Nurses and Stress

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Nurses and Stress

NPR documentary explores causes and solutions

By Working Nurse
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Human Media, which produces radio programs distributed by National Public Radio, has released a two-part documentary on the challenges RNs face and how they deal with them.

Taking Its Toll

The documentary, hosted by David Freudberg and produced in association with WGBH/Boston, is entitled “Resilient Nurses.” The first segment explores the many difficult issues facing nurses, including staffing shortages, long shifts and patients with increasingly complex conditions.

As we all know, those stressors take their toll. While many nurses report satisfaction with the scheduling in their hospitals, nurses working shifts longer than 10 hours are 2.5 times as likely as those working shorter shifts to leave the nursing profession. That stress also contributes to a predictable decline in patient satisfaction.

Self-Care Options

The second part of the documentary features several first-hand accounts of the self-care techniques RNs use to get through the stress. The Human Media website adds a bonus feature: a 15-minute guided meditation to help you relax and find your center.

The RNs interviewed also discuss the subject of boundaries and the question of whether the principal source of tension for nurses is the burden of administrative and computer issues or the need to constantly demonstrate care and compassion.

While the nurses’ perspectives and opinions differ, their responses make clear that nursing continues to attract people who are dedicated to the profession and genuinely care about their patients.

Click here to stream or download the program segments or order an audio CD version.

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