Stress in Nursing

There are huge levels of stress in nursing. Not only do nurses have to work in a high pressurized environment but the decisions they make can literally be life or death decisions.

Why is there such stress in nursing?

I feel that if we look at society’s attitude around sickness and death we will find the answer.

And what is the answer?

The answer is that as a society we are deeply fearful of illness and death. We fear being ill or feeling unwell. It frightens us so much that we spend a lot of our time focusing on it.

And what does this manifest?

Yes, more sickness. You become what you think about.

Stress in Nursing

So how does this relate to stress and nursing?

Well ask yourself how you feel when you go to a hospital? Do you feel elated or anxious and worried – even if you’re not the sick one?

Most people are anxious and worried. And this is what nurses and doctors have to deal with everyday.

Their patients are not happy and elated but depressed, worried and stressed. And what happens when you work with people like this for a while? You become stressed yourself.

Huge Pressure on Doctors and Nurses

Several of my school-friends are doctors. The stories I have heard about the workload that both doctors and nurses are expected to work under seems ridiculous even bordering on crazy.

One of my friends in particular would be expected to work solidly for up to 14 days straight, leaving for work at 6am and getting home sometimes 10pm.

In the UK it has always been a running joke in the NHS that junior doctors are worked to the bones – they sleep standing up – literally. If they want to succeed as a doctor they have a choice: do the hours or drop out.

Pressure From Above

And I don’t mean from God. I mean from those in charge. Nurses and doctors seem to have a lot of pressure from those that run the health services.

I have heard again many disturbing stories about this but feel it is better to focus on what you can do to alleviate stress than the negatives. Too often we get lost in the negatives and pointing fingers.

So what can you do if you are a nurse and are feeling very stressed?

Stress Management for Nurses

What can you do to cope with this stress if you are a nurse or a doctor?


That’s a possibility but there are also other stress management techniques you can use. I have written an article called stress management for nurses which goes into some detail of the techniques you can use.

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