Nurses Under Stress: Managing a Demanding Profession


The nursing profession is extremely stressful. Nurses are responsible for someone’s physical and mental well-being, which can take a toll on the nurse’s mental health. After all, they frequently work long night shifts in busy settings while providing care for several patients, and sometimes the situation is genuinely life-or-death. Among the most underrated yet significant problems nurses encounter is stress. It manifests in many facets of a nurse’s professional and private life. The physical demands and tiredness can be taxing, and the emotional exhaustion is limitless. The ethical and moral needs of the profession are always in nurses’ thoughts. Not to mention how nurses strive to switch everything off while at home with their families and friends. The results of patient and patient care might occasionally also be impacted by this stress on the nurses’ health. It also lowers nurse retention and may harm healthcare organizations’ financial health. Finding strategies for stress management is essential for nurses’ physical and psychological states. Thus, the paper aims to analyze the methods of dealing with stress in the nursing profession.

Nurses’ Responsibility for the Patient’s Healthcare

Nurses perform a rather demanding job with the need to provide 24-hour care for the patient. The professionals must assist the people depending on their shift from the early morning to late night. Additionally, with a doctor’s order, most nurses can provide their patients with drugs and treatments (Oldland et al., 2020). They might also help in creating a plan of care for their patients. It’s possible for specialized nurses, such as nurse practitioners, to write prescriptions for medicines without a doctor’s consent.

Nurses may assist with various medical procedures, such as catheter insertion, bandage changes, and wound cleansing and dressing. Moreover, nurses may help doctors with more complex operations or provide emergency treatment for patients with severe conditions (Oldland et al., 2020). A wide range of diagnostic procedures may be carried out by nurses, including assessing vital signs and obtaining tissue, blood, stool, or urine samples for testing.

Since they require this data to make an accurate diagnosis and create treatment plans, nurses must pay special attention to specifics to ensure that these tests are done correctly. Furthermore, nurses may be in charge of reviewing the findings and communicating them to other of their hospital personnel (Oldland et al., 2022). At the outset of a patient visit, nurses frequently do a physical examination to determine the patient’s general health. This may entail measuring the patient’s temperature, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure and collecting these measurements. The patient may also have their reflexes tested, their lymph nodes checked, and their eyes, ears, nose, and throat examined during this medical check. The physical examination allows patients to discuss their health objectives and concerns while also giving nurses and the other medical staff a status report on the patient’s health.

Aspects and Management of Professional Work

One of the crucial aspects of nursing work is communication with the patient’s family members and team. There is more to communication between the nurse, patient, and relatives than merely sharing facts especially when it includes serious matters such as death, special treatment, or critical health situation. It involves having various conversations and cooperation between the nurse and the patient’s family which are important since they can contribute to a person’s well-being (Wittenberg et al., 2018). It entails speaking with patients and their families after receiving terrible news, discussing spiritual and religious issues, and addressing patients’ and families’ concerns with doctors and medical teams.

Moreover, representatives of that profession constantly work long hours shifts. They must continuously work at night, which is stressful for their overall well-being. In fact, unlike the majority of people, they have to work on holidays which causes additional stress. When gathering data from patients and communicating it to the whole of their medical team, nurses are essential. For nurses to effectively interact with doctors and other healthcare professionals, they need to have great communication skills, both verbal and written, to perform on a high professional level. Sometimes disagreements and conflicts can occur among the interprofessional team, and nurses should also be able to deal with the issue.

Healthy Coping Mechanism

Knowledge of the physiological effects of stress and its long-term impacts on the body and consciousness, allows nurses to prevent or minimize the possible negative outcomes. Quick real-time strategies, like time exercising and learning resilience-building techniques for the body, would enable them to manage their persistent exposure to stress successfully.

Learning about acceptable management tactics could be helpful. Workers have suggested various remedies for this purpose, such as stress education programs that detail the biology of stress and its long-term effects on the body and training in mind-body skills (Maresca et al., 2022). Understanding how to use the concept and methods to reduce discursive thoughts and develop positive thinking is crucial for well-being.

The self-reflection is necessary for the worker to analyze all the occurred events and release all the tension that happened during work. According to Maresca et al. (2022), “different solutions, for example, training in mind-body skills, including relaxation exercises such as meditation, breathing, mindfulness group mantra, or yoga,” (p. 7) are useful for introspection. Along with positive thinking, it will help to build a solid foundation for dealing with everyday problems.


Overall, the nursing profession is extremely stressful, and coping with the stress is essential. Nurses are responsible for someone’s physical and mental well-being, and that can take a toll on their mental health and affect patient and family care. Thus, nurses should be knowledgeable of healthy coping mechanisms. Finding strategies for stress management is essential for professionals’ physical and psychological states. The self-reflection, exercise, and positive thinking are necessary for medical specialists to deal with their workplace duties successfully.


Maresca, G., Corallo, F., Catanese, G., Formica, C., & Lo Buono, V. (2022). Coping strategies of healthcare professionals with burnout syndrome: A systematic review. Medicina, 58(2), 327. 10.3390/medicina58020327

Oldland, E., Botti, M., Hutchinson, A. M., & Redley, B. (2020). A framework of nurses’ responsibilities for quality healthcare—Exploration of content validity. Collegian, 27(2), 150-163.

Wittenberg, E., Reb, A., & Kanter, E. (2018). Communicating with patients and families about difficult cancer care topics using the COMFORT communication curriculum. In Seminars in oncology nursing (Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 264-273). WB Saunders. 10.1016/j.soncn.2018.06.007

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