Being comfortable with change is a big part of the nursing profession. Many shifts seem to be more about changes to the plan than the plan itself. Clinical nursing judgments must be made throughout each nursing shift. Changes can create stress in in our lives, both personally and professionally (Chamberlain, 2019). This week, in reflection of my own patient centered care values, I am reminded of the days when unexpected events have caused me to feel stressed or frustrated. When our patients sense our stress, it may cause them to worry or begin to feel stress too. That is never the intention! Resilience is so important in our field, not just for our own well-being, but for best patient outcomes as well. Delgado, Upton, Ranse, Furness & Foster (2017) point out, “building resilience is an important strategy in mitigating the stress and burnout that may be caused by ongoing exposure to these demands” (pg 71). Resilience in nursing practice is important for all of those around us.
What steps could you take to develop more resilience in your practice setting?
Aside from the acceptance of stress in my day to day life, I realized this week that I had not given much thought to the development of resilience. I know I have developed in this area, but I was unsure of how I could develop further. Like many other positive traits, I learned this week that we can consciously work toward becoming more resilient. Strategies that help with building resilience are outlined by Kester and Wei (2018), these include the concept of “meaningful recognition,” support from peers or social groups and through education. Meaningful recognition is provided by award programs or even through being recognized for efforts while on the job (Kester & Wei, 2018). Seeking support from peers reminds us that we are not alone in experiencing work related stress. Educational programs may involve becoming more aware of stressors, identifying situations that may trigger stress and learning to practice self-care (Kester & Wei, 2018). It is important for nurses to learn to prioritize this self care so they can offer their best self to their patients.
How might you communicate a change in practice to patients and nursing peers?
Change is often met with resistance. When introducing peers or patients to change it is important to use good communication techniques and provide explanations or education on the situation, the change, and what it may mean. Both nurses and patients alike will appreciate hearing the rational behind developing changes. This helps them to better understand why the change is important or necessary. I like to communicate about change with an open mind and the willingness to explain the situation. I offer my patients the opportunity to ask questions and I listen to their concerns. Whether the change it is regarding a change in the workflow on the unit, or a change in a patient’s plan of care, I believe the key to smooth transitions is clear communication and making sure an understanding is reached.
Chamberlain University College of Nursing. (2019, July). RN Capstone Course NR451-62005. Week Three Lesson. Retrieved from https://chamberlain.instructure.com/courses/45610/pages/week-3-lesson-foundational-concepts?module_item_id=5900850
Delgado, C., Upton, D., Ranse, K., Furness, T., & Foster, K. (2017). Nurses’ resilience and the emotional labour of nursing work: An integrative review of empirical literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 70, 71-88. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dominic_Upton/publication/313686239_Nurses’_resilience_and_the_emotional_labour_of_nursing_work_An_integrative_review_of_empirical_literature/links/5a0decb545851541b7079e10/Nurses-resilience-and-the-emotional-labour-of-nursing-work-An-integrative-review-of-empirical-literature.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Kester, K., Wei, H. (2018). Building nurse resilience. Nursing Management: Journal of Nursing Leadership, 49(6), 42-45. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/nursingmanagement/FullText/2018/06000/Building_nurse_resilience.10.aspx