Caring for Sick Patients: Fighting the Anxiety · The Gypsy Nurse

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By Jackson Nurse Professionals

August 11, 2020



Combating Anxiety While Caring for Chronically Sick Patients

This article provided by: Jackson Nurse Professionals.

It’s common for nurses to get emotionally invested in their patients. Of all the health care professionals, nurses are the ones providing comfort, condolences, and compassion to patients visiting a doctor’s office, hospital, or other care facilities. Strong and successful nurses have a natural instinct to nurture, and because of this, it can be difficult to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with caring for a sick patient.

Specifically, travel nurses may find it especially hard to cope with these difficulties because they’re dealing with other personal stressors, like settling into a new assignment and being away from family and friends.

While a challenging situation, there are plenty of ways for traveling nurses to combat the anxiety that comes with caring for a sick patient. Consider the following tips:

Is it something you can control?

Responding emotionally to a patient’s diagnosis or state of health is normal. But, you have to keep working, right? You’re a professional. So, ground yourself before and after these encounters by identifying what you can and cannot solve. For example, if you have a patient who is confrontational or extremely upset after diagnosis, no problem. You can control your reaction, realizing the emotional trauma the patient has just been dealt. But, if a patient finds out he or she is terminal, you can “solve” the shock of the news by providing comfort and encouragement while still being empathetic to the gravity of the situation. Reacting to their emotions in a confrontational manner or focusing on the factors that are out of your control will only increase your anxiety. So, pull back, focus, and choose differently. 

You’re a Gypsy Nurse, right?

One of the reasons you became a travel nurse was to explore new places and take on exciting adventures. With a stressful job as a nurse, you have to rely on these opportunities to relax and make time for yourself. Set aside a few hours weekly or daily to do something new. It fuels your soul. In fact, on your days off, when you’re exploring, intentionally meet new people. The only way for you to avoid burnout and the emotional turmoil that can come with being a nurse is by doing the things that make you a #GypsyNurse. Avoiding activity due to anxiety or depression will only accelerate your condition, not alleviate it. So, go outside girl. And, do something. 

Why are you a travel nurse? 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to why you decided to take on the profession of travel nursing in the first place. It’s not just about exploring different locations; you get to exercise your passion for caring for others. It’s what you were destined to do! Caring for others is a priceless opportunity, and you can’t imagine yourself involved in any other type of career. No matter how overwhelming your job can be, you’re a skilled professional with a selfless and caring nature. That’s who you are

You might have to take steps to ground yourself from patient to patient, but with a little self-analysis and self-care, you’ll be ready to walk into your patient’s room again. 

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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