Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stress Management Tips For Healthcare Workers

Here's a guest post for your enjoyment...

Stress Management Tips For Healthcare Workers
©2009 Sarah Scrafford All Rights Reserved

There’s no doubt about it, stress is a part of each of our lives from the moment we lose the innocence of childhood and cross over the threshold into adolescence. And there are some professions that are more stressful than others, where you’re going to find it hard to manage this negative emotion let alone avoid it altogether, and the healthcare sector is one of them. The responsibility for patients weighs you down, the anxiety of loved ones takes its toll on you, the long hours make you a zombie fueled by bitter coffee and stale junk food, the close association with suffering and death are harrowing, and the strain of avoiding making mistakes when people’s lives are in your hands is too much to bear.

Stress is a killer – it can singlehandedly bring on depression, headaches, insomnia, and even more dangerous and complicated diseases like strokes, cardiac arrests, and even diabetes. If you’re a doctor or nurse or connected to the healthcare industry in any way, you need to find ways to help you relax and manage stress before it takes its toll on you, and here’s how you can do exactly that:
  • Join a support group: Talking helps, especially when you’re not yourself. It’s therapeutic to tell people who have problems similar to yours and who empathize with you how you’re feeling. Very often, it helps you get to the root of the problem and discover why you’re feeling stressed, a fact that allows you to prevent the occurrence of such situations or at least learn to manage them better.
  • Disconnect from your patients: This may sound hard-hearted, but if you want to retain your sanity, you must distance yourself from your patients’ suffering and emotional distress. The more you empathize with them, the more stressed you’re likely to be.
  • Do something you love: The best way to beat stress is to do something you absolutely love – spend time with your sweetheart, go on a short trip, eat a bowl of your favorite ice cream, talk to a close friend – anything that makes you happy.
  • Take a break: Healthcare workers are often overworked – they work long hours without sufficient nourishment and sleep, and this increases their stress levels. Take a day off if this is the problem; after all, you owe it to your patients to offer them the best treatment you can, something that’s possible only when you’re fully in control of yourself.
  • Be sensible: It’s true that you do have to look after your patients’ health, but your health is important too. And to be healthy, you need to combine exercise, the right food and lots of water and package them into your daily routine.

Your job is important, but your life is more precious. So beat stress before it beats you!

This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of top pharmacy technician programs. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: