October 6, 2014
Personal and Professional Challenges Paper
The personal and professional challenges in life are abundant. Nursing as a profession has huge obstacles to bear and overcome. The professional challenges we face can sometimes leak into our personal lives both in a positive manner and negative way. Three personal challenges I face are; Stress and anxiety, money issues, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Three professional challenges I face and I’m sure many other nurses do as well are; the increased level of acuity for the population we are caring for coincided with the shortage of nurses and lack of nursing assistance, the Interdisciplinary Teamwork that must be obtained on our unit, and the understanding and accepting of the different cultures we care for. For each of these challenges I will discuss time and stress management techniques along with personal resources I have used and developed to bear these different challenges and hopefully overcome them.
Stress is a personal nursing challenge for me. Some days are better than others but some days are so stressful that you take it home with you and you can’t sleep well. Things that are out of our control which we know need to be changed can weigh heavily on us. Mathes (2000) states that new challenges have come about in the relationship between the health care provider and the health care recipient, as the result of both demographics shifts (the aging and ethnic diversification of the population) and huge social changes, with authority being righteously questioned over the last several decades. I need to realize that 12 hour shifts are very long and there is no way during that period your patient will not find something to be unhappy about. I’m usually able to let it go and just accept the fact that you’ve done your best and there are plenty of other things in your personal life that are more important than your work life. In order to relieve my stress in my personal life I try to incorporate exercise and healthy eating, along with finding time to spend with my family. Spending time with my friends and family are like therapy sessions and so fulfilling.
Money is also a personal challenge for me, and lack of it. San Diego is not a cheap place to live, gas prices are outrageous and so is housing. I did sell our condo last year and that has relieved some money issues. We now rent a little apartment near the bay and have downsized on our cable, and since I rent now I no longer have a huge water bill, and my gas and electric is much cheaper. We didn’t make a profit on the sale, but I definitely have some peace of mind. Letting go of the idea that you have to own something to be successful has been a huge release. Now I’m better with budgeting my money which has decreased my stress.
Healthy living is a personal challenge for me. I really thought I was in pretty good shape, but we did a Mud Run the other day and I can’t believe how sore I am. The run kicked my butt and now I realize that I’ve really put my health on the backburner since I started school. I also realize that getting older really makes you have to work harder at being fit and it’s kind of discouraging. Eating right is so hard sometimes. There are so many temptations out there. I tend to do good when I’m at home as far as making the right choices. However when it comes to work, forget about it. There’s always some sort of yummy pastry, donut, cookie, pizza, chips screaming, “eat me, eat me, you deserve it, you’re working your butt off!” I’m going to make a sincere effort to plan my work meals ahead of time, and prepare them at home the night before, I’m also going to include healthy snacks, so that I reach for my own and not the unhealthy ones in the lounge.
I think one of the biggest challenges in my professional life is the increased work load and care of patients with higher acuity levels