Providing in-home care to pediatric patients is incredibly rewarding. However, as those in the profession already know, it's also demanding. If you’re an in-home pediatric nurse, you undoubtedly face both physical challenges and emotional hurdles at times. To avoid burnout and ensure you can continue providing the most comprehensive care possible, here’s what you should know about self-care.
Why Nurses Should Prioritize Self-Care
Taking care of patients day after day is exhausting. This is especially true for in-home nurses, who are always on the clock. Living in a state of chronic stress can have serious consequences, though, for both providers and their patients. For example, nurses who fail to take time to unwind are more vulnerable to infection, as constant stress weakens immunity. Should they end up getting sick, they could expose their patient to the illness before symptoms even arise.
Pushing yourself to the limit will impact mental health over time, as well. Nurses who don't prioritize their own needs will become irritable, which will affect both their personal and professional relationships, not to mention the quality of care they end up providing.
How to Devise a Self-Care Regimen
Practicing self-care can be as simple as incorporating mindful breathing exercises into your daily routine. Just 10 minutes of meditation can reduce stress and promote total relaxation, regardless of the surroundings. For a longer, more immersive experience, attend a yoga class on your day off.
Naturally, eating well, exercising often, and getting plenty of sleep are also essential components of self-care. Neglecting any one of these will only make you more vulnerable to burnout.
Spending time with friends and loved ones is another important aspect of self-care. It can be hard to make the time to socialize, but isolating yourself on your days off will only contribute to loneliness, which has the potential to cause depression. Go on one outing with friends on every day off. This could be as simple as inviting them to the yoga class you were already planning to attend.
At J&D Ultracare, we encourage our team to prioritize self-care. Based in Suffern, NY, we connect qualified pediatric nurses with children in the Hudson Valley who need care. What’s more, we let our employees know we appreciate them by offering generous benefits and field-based training that promotes career development. To start working with families throughout Westchester County and the Bronx, reach out on our website or call (845) 357-4500.