Week 3 Discussion: Resilience and Change (graded)

Week 3 Discussion: Resilience and Change  

 Nursing is a highly stressful career. Androus (2020), claims that “stress and burnout affect 10-70% of nurses” (p.1). Resilience can play a huge role in retention of nurses. Nurses who are resilient are less likely to develop these high levels of stress and less likely to burnout in their career (Turner, 2014). 

 When I first became a nurse, I worked in the ICU.  I was in the new grad program and could not wait to start saving lives.  Even though a lot of lives were saved, there were also a lot of lives lost. I had no idea what I was getting into. I just remember feeling so sad and depressed all the time.  I had not developed the coping skills or resilience to deal with all the death. My manager sent me to grieving counseling to try help me. I would get so attached to my patients and their families. I even considered quitting nursing in my first few years as a registered nurse. I realized that I needed to work in department that I could give the best care and become better nurse for the patients. I ended up transferring to the Emergency Department. This department was very stressful. However, I wasn’t able to get so attached to the patients and able to give better care.  

I have come along way in 23 years. I have worked in many departments in nursing because I just love all nursing has to offer. Over time, I have been able to adapt to stressful situations and become a more resilient nurse. I try to keep a positive attitude toward my patients and co-workers. This past year we have all been through so many changes in healthcare and in our daily lives. It has been very hard to stay positive but it really is the only way to get through these hard times. Our lesson this week talks about why change is inevitable.  I feel that having an open mind, supporting others and displaying positivity is the best way to handle these inevitable changes. 


Androus, A. (2020). How to manage your stress as a nurse. Retrieved from https://www.registerednursing.org/articles/how-manage-stress-nurse/#:~:text=Nursing%20is%20an%20incredibly%20stressful%20career.&text=In%20fact%2C%20stress%20and%20burnout,control%20in%20their%20work%20environment.  

Chamberlain University, (2021).Week 3: Lesson – Foundational Concepts.  

Turner, S., (2014). The resilient nurse: an emerging concept. Nurse Leader. 12(6). Retrieved from https://www.nurseleader.com/article/S1541-4612(14)00185-2/fulltext.  

I realize most people are resistant to change and find it uncomfortable, but I actually like change and welcome it. Maybe not in every area of life but in many areas and especially nursing. I just have the mentality of, if there is a better way to do something, let’s do it! Even if it’s more time consuming. I’ve always been like that. It is more challenging to get others on board sometimes. A couple of years ago, our unit found out we were getting a new charting system. I was so excited! But nobody else seemed to be. Everyone was dreading it. It eventually rolled out a year later and at first, there were some kinks to sort out but over a month’s time, most were pretty acquainted with it. The problem with my most recent practice setting (I’m currently on maternity leave) is that everyone likes doing things the way they’ve always been done. I hate that mentality. I read a quote in our lesson from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement that explained how change doesn’t always lead to improvement, necessarily, but improvement always requires change (IHI, n.d., para. 1). This couldn’t be truer. Not every change you implement will turn out great, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

I think sometimes nurses, especially seasoned nurses, get stuck in a routine and a way of doing things that seems difficult to change. When fresh new nurses arrive on a unit and have to adapt to old ways of practice and set behaviors, the risk for burnout and turnover increases. I have seen and experienced this firsthand. Our discussion question asks what steps I would take to develop more resilience in my practice setting. Our assigned article on resilience suggested that managers create a training and development program of some sort but said this would need further evidence since there is a lack of relevant studies (Garcia-Izquierdo, 2018). I have some of my own ideas that nurses could implement. One is a buddy system. We had this at a previous hospital, and it worked great. Every nurse was assigned a buddy at the beginning of the shift to help each other throughout the day in a team effort. This made the workload feel lighter. Another thing I have seen work and be very helpful is having a float nurse. This could be someone looking to pick up a few extra hours and comes in during a busy period of the day, maybe to help relieve people for lunch, and floats around and helps where needed. Another strategy for developing resilience is to avoid negative talk. Nothing is more draining than hearing a bunch of gossip and negativity throughout your workday. I would encourage my coworkers every morning during our morning huddle to avoid gossip and negativity. I would also encourage my unit manager to make it a rule. Also, I’ve noticed that units that get together outside of work for fun activities seem to work better together and have less burnout and turnover. I would organize more outings with coworkers to build a sense of family. An article from the Nurse Journal gives some tips on preventing burnout and one of the things they say is to develop strong interpersonal relationships within the workplace (Kaple, 2021). It’s important to have someone to talk to that can relate to what you’re going through. One last thing, I would organize something to where we rotate turns bringing food and snacks weekly so that everyone always has a chance to eat. Even if it’s just a quick bite. Starvation also causes anger and frustration during work. No one likes to go hungry.

For our second question, when communicating change to patients and peers, I think it’s important to give a rationale. For patients, it’s important to explain that patient safety and satisfaction is always our goal and we are constantly looking for ways to improve patient outcomes. For peers, I think it’s important to show evidence. That may be in the form of an email or meeting with a presentation. I think it’s also important to communicate that we will be evaluating the change to make sure we see improvements. If we don’t, then we try something else.

Resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change (Merriam-Webster, 2021). As a nurse, we are faced with many difficult and stressful situations as we care for our patients. Because of these situations, healthcare workers are more prone to anxiety, depression, stress-related illnesses and burnout (Health Insights, 2017). In order for a nurse to be resilient they need to be able to take control of and stay in control of their heart, mind, and body throughout these difficult and challenging situations. How do we do that? The answer is simple, self-care and having positive attitudes. Although there are many things we cannot control in our workday, there are some we can. These include, getting enough rest, taking your breaks, eating well, and taking the time for vacations or taking days off to rest and enjoy life (ONS, 2021). Being optimistic yet realistic, accepting support when needed, accepting the unchangeable, actively solving problems, and finding positive role models (ONS, 2021).

In order communicate a change in practice to patients and peers you have to be flexible and aware that some take longer to adapt to change when compared to others. Sudden changes can cause stress and be troublesome to the nursing unit; also with change it is important to always find the positives. One must create a supportive network so those who are struggle can have the support they need. Also, it is imperative to always us problem solving strategies.

Leverence, K. (2021, March 12). Become a more resilient nurse. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/become-a-more-resilient-nurse

Resilience in nursing. (2017, January 13). Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/nursing-careers/6/practice/healthinsights/resilience-in-nursing/2353/

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