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Nursing is not a career for the faint of heart. Humans are living longer with more chronic conditions, and nurses are working hard to care for more and more patients. But despite the many challenges, for most of us, nursing is a calling. We chose this profession so that we could help patients during the most challenging times in their lives.
But who is responsible for taking care of nurses?
The truth is, being a nurse is not for the faint of heart. It is an extremely physical and emotional career, and nurses deal with stressful situations such as traumatic accidents, chronic illnesses, demanding patients and families, and even death. We’ve pretty much seen it all and then some.
After all, they don’t say that nurses are on the front line of healthcare for nothing!
Nurse burnout prevention has never been so important.
Nurse burnout prevention needs to be a bigger priority in the profession. Nurses don’t want to also end up as patients too, but due to lack of time for self-care, it happens.
Fortunately, there are ways that nurses can help to rectify some of the wear-and-tear that we do to our bodies. By taking care of ourselves first, we can continue to give great attention to our patients and their families.
Stress in the workplace is not going to get easier for many nurses, especially those at the bedside. Now is the time to put your health needs first.
And you can start by giving yourself a little TLC on your days off.
Helpful nurse burnout prevention products to help manage nursing stress:
- Body Back Buddy Self & Neck Self Massager
- Cordless Neck Shoulder and Back Massager With Heat
- Muse Brain Sensing Headband
- Microwavable Neck And Shoulder Wrap
These are items I have personally tried, either at work during a 12-hour shift or at home. Using some of these nurse burnout relief products during and after a 12-hour shift has made a world of difference in how I feel. I hope these items help you de-stress and take better care of yourself as well.
How sore are your back, neck, and feet after a busy 12-hour shift? The Body Back Buddy is a big winner when it comes to loosening up during and after a busy shift.
I was introduced to the Body Back Buddy by a co-worker of mine in the emergency department where I work. He brought it to work with him as a way to help him loosen his muscles during his night shifts. At first glance, it looks a little silly, but when he showed me how to use it, I couldn’t believe how great it felt on my neck and back.
It didn’t take long for other nurses to ask if they could use it, mostly out of curiosity. But it did help loosen up my neck and back and felt amazing on my pressure points.
I liked it so much that I ordered one that day and have been using it at home several times a week ever since. This is a fantastic product for long- term nurse burnout prevention.
Here are a few features of this self-massage and trigger tool:
- Full-body self-massager for simple, fast relief
- Calm painful muscle knots and aches in your back, neck, shoulders, and more with a few easy moves
- Effective pressure point therapy eases tension headaches and sore muscles & helps athletes (and nurses!) recover
- Single-piece rigid construction – very durable
During National Nurses Week in 2019, I tried this cordless neck, shoulder, and back massager during my lunch break in the staff room. I liked it because it stays around the muscles you put it on and doesn’t move around like many self massagers. It also isn’t very loud and applies just the right amount of pressure to the muscles.
This device is excellent to use during breaks or after a shift at the hospital. It also doesn’t require much effort to use, which makes it uniquely relaxing. And it is cordless so that you can use it anywhere.
Here are a few features of the cordless neck, shoulder and back massager with heat:
- Cordless & hands-free design: equipped with a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 100 minutes on a full charge.
- Advanced heating: The infrared heat provides necessary warmness to ease muscle tension, stress, and promote blood circulation. It can be turned off manually, but will also shut itself off after 15 minutes of using (to prevent overheating).
- Full-body relaxation and pain relief: comes with eight big nodes and eight small nodes, which provides deep tissue massages on your neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, waist, foot, tights, calves, legs, feet and arms
- Adjustable intensity and two massage directions: The massagers for neck and back cordless have three adjustable intensity levels, which allow you to get suitable pressure to relieve your muscle pain. And the body massager has built-in bi-directional movement control, which also auto-reverses every minute
- One year product warranty guarantee
Meditation has changed my life for the better, especially as a stressed-out nurse. Before I started meditating regularly, I used to have semi-regular anxiety attacks!
The Muse Brain Sending Headband is for someone ready to take their meditation practice to the next level. If you do not already practice meditation, I wouldn’t even recommend purchasing this device. (However, if you want to find a helpful way to find stress relief as a nurse I do highly recommend developing your meditation practice).
Many studies have shown benefits from regular meditation, including reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, increased focus and energy, and improved performance in many areas. And, as nurses, we can use all the stress reduction we can get!
Here is how it works: The headband fits across the front of your forehead and wraps around your ears. A metal strip can detect electrical brainwaves. When specific brainwaves are very active, the weather noise increases. As you calm your mind, the weather noise grows fainter and — here is the genius of the device — if you are very calm for several seconds, you can hear birds chirping. In the end, you get a graph of your performance and a score.
Here are a few features of the Muse Brain Sensing Headband:
- Makes meditation easy– is like a personal meditation assistant
- Muse will guide you to a calm mind: Sometimes your mind is calm, and sometimes it’s active – Muse will teach you to recognize a quiet mind and help you get there
- Allows you to immerse yourself in meditation: Put on the Muse headband, plug in your earbuds or headphones, start the app, and close your eyes. Immerse yourself within the sounds of a beach or rain forest
- Real-time tracking and feedback: While you meditate, Muse measures whether your mind is calm or active, and translates that data into weathers sounds
- You can review data after each session: After each session, review your data, set goals, and build an enriching meditation practice that gets better every time
- Comes with a travel safe case
- What is included: Muse: Brain Sensing Headband, Quick Start Guide, USB Recharge Cable (Earbuds NOT Included)
- Limited 1-year warranty
Like many other nurses, I carry most of my internalized stress in my neck and shoulders. This, combined with too much computer work and lifting and pulling patients, often leaves my neck in knots, and sometimes the pain keeps me from being able to relax completely.
For the longest time, I used a regular old heating pad on my neck and back- but the one I had didn’t conform well to my body. So one day, I was looking through Amazon for something to help my neck and back pain, and I came across the Huggaroo.
The design is versatile; if I don’t want it on my back, I fold it up, so it’s concentrated on my neck, and I also like to put in on my chest, almost like a weighted blanket. The quality is excellent, and the fabric is plush but durable. It’s a frequently used staple in our house. I also take it with me when I travel as well!
Here are a few features of the Huggaro Microwavable Heating Pad:
- Delivers deep, penetrating, moist heat wherever applied
- Melts away pain, tension, and stress with heat, soothing aromatherapy, and deep pressure stimulation
- The perfect heating pad for cramps, neck pain relief or joint pain relief
- Use as a cold compress to alleviate migraine headaches or a cold pack to soothe strains or a fever
- Huggaroo is a market leader, featured in Forbes, Women’s Health, Inc, Parade, Reader’s Digest, etc.
Nurse burnout prevention is possible and we need to manage our stress better, so we don’t end up as patients ourselves. By setting aside a little time every day to relax and de-stress, you will be a happier, healthier nurse and better role model for patients.
After all, everybody wins when nurses are taken care of too!!
Additional recommended reading:
- 4 Reasons Why Nurses Should Drink Matcha Green Tea
- 9 Personal Self-Care Goals I Set For My Self As A Nurse
- Tired Nurse Tips: When Sufficient Sleep Just Isn’t Possible