, ensure that you and your partner are on the same page regarding raising a family together and managing chores. Lastly, your nutrition also plays a vital role in your career. Eating a well-balanced diet on time adds to your energy, preventing fatigue from settling in.