In healthcare, there’s no such thing as a typical workday. One shift may be a little chaotic, while another may be full of unexpected problems or even emergencies. No one knows exactly what may happen from one minute to the next. What’s the best way to survive – and even succeed – in that type of employment environment? Learn to go with the flow.
Got a problem? Find a solution
When problems arise, people react in different ways. Some freeze while others panic; some do nothing, and others find solutions. Not surprisingly, employees who focus on finding solutions are more likely to succeed and less likely to be immobilized by stress. As an article in Forbes magazine noted, “When you examine workplace stress closely, you see that someone’s stress often rises the moment they switch from a solution-focus to a problem-focus.”
Take a few seconds
When a stressful situation arises, adrenaline spikes. Although that rush of adrenaline can help fuel quick action, it must be channeled appropriately first. For some people, a few deep breaths do the trick. Others think through the problem or count to 10. One nursing instructor teaches a one-minute meditation called STOP:
- Slow down
- Take three deep breaths
- Observe your mind and body
- Proceed with your day
Take a break
A break is a respite from work, but it’s also a valuable way to recharge batteries – and more. As noted in an article in Psychological Science, “[People] require a reserve of cognitive resources to maintain performance throughout the day. When demands are reduced, such as during leisure time, cognitive resources are restored.”
Just as it’s important to take breaks at work, it’s also important to take breaks from work. Why? The article explains, “It’s common for people to feel tired after work, but after taking time off for a vacation or a fun evening out, they’re likely to feel refreshed or recovered.”
Figure out what works
Employees in any field can experience work stress. In healthcare, that stress can be even greater because a patient’s health may be at stake. There are a few other tips that may be helpful:
- Get organized – working in a disorganized state makes it much more difficult to cope with stress and respond to problems and emergencies.
- Expect the unexpected – living by the old adage “Expect the worst and hope for the best” is an excellent way to be prepared for bumps in the road.
- Communicate – when emergencies arise, teamwork can be especially important. In order to function optimally, a team needs to communicate.
The countdown is on
A shift is made up of hundreds of minutes. A problem, crisis or emergency can arise at any minute. When staff members are able to respond quickly, appropriately, and professionally, they improve patient care, but they also improve their own chances to succeed. To learn more about making the most of every minute, and every chance to succeed, contact 365 Healthcare Staffing Services where we staff a number of healthcare fields, including sterilization technicians.