How to Manage Stress on Assignment

There’s little doubt that medical travelers are some of the most dedicated professionals around, bar none. Most go above and beyond in carrying out their jobs. It should be no surprise, that in an inherently demanding industry like healthcare, stress is a common complaint. Thankfully, dealing with work-induced stress can be a manageable task. Explore a few techniques you can use to cope.

Identify what’s causing your stress

To better deal with stress, it’s helpful to first identify what’s causing it. In an in-depth article on stress management, Mayo Clinic suggests listing your primary sources of stress, taking care to note whether they are “external exasperations” or “internal irritations.”

In healthcare jobs, many stressors are external. Dealing with a seemingly endless number of difficult patients is a common stressor among travelers. External work stresses could also be environmental in nature, such as the constant whir of machines slowly grating on your nerves. In the case of external stresses, boosting your resilience to stress through various means of self-care is one of the best ways to cope in the long-term.

Note that stress for many healthcare workers can also be internal, factors such as a fear of failure or feelings of uncertainty can hamper your ability to work at your best. Self-care techniques can also help with these kinds of stressors, but are more often geared toward reframing your thoughts and shifting your attitudes about yourself.

Practice self-care techniques

As we touched on above, taking time to care for yourself can help make you more resistant to stress and change your outlook so that you can shrug off internal feelings of doubt. Here’s a list of five superbly beneficial self-care techniques and what they can do for you:

casual-cook-cooking-1253589Cooking — The simple act of cooking can serve as a creative outlet that helps take the mind off of stress and channel your energy into something productive.

Meditation — As few as ten minutes a day spent meditating can help “control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.”

ExerciseAccording to Mayo Clinic, “Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever,” by releasing endorphins in the body.

Prayer — Prayer and spirituality provide a form of social support that can be critical in overcoming stressful situations.

Journaling — Journaling provides a way for you to clarify your thoughts, which can help when trying to sort out what has you stressed.

Taking time to perform such techniques daily will help you in your long-term struggle with stress, and tip the balance in your favor.

compassion fatigue

In the world of healthcare and caregiving, compassion fatigue — a particular kind of stress that is caused by feeling empathetic toward the plights of others — is often cited as a major stressor.

Those suffering from compassion fatigue may feel that their ability to function is crippled, or that they’re overwhelmed by their responsibilities, but it’s important to resist the urge to throw out empathy altogether in an effort to avoid this kind of stress.

In truth, those deep connections and meaningful moments with patients can actually provide you with a boost, and reduce the effect of other everyday stressors. Beyond that, empathy is what draws many people into healthcare fields, and is an important trait in executing your duties with excellence, so it’s a characteristic you should nurture to the best of your ability.

Looking to become part of a healthcare family that takes your well-being into account? Look no further than Triage Staffing. Be sure to check out our allied and travel nurse jobs to learn more about the opportunities we have available.