8 Strategies for Managing Healthcare Workers’ Stress

A career in healthcare offers many rich rewards. The responsibility of managing daily needs and life-and-death situations, however, has the potential to mingle those rewards with an extreme level of stress. As one of the most stressful professions, healthcare finds its professionals in the top ranks of those likely to suffer from burnout.

Recognizing the harmful effects of stress and discovering ways to alleviate it are crucial for healthcare professionals in nursing homes, hospitals, and senior living communities, whose daily actions impact the well-being of so many people.

Let’s examine strategies that offer hope and help to these frontline heroes.

On The Job Strategies

1. Communicate with your coworkers and supervisors about job-related stress
While pretending all is well may appear to be a wise career move, it is not. Not only will you risk harming yourself physically or emotionally, the chances of a devastating bout of burnout ramp up dramatically. Be honest about your stress level, and how it is impacting your wellbeing and that of those you care for.

2. Identify factors causing stress and work towards a solution
Bottling up feelings of stress or unhappiness thwarts the opportunity to improve a stressful situation. But an open discussion can launch a journey that identifies the kind of changes and adjustments that can lessen stress and increase job satisfaction.

3. Take breaks
Rather than succumb to the urge to work through lunch or skip a scheduled afternoon break, force yourself to step away even if only for fifteen minutes. And that vacation time that’s been calling your name? Answer with a firm YES. Do not let guilt rob you of the calming, healing effects of getting away. Of course, your team needs you; the patients need you; everyone needs you. But you cannot perform your duties well if stress has a strangle-hold on your life.

4. Talk it out
While some folks shy away from the idea of therapy, talking it out with a mental health professional can prove to be extremely beneficial. Even unloading to a friend can be immensely helpful. Simply putting our feelings into spoken words and receiving confirmation that those emotions are indeed valid can lighten the weight of ongoing stressful situations.

Many organizations offer access to mental health resources for their employees. By all means, seek it out and take advantage of every service or perk your organization offers.

Off The Job Strategies

1. Make your health a priority
Stress often takes jabs at our sense of control, making us feel trapped. Counter that feeling by choosing to make decisions that prioritize you and your health, with a consistent daily routine that creates work/life balance:

2. Get outside
Spend time outdoors often, every day if possible, engaged in physical activity, or just relaxing.

3. Take time for fun
Do something you enjoy every day. On workdays, squeeze in time to read a bit or watch a favorite TV show. On days off, go shopping, have lunch with a friend, stroll through the park, and “people watch.” Choose something that positively breaks your routine.

4. Put a cap on the news
Be realistic about how watching, reading, or listening to the news, as well as social media, impacts you. A steady diet of the world’s woes can ladle on additional stress.

As a healthcare professional, you care for others and deal with stressful situations daily. LeaderStat encourages you to be mindful of how you feel and to practice these and other strategies to manage stress. We appreciate your dedication, and we thank you for all that you do for others.


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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.