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Emotional Support For Patients
As a nurse, taking care of patients in the hospital tends to emphasize physical care. Twelve-hour shifts are spent administering medication, monitoring vital signs, conducting physical assessments, administering IVs, and so much more. What is behind all of the physical care nurses provide their patients is the emotional care and support that never falters.
Emotional support can come in many forms, from simply listening to a patient’s concerns to providing reassurance and encouragement. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this is a time of year that could be more difficult on your patients, especially for patients who are dealing with illness or the loss of a loved one. Here are a few ideas for how you can support your patients this Valentine’s Day.
Organize a card-making activity.
Encourage patients to make handmade Valentine’s Day cards for their loved ones. You can bring construction paper, stickers, markers, and other craft materials to help patients get creative!
Bake something yummy
Sweet treats such as chocolates or cookies are always enjoyed. Bring in extra for the break room to celebrate your fellow nurses too.
Decorate the hospital for a photo op.
Easy décor such as balloons, streamers, and signs make for an easy background, and you can take turn snapping pictures of patients in front of the décor to send to loved ones as e-cards!
Bring in some games
Organizing a game day for patients can bring energy to the floor, whether it’s board games, a round of bingo, or even charades!
As nurses, you can play a vital role in providing emotional support to your patients during this time. The simple gestures of card-making or game-playing go a long way regarding emotional well-being.
Emotional Support for You
In order to give support, we often need to recharge from our own support systems. As a travel nurse, you might be a plane ride away from your support system back home, so this Valentine’s Day, find other ways to connect with a support system. Here are some ways to find support while on a travel assignment this Valentine’s Day.
Connect with Home
Set aside time to connect with friends and family back home. Whether it is through regular phone calls, FaceTime, or staying connected through social media, dedicated time to each other will help you feel connected to home.
Lean on your peers
One of the best places to find emotional support is with other travel nurses. Joining a travel nurse association, participating in online forums, or attending travel nurse events can provide a supportive network of peers who understand the unique challenges of this career. These connections can provide a sense of community and a safe place to discuss the ups and downs of travel nursing.
In that light, it is also beneficial to support your own peers in return. Encouraging your colleagues to take breaks when they need them and to talk openly about any stress they may be experiencing can really help both of you.
Find Support in Yourself
In addition to providing emotional support to patients and colleagues, it is crucial that you engage in self-care practices to maintain your own emotional well-being. This can include activities such as meditation, exercise, journaling, or spending time with loved ones. Trust yourself and find balance in your day-to-day, and you will feel a sense of peace with yourself.
Visit a Professional
Lastly, know that you can always seek support in the form of therapy. Talking to a mental health professional can provide a safe and supportive environment to discuss any emotional struggles and will help you develop coping strategies for when the balance in your life feels off.
Show Up For You, Show Up For Patients
This Valentine’s Day, showing up for yourself as well as your patients will go a long way in maintaining emotional support. It is as essential to the healing process just as the physical support you provide is to the process. By providing emotional support to your patients, colleagues, and yourself, you can help create a healing environment that promotes well-being and recovery. So, take the time to make this Valentine’s Day special for everyone in your life, including yourself.
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.