Nurse crouched in hospital corridor

Why 1 in 3 Australian nurses are unhappy

Nurses deal with all types of patients. And in the early stages, they often don’t know how to handle situations that escalate. Leading to many nurses coping with feelings of incompetence.

The Monash Business School has launched a new study on the wellbeing of nurses and midwives. They found that almost a third of Australia's nurses are thinking of leaving the profession because they’re overworked, undervalued and in danger of burning out.

With the nature of nursing comes hard work that needs to be completed accurately, quickly. Add the physical and emotional strain to an intense workload, and it’s not hard to see why nurses are struggling.

If you’re a nurse and you’re experiencing these problems, there are things you can do to make yourself stronger, both physically, mentally, and spiritually.

1. Physically: Do exercises to keep your back strong

Every day, you’re lifting and holding patients. This is why back health is one of the most important points for nurses, so you’re not putting yourself at risk of injury. Understand the concept of muscle balance – strengthening all of your muscles. For your core strength, focus on the back, gluteal, pelvic area, and abdomen. Here are a few exercises you can follow in the comfort of your own home. They include the plank, superman (hyperextensions), pelvic lifts, abdominal crunches, and quadruped.
 

2. Mentally: Exercise your self-awareness

As a nurse, you witness a lot of tragedy. It can be all-consuming. And while it’s important to stay compassionate and nurturing to people in need, you need to guard yourself against compassion fatigue through self-awareness. Don’t forget who you are. Think about your unique talents and abilities, personality traits, beliefs, values, and what makes you happy.
 

3. Spiritually: Meditate every day

We can’t underestimate the power of meditation. It’s one of the simplest habits to add into your day to help manage the stress of nursing. Meditation enables you to stay present and control your own mind. You can do mini meditations throughout the day. The great thing is that you can do it anytime you’ve got a spare five minutes to yourself.
 
You’re constantly on your feet for long periods of time at work, so moving isn’t the issue. But there’s an opportunity to strengthen your body and mind by following these strategies.
 
For chiropractic or physiotherapy support, you have access to it through Emergency Services Health's Extras cover.