Can I Handle the Stress of the Nursing Field?

Many people shy away from becoming a certified nursing assistant because they hear of how stressful it can be.  Although staffing shortages, financial hardships, and more complex case loads are plaguing the field of nursing, it is still a rewarding and valued career choice.  The key to being a success is knowing how to handle the stresses that come with the profession.

Recognizing your stress level is first and foremost.  Being able to detect early warning signs in yourself can prevent things like burn out, anger, or depression.  Many people experience warning signals such as:  exhaustion, change in appetite, headaches, insomnia, crying, chest pain, or difficulty concentrating.  If you feel any of these symptoms, you should evaluate the stress level of your situation.

Learning to manage stressful situations is key to accomplishing a sound mind and exceptional career that you can be proud of.  There are several ways to deal with stress.  One way is to remove yourself from the situation.   Ensure the situation is safe, and then take a 5 minute breather.    This can be the refreshment that you need to clear your mind.

Nursing and Stress

Make sure you are getting enough sleep.  It has been shown that lack of proper amounts of sleep can lead to nervousness, overreactions, and trouble focusing.  These problems can fuel the fire of stress and make a small problem soon become big.  Rest is vital to a clear mind.

Find ways to relax when you are not at work.  Meditation, prayer, yoga, deep breathing, aroma therapy, or just quiet movies on the couch are all ways to unwind.  The key is to get your mind off the things that cause you stress and give your brain and body some much needed down time.  This will better prepare you to properly react to stressful situations.

Remember the following for stress management:

-Some things are out of your control so don’t waste time worrying about them.  The only thing you have full control over is your own reactions.

-Solve problems that are small first.  It can be overwhelming to tackle big problems.  Solving the smaller ones will give you a sense of accomplishment.

-Well balanced meals and regular exercise should not be underestimated.  They are a must for a low stress, healthy life.

-Share your feelings with someone you trust.  This will take the weight off your shoulders and possibly give you a different perspective.

Lastly, be positive.  See the glass as half full.  Try to put all your focus on whatever you can find positive with each new situation.  And smile.  Smiles are contagious.  Be the one to turn the mood to happy and not angry.  All these tips can lead to a long, successful, and happy career in the nursing field.

Expert Contribution by: Nicolle Wagner, RN, BSN, RAC-CT

12 Responses to Can I Handle the Stress of the Nursing Field?

  1. Jolene December 6, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    Sometimes I think the facility where I work does not value the cna very much. I don’t think they treat us with respect. It is hard to be caring when the facility doesn’t seem to care about you. Any ideas?

    • Lynnea June 25, 2011 at 2:40 am #

      WOW!!! Don’t let a facility that doesn’t care about you take your caring side away..then you will become uncaring about the ones who need it..
      I”m studying for CNA..and I am not one yet, but wow…I know its probably hard to be caring in some peoples cases..but why let them ruin your caring ways?
      Maybe you need to talk to the facility and let them know how you feel.

  2. Josie December 10, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    I teach nurse aides and I used to be a nurse aide myself. I think it is a very rewarding profession but it can also be very stressful. Sometimes the residents with dementia are very challenging to care for. Also, some facilities do not show their staff that they care for them. If you are going to be a good caregiver for the residents and the facility, I think it is important that you feel valued for the work you do. I would love to hear from any working nurse aides who would like to share their story. Please do not reveal actual names and places as we must keep those details confidential.

    Thanks, Josie

  3. Bunmi Adeoye Adeyemo January 10, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    I am a Nigerian who would like to build a career in nursing but i,m a degree holder in Special Education from the University of Ibadan,Nigeria.I really want to start with CNA because of fund and later go for nursing courses.Is it possible to merge my Special Education skills with CNA certification and wheres the best school that i can train?Although i,ve found Manhattan Institute on the internet.How soon does one get a job as soon as one completes the CNA training?Is there an age limit for this training and what are the requirements for international students?

    • Admin January 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      Hi Bunmi,
      I’m not sure about the transferring of your certification from your home state but I’ll try to answer all the other questions. Jobs for CNA’s are in high demand depending on where you look. You can normally find employment in a nursing home with ease. There’s no age limit for the training but you are expected to be at least 18.

  4. Ebrima June 16, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    can i work with my licence that i have obtained from COlorado in another state?

    • Admin June 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      You’ll have to transfer your certification to the state you want to work in. You can not work with a Colorado license anywhere outside of Colorado.

  5. Cheryl October 23, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Hi Josie I wish we could find someone to come to a high school to teach Nurse Aide Classes this will help open up the work force for all of the woman who want to be CNAS i think this will help Wish the state will help with some funding to a high school that will have the class this will open up a lot of work for people make the Community happy to know that after the classes there is work….. Thankyou Cheryl

  6. Prem bista July 11, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    I can face any kind of stress

  7. lillyk July 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    I was certified in 2009. Is there an institution or school that I can be re-certify for less in Prince Georges Maryland.

  8. annie October 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    please some one need to set up a cna classes in georgetown south carolina where i can attend. I would love to get in a class. I’m a firefighter but i’m not a EMT. anne

  9. amy April 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I am a new cna in a nursing home…im finding it difficult to handle because ive only done home health up to this point…it gets stressful at times but ive made a decision is that im not going to let it overwhelm me…im only one person and I can only do so much…ive been told by other cna’s that this is the best way to handle it…do your best and accept the fact that your not a superhero

Leave a Reply