Promoting Mental Wellbeing
Among Nursing Staff
Mental health is one of the most important aspects of a healthy society, and it is especially important for those who work in the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the pandemic has significantly impacted the mental health of healthcare providers. Some have reported feeling anxious and stressed, while others have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts.
The negative effects of the healthcare staff’s poor mental health on patient outcomes are also significant. Nurses who are not mentally healthy are less likely to provide quality patient care and may experience burnout and compassion fatigue. They are more likely to make mistakes that can harm their patients.
Role Of Nursing Managers And Leaders
Nursing managers and leaders have the most important role in promoting mental wellness among nurses. If the manager fails to create a supportive environment or resolve conflicts, it will ultimately take a toll on the mental health of the nursing staff. One of the best ways nursing managers and leaders can ensure a healthy workplace is by learning to remain non-judgmental and providing resources and support when needed.
It is also important for nursing leaders to model positive coping strategies, such as self-care and stress management, to ensure that nurses do not fall prey to burnout. Nursing managers and leaders can also help raise awareness about the importance of mental health through educational interventions. They can promote resources, such as mental health hotlines or websites, and encourage staff to seek professional help.
Various nursing programs can help nurses learn leadership qualities and equip them with skills to promote positive mental health outcomes in the workplace.
Most nursing students who want to excel in their field and take up managerial positions may want to compare MSN vs DNP programs offered by different institutes.
However, both degrees offer several advantages and equip the students with effective communication and conflict resolution skills to cope with mental health challenges among staff in hospital settings.
Reasons For Deteriorating Mental Health Among Nurses
Nurses have to deal with a large number of patients with various ailments, which can adversely affect their mental health. Additionally, nurses are often overworked and underpaid. They often do not get the recognition they deserve, leading to feelings of devaluation and frustration. All these factors can contribute to deteriorating mental health among nurses.
Ways to Promote Mental Health Among Nurses
Nursing is a challenging and rewarding profession, but it can also be highly stressful. Nurses constantly deal with patients who are in pain, and they often have to perform many tasks simultaneously, like managing patients and taking care of medication schedules. This can lead to exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
Recommended Strategies for Maintaining Good Mental Health
The following strategies are recommended for maintaining good mental health during difficult times:
1. Encourage Staff to Take a Break
This can include setting aside time for lunch and breaks and offering flexible working hours to allow nursing staff to attend appointments and other personal matters.
Encourage staff members to take a break from work when needed, not just because it’s required by policy. Taking moments to relax and unwind can help provide an emotional release from the chaos of life. Nurse managers and leaders play an important role in encouraging nurses to take better care of their mental health. Nursing managers must try to arrange regular seminars for promoting mental health.
2. Make Sure You Have a Policy Regarding Sick Leave
It’s important to ensure that your staff members take the time they need to recover from illness, especially if they are experiencing symptoms such as depression or anxiety.
3. Ensure a Culture of Mutual Respect
Ensure all staff members are treated with respect and dignity at all times by implementing appropriate communication strategies, policies, and processes. Nursing staff should deal with each other with respect and care. A working space should be positive, as a negative working space discourages nurses and is detrimental to their health.
4. Provide Counseling Services
These services should be provided for staff members who feel stressed out or need support. Offer support groups or activities that help relieve stress and promote mental health among nursing staff.
Talking with friends and family can be a great way to connect, blow off steam, and feel better during difficult times.
5. Encourage Your Staff to Socialize Outside of Work Hours
Socializing is a part of human nature and one that should not be neglected. Encourage the nursing staff to socialize with other nursing professionals and other people in the community outside of work. These people might be able to offer advice on how to improve their skills or give advice on how to combat burnout.
6. Collaborate With Human Resources Professionals
Nursing managers need to work with human resource professionals on developing policies that promote mental health in the workplace, such as performance ratings and pay raises based on job performance or employee development needs, and provide additional training opportunities for employees who need them
7. Encourage Healthy Eating
Nutritious, balanced meals can help promote physical and mental health. Regular physical activity releases endorphins which can help reduce stress and promote a positive outlook. Provide free lunch options for employees who can’t afford it due to low wages or hourly rates. This strategy will instill the belief among nurses that their managers and administrators care about them, ultimately enhancing their morale towards their work. You could encourage them to read resources like this post over on The Nutrition Insider about multivitamins to make sure they are getting the vitamins they need each day.
8. Consider Offering Flexible Working Arrangements
Some qualified nurses may require flexible working hours due to many reasons. Hence, make sure you can accommodate those needs as well as possible
9. Promote a Positive Environment
Foster an environment where everyone feels safe enough to share their true selves without fear of judgment or retaliation from others in the organization. Nurse managers need to maintain an environment where they feel relaxed instead of overwhelmed by their work.
The pandemic has been a major challenge for everyone, and it is understandable that healthcare providers are struggling. However, nurse managers and leaders can lead the way towards a better hospital culture. They can implement strategies to ensure that nurses do not feel burnt out and love their work. Some of the tips mentioned above can help you promote mental wellness amongst the nursing staff.