3 Easy Steps Towards Nursing Stress

Are you pressed for time in your nursing profession? Are you always on the go? Do you ever feel stressed out? Are you stressed out during the day in your nursing career? You know what I mean. You get up in the morning and have to rush out of the door to get to your nursing job. At your job, you have 100 things coming at you and a list of tasks to get done for the day. You rush home, you take care of the "stuff" at home, and do it again the next day. So how do you deal with the stress in your nursing profession? More and more nurses and nursing students are dealing with stress at some point of the day. More and more health issues are arising because of stress. How can you kill the root of stress to live a better and healthier career and life?

Here are 3 easy steps to manage stress through your nursing day right now:

1. Plan your day. Write down the tasks that you need to do for the day. Use a day planner or a palm pilot. There are many types of day planners. Choose the one that works for you and
your needs. This will help you see what really is important to get done. And what is not important in your day. This can help reduce the stress in your day by half.

2. Schedule time for yourself. Every week take time for you. Whether it is a whole day or a few hours take the time for you. Watch a movie, take a walk, get your nails done or go get a massage. Do whatever you like to do to relax.Therefore it will help you focus and get more done. You will also gain more energy.

3.If you have too much to get done. Delegate tasks out to someone else. It is okay to get help. Ask for help from friends,family, or co-workers. Or hire someone to take some of the workload off
of you. When you do everything, stress takes over. Your life will start to collapse.

These actions are a start to take a handle on stress. Pick two easy steps and start utilizing it. It is time to get back a better career and life. It will tremendously help your physical body.

Self-Evaluations: Giving Yourself a Voice in the Performance Evaluation Process

As nurses, our performance is typically measured and evaluated using competency assessments and annual performance evaluations.

Competency assessments measure how well nurses can perform specific, day to day job skills, like using a LifePack defibrillator or an inserted an IV. Competency assessments are mandatory and often associated with checklists and skills fairs.
In addition some facilities also give their nurses annual performance appraisals that measure softer skills, such as organization, communication, leadership, etc. The annual appraisal is a valuable tool because it can identify high performers or future leaders, and build a culture of staff accountability.

But often, performance appraisals are treated as a necessary activity we have to "undergo". We receive feedback and ratings on our performance, we're assigned development activities, we're given goals. But you don't have to be a passive receiver. You can easily play an active role in your performance appraisal by completing a self-evaluation as part of the process. Doing a self-evaluation helps make sure that your annual performance appraisal is a fair and objective record of your contributions to patient care, and addresses all your development needs.

A good self-evaluation gives your manager a broader perspective to evaluate your performance. It's often hard for them to fairly evaluate your skills and abilities, and understand all the factors that affect your performance; they typically have responsibility for a large number of nurses, and frequently work different shifts than you do, sometimes even in a different location. By completing a self-evaluation and submitting it to your manager before your performance appraisal meeting, you allow them to view your performance through your eyes and get your "side of the story". This gives them a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and can sometimes highlight areas where you have a difference of opinion. You might even be able to influence your performance rating by providing detail and insight your manager doesn't have.

Playing a more active role in your appraisal process by completing a self-evaluation also empowers you to take charge of your career development. It gives you a chance to have some input on your goals so you can challenge yourself and sign-up for opportunities that can expand your knowledge/skills/experience. It's also an effective way for you to request training and development activities to can help you progress in your career or address skill gaps.

In an ideal world, your facility's performance appraisal process would include a self-evaluation step. But even if it doesn't, that shouldn't stop you. You can be proactive, get a copy of the appraisal form your manager will be using, and complete a self-evaluation on your own. Just make sure you give your manager enough time to review your self-evaluation before they have to complete their own evaluation of your work.

Your employee performance appraisal doesn't have to be a passive process that you "undergo". Play an active role in your facility's performance management process as well as in your career by thoughtfully completing and submitting an employee self-evaluation.

Abortion, Is it Ethical or Unethical?

The word is a controversial one, so much that it can’t be brought up without some sort of rhetorical discussion following. Legalized after the landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, abortion is just one option available to women who find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

The choice to go through with a pregnancy, or to terminate it, is a very personal one that can only be made by the woman herself. Adoption is another option that women must consider if they are not sure. After she has been counseled regarding abortion facts and information, and has had time to familiarize herself with the pros and cons of medical and surgical procedures, she can make the best choice based on what is right for her.

Factual information about abortion-related topics can be found from various websites including the National Abortion Federation at www.prochoice.org, featuring a series of researched guides that cover topics related to abortion facts and abortion care. The safety of different types of procedures is discussed, medical versus surgical removal of the fetus, types of complications from each, prevention of complications, and more useful information about access to abortion, the ‘day after pill’, post-abortion issues, and statistical highlights about the incidence of abortion in the United States and Canada. 

For instance, consider these abortion facts; almost half of all pregnancies among American women are unintended, and about half of these unplanned pregnancies are ended by abortion. Women who have abortions come from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds, and tend to be between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five years.

Given that unintended pregnancy is an issue that affects thousands of people each year, abortion is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States. Women seek abortion for many reasons, and it isn’t just a method of birth control like some may think. Unplanned pregnancies happen, and not every women is emotionally, physically, or financially capable of carrying a healthy baby to term and caring for it afterward. 

Help for pregnant women including teaching on abortion, development of baby, physical and psychological effects, and more information can be found at local Planned Parenthood agencies and online. Need to speak to someone right away? Visit www.abortionfacts.com where visitors can access a toll free number to call to speak with a live consultant, get abortion facts and links to comprehensive information about all abortion options, and get connected to help and support services locally.

The Facts About Alcohol Addiction

If you are suffering from an alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Alcoholism is a word that sometimes has negative social connotations, and just because a person drinks alcohol does not mean that they are an alcoholic. The amount of alcohol consumed varies greatly from person to person that develops alcoholism, and is also affected by genetic predisposition, and social and emotional health.

Alcohol by definition is a disease that results from a persistent use of alcohol despite negative personal, emotional, financial, and professional consequences. Heavy alcohol use accompanied by dependence and symptoms of withdrawal, and the inability to recognize that every bad thing has been related to an alcohol addiction. The sometimes uncontrollable urge to drink leads to constant preoccupation with the drug.

According to numerous online sources, the most common substance of abuse resulting in dependence in patients presenting for treatment is alcohol. Overcoming an addiction to anything can be difficult, but there is help and hope available to people who want to stop drinking and get their lives back on track. The mind is more powerful than any drug, and to discover this is to truly be on the road to recovery. Addicts have to make a conscious choice to get and stay sober, one day at a time, and learn how to control the cravings. It’s not something that can be done alone, which is why there are treatment facilities all over the country, most of which are privately owned substance abuse recovery centers.

The philosophy of AA or Alcoholics Anonymous has proven to be helpful to many alcoholics in their fight against alcohol addiction, and the program is often used as an adjunct treatment with other therapies, such as in an inpatient setting. AA also encourages communication with a sponsor to help guide the addict through the recovery process, and provide support while working through the program.

Learn more about effects of alcohol as well as alcohol facts and the truth about alcohol addiction. Some online literature discusses at length what drives alcohol addiction, detailing the effects of alcohol and describes some of the research being done to correct drinking problems.

Alcohol continues to be the most greatly abused substance despite the wide-spread negative consequences. Even after public outbursts, divorce, loss of employment, revocation of driving privileges, and loss of life and limb, alcoholics continue to drink because it is so highly addicted in people who are predisposed to this disease.

If you or someone you know is giving part of their life to alcohol, encourage them to get help. It may take a series of bad events to get the point across, and for many alcoholics, this is what it takes to see their illness in a different light.

Healthy Living

The definition of healthy living is different for each and every person, but there are two things that most agree on. You have to learn to eat good foods that nourish your body, and you have to have some sort of exercise in your day to day life. These things can be harder than people think when they set off on a new plan for a better life, and that is why it is sometimes smart to go ahead one step at a time until you have gotten where you want to be with your lifestyle habits and your health.

Diet modification is a great start when moving towards healthy living. This is something that you have to be careful with, however, as there is a lot of bad advice out there. If you aren’t sure which way to turn, talk with your doctor about changing your diet for healthy living, and get recommendations from them. They will probably know the name of a good nutritionist that can get you going on the right track. These people can show you what you should be eating, what to avoid, and what you can have in moderation. A nutritionist should have a college degree, so don’t be afraid to ask them about their training.

If you aren’t sure about exercise in regards to healthy living, know that any type of movement is good for you. If you are not someone who moves around a lot, you can get some great benefits from just walking around the block. After a while, you may want to add more to your routine, and that is when a gym is a great idea. You should hire a personal trainer to help you find the things that work best for you in your quest for healthy living. Remember, not all personal trainers are good. If someone seems off or you don’t like what they are doing, do yourself a favor and move on to the next one.

Other parts of healthy living might be things you have to quit doing. This might mean you have to find a way to stop smoking, and you may have to alter or lower your intake of alcohol. You may have more trouble with these than anything else that you do. What you should do is visit with your doctor again, only this time tell them you want help with quitting or cutting back. There is a lot of emphasis on healthy living these days, and most doctors will be glad to help you in your quest, even if they feel that they have to refer you to someone else. It’ll be hard to change all of these things, but once you get going, you will enjoy your results too much to turn back to life before you found healthy habits.