Charts: 5 Coping Secrets Nurses Have Mastered

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Listicles, the sort of blogs everyone loves to hate or hates to love, depending on how you butter your toast. Fact is, you've voted yes for these type of blogs with your clicks, so we're gonna give you what you want.
 
We're calling this series "Charts." Every month we'll hone in on a corner of the wellness profession, cracking open secrets held close to those in the know. The advice is meant to be kidding on the square; think serious advice with a twinkle in its eye.
 
You may share these with the lovely people who live outside your clinic or classroom. Then you can pat yourself on the back for a good deed. You're a hero. (To us you are anyway.)
 
Today, we reveal what winning nurses already know about not losing their heads. Apply these outside the clinic to let the problems of the world slide off your shoulders, but be advised: this list may seem simple, but mastery ain't easy.
 
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1. Smile :-) or, at least, grin and bear it.
 
Smiley nurses are the best nurses. The power of a warm smile has the ability to make someone's day, to charm and to transcend pain and worry.
 
In addition to the positive effects that a smile has on those around you, did you know that smiling actually has scientifically proven health benefits to the person smiling too?
 
Smiling generates endorphins and reduces stress regardless of whether the smile comes as a genuine expression of happiness or whether it is faked.
 
The good news is that science has proven that the brain can't tell the difference, so either way if you put on a smile you will reap the benefits, and so will those around you.
 
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2. Care for yourself
 
Familiar with the old adage, "You can't care for someone if you don't first care for yourself"? Nurses are renowned for being some of the most selfless and caring people around.
 
With so much time dedicated to the care of others, winning nurses know that you need to take the time to care for yourself and recharge in order to be the best nurse you can be.
 
Self-care can involve things like making time for regular exercise, fuelling your body with good nutrition, spending time with friends and family, spending time in nature, getting a massage, basically, whatever helps you to feel good and rejuvenated.
 
This is going to help you have more energy to give to others without feeling like you have nothing left for yourself.
 
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3. Continue to grow
 
Nursing and healthcare are ever evolving and advancing fields, nurses at the top of their game know this and they dedicate time to staying abreast of these changes through continued learning and professional development.
 
Opportunities for continued learning and professional development aren't always handed out to nurses on a platter. Often they require self-motivation and initiative on behalf of the nurse to seek out.
 
The benefits of this dedication involve improved practice, advanced skills, and improved patient management.
 
Let's face it there are people within the healthcare field who are practising outdated techniques, who are ill informed about advancements and progressions that have been made since they originally gained their qualification.
 
Winning nurses know that to be at the top of your game, sometimes you need to but in a little bit extra to reap the rewards. Promotion anyone?
 
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4. Practice kindness
 
Let's face it, being hospitalised or requiring medical attention are often trying times for individuals and their families. Some nurses don't realise the extent of the impact they have on a patient's experience while receiving medical care.
 
Practising kindness really is one of the most important things a nurse can do for their patients. In fact, it is well documented that the kindness, empathy and compassion a nurse gives to their patients plays a significant role in the healing process.
 
The best nurses know that even though their patient might be cranky, you can't actually kill them with kindness, but you might help them recover sooner.
 
Besides, the world needs more kindness and as a super nurse you realise that the positive influence you have on people extends beyond the clinic or hospital walls.
 
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5. Develop the patience of a saint
 
Patience is a virtue, even if patients are not always. The truly stellar nurses out there are the ones who have the patience of a saint.
Patience enables kindness, it is a lot harder to convey kindness while rushing around, but nurses often rush because they are super busy - we hear you say.
 
This is true but patience doesn't mean you need to go slow and run behind, patience can be viewed as quality of time. For example taking the time needed, no more or no less but being present, calm and focussed on the task at hand.
 
Realising that rushing can lead to errors that take longer to fix and dawdling frustrates co-workers and holds up processes. Patient nurses take the time needed to do a good job and help their patients feel cared for.
 
Not a patient person? The good news is, patience can be learned.
 
There you go. Master those five to find your super-zen inner core. Consider yourself fully trained on the top five virtues that nurses practice every day. Your mission is to hone these five skills through trial and error. Also, share what you've learned.
 
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