Safely Managing the High-Stress World of Healthcare

Working in the healthcare industry is noble, exciting, and fast-paced. No two days are the same, which can give you a lot of energy and motivation to go to work each day.

 However, no matter your position in the industry, it’s safe to say that healthcare is high stress. It’s exciting, but there are a lot of demands placed on your shoulders every day. That can take a massive toll on your physical and mental health.

 Healthcare workers are especially susceptible to more stress in uncertain times and chaotic situations. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, 93% of healthcare workers were experiencing stress, while 83% were more anxious, and 75% were overwhelmed.

 Feeling stressed at your job can cause you to experience burnout. That often leads to a lack of motivation at work, but it can also put you and your patients in danger.

 Let’s take a closer look at why properly mitigating stress in the healthcare field is so important and a few ways you can make stress management a priority.

The Importance of Stress Management

As a healthcare worker, you spend most of your days putting the well-being of others before yourself. Unfortunately, when your mental and physical health takes a back seat, you could end up doing more long-term harm than you initially realize.

 Some of the most serious issues associated with excess stress include

  • High blood pressure
  • Body aches
  • Digestive issues
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased risk of anxiety and depression

Too much stress can even be harmful to your skin. Stress can impact your immune system and your skin’s ability to heal. You’ll be more susceptible to irritants and allergens, and when you’re hyper focused on how irritated and itchy your skin feels, it will contribute to even more stress, perpetuating the endless cycle.

 Finally, it can impact the way you feel about your job. You might love what you do, but if you’re straddling the line of burnout, you could start resenting your job, especially if you don’t have a healthy work-life balance. Not only will that impact your mental state, but it can cause you to become a risk to your co-workers and patients since it’s harder to focus and concentrate.

 Outside of work, the physical and mental toll of stress can impact your relationships and social life. You might feel like you don’t have enough time to spend with your family and friends, or the pressure of too much stress might cause you to become irritable with those closest to you.

The Dangers of Negative Coping Habits

If you know you’re stressed, but you feel like you don’t “have time” to properly deal with it, you could also be putting yourself at risk for developing unhealthy coping habits. Yes, even healthcare workers knowingly do things that can cause harm. One of the most common in the industry is substance abuse. Studies have shown that 10-15% of healthcare professionals will misuse substances at some point. Some of the most common signs of this type of abuse include

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Arriving to work late
  • Difficulty performing on the job

 Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, risky behaviors, or overeating, there are plenty of negative and potentially harmful ways to cope with stress. Unfortunately, they could put your career at risk, and wreak havoc on your health. That’s why it’s essential to know how to mitigate stress in healthy, effective ways through coping mechanisms that don’t cause harm.

How to Manage Stress the Right Way

Now that you know how important it is to manage your stress in the world of healthcare, how can you do it? We know, it might often feel easier said than done when you’re working 12-hour shifts and dealing with countless patients who need help.

 However, your well-being needs to be your top priority. If you don’t take proper care of yourself, you won’t be able to effectively care for others.

 Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to mitigate stress daily. The best part? They don’t have to take up a ton of time. Small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to manage stress are

  • Exercising
  • Prioritizing sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Deep breathing exercises (mindfulness and meditation)
  • Journaling

 If you’re really struggling with stress and you’re worried about developing anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to talk to someone. It’s not always easy for those in the healthcare field to reach out to other professionals for help, but it’s sometimes necessary. Working with a therapist, counselor, or attending group therapy can help you get to the root cause of your stress while making it easier to establish healthy coping techniques to work through it.

 By choosing to prioritize your health and manage your stress now, you can enjoy a long, fulfilling career in healthcare for years to come. However, you’ll also have a better experience outside of work, enjoying a healthier work-life balance, more time focused on your friends and family, and a deep dedication to self-care.

Image Source: Unsplash

      Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Survey: A Year into the Pandemic, How Is Your Mental Health?

One year after being declared a pandemic, COVID-19 is still here. As someone who works in healthcare, how is your mental health now? Tell us here.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Since that time, more than 28 million Americans have contracted the virus, with over 500,000 of them, sadly, succumbing to it, and healthcare’s heroes, as you have often been called, have seen it all.

And we see you.

Working in healthcare can be incredibly draining—mentally, physically, and emotionally. Especially when you take into account the fact that many positions within the field are considered high-stress occupations, and that the suicide risk among nurses is higher than any other profession. Add in a full year of an unprecedented pandemic, and that can be a lot for anyone to handle, hero or otherwise.

So, a year on, we wanted to check in on you, gather your thoughts, share them with your peers. How is your mental health? How are you coping, or not coping, right now? Have you considered leaving your job? Did the approval of multiple COVID-19 vaccines help your mental health?

Tell us in the survey below, and then be sure to read our tips on how to care for yourself while treating COVID-19 patients by clicking here.

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By submitting this form, you are giving your permission to HealthJobsNationwide.com to republish any responses included on this form in future content that may be used on our website or social media accounts.

Verify You're a Human:

If you are struggling with your mental health, we urge you to ask for help. You are just a call or text away from reaching professionals who can assist you in processing what you are experiencing. Reach out to them, if you need support at:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • The Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741741.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Combat Burnout and Stress with Yoga for Nurses

Yoga has been proven to be a stress reliever for those who practice it, and nurses are some of the most stressed out employees around. Give it a try.

Yoga, a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation, has been proven time and again to be a stress reliever for those who practice it. In fact, a recent study has shown that yoga can be particularly helpful in preventing and managing stress levels and burnout in healthcare workers. And we all know that nurses are some of the most stressed out and burnt out healthcare workers out there.

If you don’t already practice yoga, or if you haven’t had time to go to a studio lately, grab a mat and some bolsters and straps, and give these yoga sequences for nurses a try right in your home.



Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Burnout Isn’t Just a Physician Problem

NPs and PAs are often touted as the solution to the growing primary care physician shortage, but at what cost? Burnout impacts them, too.

The growing primary care physician shortage has put an overwhelming strain on doctors in the United States, often in the form of burnout. A combined workforce of nearly 400,000 strong, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants have been poised and ready to be, and often touted as, the most viable solution to the shortage. But at what cost? After all, NPs and PAs are not immune to burning out, themselves.

According to the International Classification of Diseases, which now classifies burnout as an occupational phenomenon, burnout is defined as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Those suffering from burnout often experience feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy.

Last fall, the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants published the first report on national trends of burnout among PAs. The data revealed that 62.1% of PAs had enthusiasm for their work, while 21.4% reported some degree of cynicism, and 10.4% reported a low sense of personal accomplishment. The report also revealed that 12.8% had never left a position due to stress, but were considering quitting their current position due to stress, burnout, or a toxic workplace, and that 30% had quit once in the past due to stress. Another 11.7% of PAs had left more than one position due to burnout.

As for Nurse Practitioners, burnout in the nursing profession, as a whole, is well-documented. Nurses experience some of the highest risk and rate of burnout, with a third of all nurses in the U.S. reporting high levels of emotional exhaustion. Though Nurse Practitioners may outrank RNs, they seem to be experiencing similar levels of burnout. For instance, though the NP profession ranked #7 on U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs list in 2019, it was also reported that NP experience above average stress and below average work-life balance.

Are you feeling burnt out in your role as an NP or PA? How do you combat work-related stress? Tell us in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Hardest Parts of Nursing

The nursing profession comes with many obvious rewards, be they personal or professional. However, it is also well-documented to be one of the most stressful careers, due to staffing shortages, hospital politics, long hours, and many other factors. Business Insider recently took a deep dive into the minds of nurses and released a list of what they have found to be the top pain points of working nurses. The list, released last week, includes eleven of the hardest challenges faced by nurses today, including:

  1. Experiencing the death of patients
  2. Judgment passed by others about their occupation
  3. Long, stressful hours
  4. A lack of respect from others in the industry
  5. Hospital politics
  6. Non-existent or few bathroom breaks
  7. Outdated and time-consuming technology
  8. Know-it-all patients and their families
  9. Missing out on holidays and weekends
  10. The pressure to know everything
  11. Caring for drug-addicted patients

What do you think is missing from this list? Are you facing struggles that aren’t mentioned above? Feel free to vent about them in the comments.

How Healthcare Professionals Can Make a Change When You’re on the Road to Career Burnout

by Julie Morris

Everyone has their own reasons for entering healthcare, but one common purpose we all share is the desire to help others. The problem is that in doing so, we sometimes put our own needs last, which can lead to career burnout. However, even when you’re busy, there are simple ways you can turn the tables and feel more satisfied in your career and life in general.

Are You Ready for a Change?

 Maybe you started your career filled with excitement, but you no longer have that job satisfaction. Maybe you’re bored at work or mentally exhausted. If the stress of work is taking a toll on you, you may want to look into a career that will be more fulfilling. There are lots of options for people who enjoy caring for others, like becoming a social worker, counselor, teacher, or a speech pathologist. Switching careers may be easier than you think. For example, many speech pathologists get their degrees from a fully accredited online program.

Are You Overcommitted?

 Sometimes, burnout happens because we don’t have a healthy work-life balance. If you work long hours and then commit to doing too much outside of work, you probably wonder where all your time goes. Being able to say “no” on occasion is necessary to stop overcommitment. This may mean saying no to extra hours at work or saying “no” to requests from friends and family. Saying no can help you prioritize what’s most important at work, and it leaves you with the time you need for yourself at home.

Are You Managing Stress?

Some stress in life is unavoidable, which is why we all need tools for managing it. If stress and anxiety are a problem, you may want to explore the benefits of CBD oil. According to Collective Evolution, research has shown that CBD oil can give you relief from stress, anxiety, and mood disorders like depression. It also helps you sleep better and can help your body better regulate itself overall. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements. If you’re new to CBD, you may want to try CBD-infused gummies. Gummies make the delivery process simple, so they’re ideal for anyone who is trying it for the first time.

While supplements like CBD can help reduce stress on an ongoing basis, you also need tools that you can use right when stress starts to feel overwhelming. Many healthcare workers benefit from learning controlled breathing techniques to relieve acute anxiety. American Nurse Today recommends using a meditation app on your phone to make this even easier.

Are You Caring for Yourself?

When you stay busy with work, it’s easy to slip into a routine where your own health isn’t your top priority. As simple as it may sound, basic self-care like eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising plays a major role in your stress and overall happiness. You may just need some creative ways to make self-care easier. If you’re always on the go, plan some healthy meals you can bring to work. Or, maybe you can grab a few co-workers and take lunchtime walks. The key is to decide that your own health has to come first and commit to squeezing healthy habits into your busy schedule.

Caring for yourself also means making time for fun. We all need a getaway from time to time, but don’t wait until vacation to do things you enjoy. Schedule coffee with a friend, or have a date night with your partner. Even just goofing off with co-workers will relieve tension.

Everyone seems to talk about work-life balance these days, but in the healthcare profession, this isn’t just a nice idea — it’s essential to avoiding burnout. Some people don’t even realize they’re on the road to burnout until they stop to think about it. Asking yourself these questions, and answering them honestly, is the first step toward making a change for the better.

Image by Pixabay


Julie Morris is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison.

Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

First National Physician Suicide Awareness Day

The day places a priority on mental health awareness in an effort to allow physicians to better care for themselves and their patients

Today is the first ever National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. Founded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to suicide prevention, the day places a priority on mental health awareness in an effort to allow healthcare professionals to better care for themselves and their patients.

It has been found that, on average, one doctor per day will take their own life in the United States, making it the highest suicide rate of any profession and more than twice that of the general population. According to resources provided by the AFSP, suicide generally is caused by the convergence of multiple risk factors — the most common being untreated or inadequately managed mental health conditions.

Suicide is preventable. Help is possible. We encourage any physician that may be struggling with their mental health to seek help.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

To learn more about National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, including facts, figures, and scores of resources for physicians, please visit afsp.org/physician.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

NPs Get Stressed, Too! How They Can Manage It.

Being a Nurse Practitioner can be physically taxing and emotionally arduous. Here are 11 self-focused strategies to reduce that stress.

from Contemporary Clinic

In recent years, nursing and advanced practice nursing have made great strides in the public’s awareness of their profession. Nurse practitioners are appearing more often in the media, greater numbers of college students are choosing nursing as a career, and more patients have an NP as their health care provider. A career in nursing also has become well known for its job security, opportunities for growth, and competitive wages. In addition to these excellent job attributes, the public often views nursing in a favorable light, as evidenced by a consistent number-one ranking in the Gallup poll for most trusted profession and some positives stereotypes, such as the nurse angel or hero. But at what cost?

Read More →

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.