The mentally healthy nurse.This article is written with the intent of inspiring and encouraging nurses to take care of self--"have lives outside of work." Mental health is important as it impacts all that is done and determine the outcome of actions.
Being mentally healthy is essential in patient healing. As mental health is just as important as physical health, nurses must know how to achieve and maintain good mental health. What does "being mentally healthy" and "being mentally fit" mean to nursing care? "Being mentally healthy," means successfully balancing the social, spiritual, physical, financial, and mental aspects of one's life.
Many factors affect the mental health of nurses. Stress is an important issue for many nurses. Nurses must be able to properly perceive, identify, and respond to stressors. Maintaining a positive attitude at work is important because attitudes can positively or negatively affect patient care and healing. Self-care is part of the care process. Find self-care practices that work for you, such as yoga yoga (yō`gə) [Skt.,=union], general term for spiritual disciplines in Hinduism, Buddhism, and throughout S Asia that are directed toward attaining higher consciousness and liberation from ignorance, suffering, and rebirth. , exercise, discussing stressful situations with friends, family or colleagues or any other forms of stress management. Ensuring a well balanced nutritional intake is important, because nutrients enhance or impair attention, anxiety, cognition cognition
Act or process of knowing. Cognition includes every mental process that may be described as an experience of knowing (including perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning), as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing. , stress, mood, and sleep.
The way nurses feel, think, and react to different situations and issues can make a big difference. Good health helps to make one feel good about self, promote positive relationships, and make good life decisions as a whole.
The increasing demand for nursing care and ongoing nursing shortage causes hospitals to mandate longer shifts with a greater patient load. This factor may cause the nurse to suffer from sleep deprivation sleep deprivation Sleep disorders A prolonged period without the usual amount of sleep. See Driver fatigue, Poor sleeping hygiene, Sleep disorders, Sleep-onset insomnia. and increased anxiety leading to negative affects on both mental and physical health.
A survey was done in Japan (Suzuki, Kaneita, Yokoyama, et. al., 2004) to provide data to allow for the discussion of measures for prevention of medical error and improving occupational health. This survey investigated the importance of nursing health and its potential impact on patient services with the specific purpose of looking at the relationship between shift work, mental health, and self-reported medical errors. The Study's results confirmed that sleep and mental health status among nurses working in hospitals were relatively poor and that shift work and poor mental health were significant factors contributing to medical errors. For each type of accident, the percentage of those who made medical errors was much higher for those who were considered "mentally in poor health" than those for the "mentally in good health" group.
Managers need to promote healthy staff lifestyles, nurses need to collaborately care for each other, and nurses, as individuals, need to take time to maintain proper mental health.
Nurses, take care of self, take time off, spend time with friends, have fun, socialize so·cial·ize
v. so·cial·ized, so·cial·iz·ing, so·cial·iz·es
1. To place under government or group ownership or control.
2. To make fit for companionship with others; make sociable. , and relax.
Suzuki, K, Ohida, T., Kaneida, Y., Yokoyama, E., Harano, S., et. al., (2004 Nov). Mental health status, shift work, and occupational accidents among hospital nurses in Japan. Journal of Occupational Health, 46(6), 448-54. Japan: Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Nihon University Nihon University (日本大学; Nihon Daigaku abbreviated as 日大 Nichidai) is the largest university in Japan. Akiyoshi Yamada, the minister of justice, founded Nihon Law School (present: Department of Law) in October 1889. .
Eliza J. Fountain, RN, MSN (1) (MicroSoft Network) A family of Internet-based services from Microsoft, which includes a search engine, e-mail (Hotmail), instant messaging (Windows Live Messaging) and a general-purpose portal with news, information and shopping (MSN Directory). , MBA, HC