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Fueling the Fire Within: Empowering Nurses to Overcome Crisis

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


Resilience in Time of Crisis: Strategies for Nurses

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare systems, and the recent pandemic highlighted their immense contributions to the field. Nurses worked tirelessly to ensure patients received the best care possible, often at great risk to themselves and their mental health.


Adding mental health struggles to the already immense pressures faced at work, it becomes apparent that resilience among nurses is needed now more than ever.


Resilience is a crucial quality one needs to possess to help cope with the demands of their job, especially in times of crisis.


In this article, we will discuss some strategies that nurses can use to build resilience during challenging times.


Building Support Systems for Resilience

Nurses can join online support groups or attend peer support sessions to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Sharing experiences and feelings with others can provide a sense of belonging, reduce feelings of isolation, and help build resilience.


Maintaining healthy relationships with colleagues, friends, and family members is also essential when developing your support system to help them cope with the stresses of the job.



Practising Self-Care: Thriving Amidst Demands

Nurses are often so focused on caring for others that we neglect our own well-being.


Practising self-care is essential for building resilience, and not just for Nurses. We all need to focus on ourselves and give ourselves permission to rest and reset.


This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in physical activity.


Mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises also help reduce stress and promote relaxation.


Seeking Professional Support: Empowering Nurses in Times of Crisis

Nurses who are struggling with their mental health should seek professional help. Continuously fulfilling rigorous demands can lead to burnout, anxiety or depression if we don't look after our mental health.


Many healthcare organizations offer employee assistance programs (EAP) that provide confidential counselling services. Nurses can also seek help from mental health professionals in their community.


Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, and it can help nurses build resilience by providing them with the tools and support they need to cope moving forward.



Embracing Adaptability: A Key to Unlocking Resilience

Each day will bring something new. Do not expect to recover instantly after suffering from poor mental health, you will have both good and bad days, but this does not mean you are failing or are starting back at square 1.


To be genuinely resilient, you must embrace yourself and be flexible with everything that comes your way. It may be a small change, such as working a preferred shift, or a big difference, such as changing jobs, but whatever it may be, embrace the change. Be flexible and ready to adapt.


Nurses face unprecedented challenges due to the aftereffects of the pandemic, and building resilience is crucial for their mental and emotional well-being. But by building support systems, practicing self-care, and seeking professional help, nurses can develop the strength to cope with the demands of their job. It is essential to recognize that building resilience is a process that takes time, effort, and commitment. Nurses are the true heroes of this pandemic, and our responsibility is to support them in every way possible.



 

Reflection

  1. How do you define resilience in your nursing practice, and how has it helped you navigate challenging times?

  2. What unique self-care strategies have yousignificantly impacted discovered that have helped you maintain your well-being amidst the demands of your nursing career?

  3. Can you recall a specific experience where seeking professional help or support had a significant impact on your resilience and ability to cope?

  4. In what ways have you embraced change in your nursing journey, and how has it contributed to your growth and resilience?

  5. How can we collectively support and empower nurses in cultivating resilience, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic?


 

Sources

American Nurses Association (ANA): "Building Your Resilience: Guidance for Nurses and Nursing Students" - https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nurse-staffing/building-your-resilience/

Health Affairs: "Building Resilience in the Nursing Workforce: An Evidence Review" - https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20170927.361935/full/

Journal of Advanced Nursing: "Resilience and Psychological Distress in Nurses Working in Disaster and Emergency Settings: A Systematic Review of Quantitative Evidence" - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jan.13526

International Journal of Nursing Studies: "Factors Influencing Resilience in Nursing Students: A Systematic Review" - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748919300296

Journal of Nursing Management: "Nursing Leadership and Psychological Empowerment: Impact on Resilience in Nurses" - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jonm.12611



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