Whether you work full time or part time, long days or short days, nights, early shifts, late shifts, twilights or any combination of the above; you will spend a lot of your time at work. If you really love your job and can’t think of anything else you will ever want to do (which hopefully will be most, if not all of you) it might not seem like work, but it is still extremely important that you have a good work/life balance.
Life can be a juggling act sometimes; we have so many things that we need to do and it can require some extreme planning if we want to fit it all in. You’ll know from your training how difficult it can be to focus on more than just your student life, and although when you qualify you’ll have less pressure to revise or write essays it can still be difficult to fit everything in. Maintaining a good work/life balance is essential in keeping you happy and healthy, and there are so many aspects to it.
Maintaining a good work/life balance has so many benefits for yourself, your patients and your colleagues, for example:
|Benefits to you||· A positive work/life balance helps you to stay happy and healthy both in your mind and body. It helps to promote positive mental health, massively reduces levels of stress and helps enable your immune system to work effectively by helping you to get adequate rest.
· A happier you helps to create a happier home life for yourself and your family, meaning that you’re less likely to be stressed at home
· Massively boosts your job satisfaction, meaning that you’re more likely to grow in skills and confidence with more ease
|Benefits to your patients||· Your patients will receive the highest standard of care they possibly can from their focused and cheerful nurse (that’s you!).
· In turn they will have a more positive experience overall which can help them avoid feeling stressed and anxious while in hospital/in the community (depending on your work setting).
|Benefits to your colleagues/team||· Your positivity will have a great effect on the morale of your colleagues. This will help to improve the way your team works together and will create a wonderful working environment.
· This will then act as a cycle, because the better the working environment, the less stressful it will be, meaning that you’re less likely to suffer from ‘burnout’.
Nursing can be very stressful, and we face a lot of pressure both physically and emotionally. If this is all that we focus our time and energy on, we will very quickly get dragged down by it, so it is extremely important that we have a healthy work/life balance. It’s really great to enjoy what you do for a living, and there is a well known saying that goes “choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. This is all very well and good, but even the best jobs can get on top of you if you throw everything you have at them; if all we do is work, regardless of how much we enjoy it we will quickly start to feel the consequences – stress and exhaustion will in turn lead to burnout.
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