Nurses are the assets of the healthcare community. They are the frontliners who stand by their patients, take care of them and assist them in their speedy recovery. Nursing has always been considered as a stressful profession. Coping up with the rapidly changing circumstances, dealing with huge workload and meeting the emotional needs of patients and their families altogether, can be very challenging. So, the nurses need to keep a balance between their work and emotional as well as work stress.
Self-Care Practices Indicated From Module 1
In my opinion, self-care practices are important to keep a nurse motivated in her work field. Self-care refers to any practices which we perform to provide ourselves with mental, spiritual and physical satisfaction. Hence, self-care is extremely important for us as it alleviates stress, enhances our capacity to provide empathy and compassion to patients and improves our performance at work. We need to keep ourselves happy, satisfied and motivated to bring a positive change in the lives of our patients. Compassion fatigue and burnout are two common stress related factors (Renpenning, Taylor and Pickens, 2016) that I can relate to. As we engage ourselves in meeting the needs of our patients, we tend to set aside our needs. Both of these factors reduce our motivation, thus, hampering our capacity to provide quality of care, as their effects make us radiate less compassion and empathy towards our patients (Starc, 2018). In such conditions, self-care practices like taking out time to focus on our daily requirements, exercising, meditating and consuming balanced diet always help to relieve stress.
Personal Wellness Wheel and Areas of Concern and Development
The screenshot of my personal wellness wheel is given below.
Fig: My Personal Wellness Wheel
According to this wheel, my areas of concern are health, environment, finance, family and enjoyment. This chart shows the factors on which I must work upon to improve my physical and mental well-being. Belonging to an unsatisfactory work environment can affect mental health and demotivate us from giving our best performance. Building a healthy relationship with our clinical environment is crucial for that matter. It also impacts our psychosocial behaviour (Mbakaya et al, 2020). Enjoyment is also required in our personal life to remove work stress. Enjoying the work is also necessary as it make us passionate about patient care and helps us value their emotions (Chang, Han and Cho, 2020), (Smith, Rogowski and Lake, 2020). Maintaining good relationship with our family members keep us satisfied and provides us with the required emotional and psychological support. It also helps us extend this support to our patients who are undergoing treatment. Financial motivation also stimulates our performance. Rewards of appreciation and regular incentives ensure nursing efficiency in the hospitals. Financial crisis may also demolish a nurse’s motivation as their work is very hectic.
Orem’s Universal Theory and Its Implications
Orem’s Universal Theory suggests some requisites on which the self-care practices of nurses are based (Malekzadeh, Amouzeshi and Mazlom, 2018). According to requisite 3, we must maintain a proper balance between activity and rest as irregular sleep patterns and sleep deprivation lead to severe fatigue, which lowers our physical activities and performance. Sufficient sleep is a good medicine for stress recovery. According to requisite 4, we must maintain a proper balance between social interaction and solitude. Alone time is necessary to fulfil our desires and gives us time to focus on self-development. It reboots our brain, builds mental strength and improves our concentration and productivity. Social interaction is also a part of our job as we are required to communicate with our patients frequently and understand their emotions. It is also necessary to socialize with people apart from work as it helps to maintain psychological well-being. I will have balance in both cases. I will take rest between my shifts, get sleep for 7-9 hours and perform physical exercises like biking and yoga every morning to energize myself. I also look forward to maintain my habit of taking out some time from the busy schedule to go to church and pray as it keeps me morally and spiritually upbeat.
Self-Strategy Resource Development
Self-care strategy should be such that it boosts and energizes us as well as maintains our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. My physical care strategy involves eating balanced diet, which has lesser amounts of fat and sugar and rich in fibre, remaining physically active (Ross et al, 2017), as sedentary lifestyle often makes us lazy, and abstaining from bad habits like smoking or substance use, which is often seen in nurses. My mental and emotional care strategy involves management of stress by getting adequate sleep, socializing after work, taking breaks in between shifts and maintaining healthy relationship with family and co-workers. My spiritual well-being strategy involves visiting the church in the morning, practising meditation, reading books and journals, spending time with nature and taking some time out to do what I love like painting. I developed my own strategy by exploring my daily activities and hobbies and rethinking on the way I can make every day better. More self-care is equal to more self-love which radiates out in the form of deeper kindness and compassion, required to treat patients in a better way. This strategy will act as a medication when my work life poses stress and anxiety due to workload and work pressure. It will keep me motivated and passionate about my work and will help me to chalk out better ways of treatment, as if I remain healthy and cheerful, then, my patients will definitely get the vibe and positive energy to make their lives better.
From this essay, we get to know the importance of self-care practices and how it affects our health and well-being. We need to keep ourselves happy and motivated so that we can radiate empathy and compassion to our patients. Nursing is such a profession which demands patients’ wellness above the nurses. They do not get time to focus on their own needs and requirements. Hence, self-care practices are essential to seal the gap. It increases their ability to perceive difficult situations and manage emotions. It also helps to prevent the negative consequences like compassion fatigue and nurse burnout, which are detrimental to the healthcare community.
Chang, S., Han, K., & Cho, Y. (2020). Association of happiness and nursing work environments with job crafting among hospital nurses in South Korea. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(11), 4042. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114042
Malekzadeh, J., Amouzeshi, Z., & Mazlom, S. R. (2018). A quasi?experimental study of the effect of teaching Orem's self?care model on nursing students’ clinical performance and patient satisfaction. Nursing Open, 5(3), 370-375. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.151
Mbakaya, B. C., Kalembo, F. W., Zgambo, M., Konyani, A., Lungu, F., Tveit, B., ... & Bvumbwe, T. (2020). Nursing and midwifery students’ experiences and perception of their clinical learning environment in Malawi: a mixed-method study. BMC nursing, 19(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-020-00480-4
Renpenning, K., Taylor, S., & Pickens, J. (2016). Foundations of Professional Nursing : Care of Self and Others (9th ed.). Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Ross, A., Bevans, M., Brooks, A. T., Gibbons, S., & Wallen, G. R. (2017). Nurses and health-promoting behaviors: Knowledge may not translate into self-care. AORN journal, 105(3), 267-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2016.12.018
Smith, J. G., Rogowski, J. A., & Lake, E. T. (2020). Missed care relates to nurse job enjoyment and intention to leave in neonatal intensive care. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(8), 1940-1947. https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12943
Starc, J. (2018). Stress factors among nurses at the primary and secondary level of public sector health care: the case of Slovenia. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 6(2), 416. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2018.100