There is a constant demand for nurses to be on-call and available for their patients. While this is an essential part of the job, it can also make it challenging to maintain a good work-family balance.
On the one hand, you want to ensure that your patients receive good treatment. On the other hand, you don’t want to disregard your family responsibilities.
Juggling family responsibilities with work demands can be challenging, but it is not impossible. How can nurses strike an excellent work-family balance?
First, it is crucial to understand that there is no perfect solution for everyone. What works for one nurse may not work for another. There has to be something that works best for you and your family; stick to that.
It All Starts With a Career Choice:
You signed up for extended duty hours and on-call shifts when you decided to enter the field. Now that you have a family, it is vital to reevaluate your career choices.
Are there other positions within your hospital or organization that would allow for more flexible hours? Can you work from home some days? If not, are there other hospitals or organizations that offer more flexible schedules?
The good thing is that if you’re a nurse with an MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Degree, you have many options. You can work in clinics, schools, or other organizations that offer more flexible hours.
Realize What Tops Your List:
When you have a lot of demands on your time, it’s crucial to choose what’s most essential. What are the crucial things in your life – your family, your job, or something else? You may need to make tough decisions about what is sacrificed when you have limited time.
Prioritizing will help you better manage your time and guarantee that the essential aspects of your life receive the attention they deserve.
There is nothing you need to feel guilty about if you can’t do everything. Just because something is important to you doesn’t mean that you are obligated to do it all the time.
Accept That You Can’t Have It All:
It is an overstatement that you can have it all. You cannot be in two places at once. You should not feel guilty about setting boundaries with your job or family.
When you set limits and establish expectations, your job and family understand what to expect from you. It will help eliminate any conflict that may arise because of unrealistic demands.
You also need to limit how much work you can do from home. It is crucial to have time for yourself and your family.
Establishing a work-life balance will help you be more productive when you are at work and allow you to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Simplify Your Day:
There are so many things to handle outside of the workplace. Family gatherings, doctor’s appointments, and social events quickly fill up your weekends.
It is essential to create a routine that will allow you to have some time for work and family. It means saying no to some things so you can say yes to the important ones.
It is also essential to establish a routine at work. Having set hours will help you be more productive. You will know when you are expected to be done with your shift and plan accordingly. When your days are structured, you can control your life.
Talk and Make a Plan:
As the world knows, communication is critical in any relationship. Communicate with your family and co-workers about what you need. The same goes for the work-family balance.
Establishing open communication will help create a balance between work and family. Let them know if you need to leave work early for a doctor’s appointment. If you are working late, let your spouse learn to plan dinner.
Although it may appear to be a terrible idea, discussing flexible hours with your boss might provide a solution. If you have children, discuss the possibility of working from home one day a week. It will help you maintain that work-family balance we all strive for.
Manage Your Time Wisely:
It is a skill you can use in your personal and professional life. When you can manage your time well, it leaves less room for stress. It is essential when trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many tools help you with time management, such as planners, apps, etc.
Weekends could be special. Instead of trying to do it all, relax and enjoy your time off. Spend time with family and friends, go for a walk or sit back and watch your favorite show. You will feel refreshed and ready to tackle when you return to work the following week.
Understand that You Need You Too:
Someone other than your spouse and your patient needs your attention; you! It is often overlooked when people try to manage their time and responsibilities. Taking time for yourself is crucial in maintaining your sanity.
It can be as simple as taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, or walking. Just make sure you are taking some time for yourself!
And remember, when you take care of yourself, you can take better care of others.
Put Your Physical Needs on the To-Do List:
Like making time for emotional health, you must make time for your physical needs. It means putting exercise on your calendar and eating a balanced diet.
When you’re spending the day taking care of others, it can be easy to let your health go by the wayside. However, this only sets you up for burnout in the future.
Make sure to schedule in time to work out each week and plan when it comes to meals. It will help ensure that your body and mind are taken care of.
Use Technology Wisely:
Technology has become a massive part of our lives, and there’s no turning back now. With that being said, nurses should use technology wisely to strike a good work-family balance.
For example, try not to check your work emails after hours. It will only prolong the workday and keep you from enjoying time with your loved ones.
Instead, use technology to your advantage by using apps or calendars that allow you to see your schedule at a glance. This way, you can plan and avoid conflicts between work and family obligations.
What We are Saying is:
Nurses are known for being compassionate and putting others first. However, it is vital that nurses also take care of themselves.
A healthy nurse means a healthier family and workplace. By creating a work-life balance, nurses can achieve this goal and be happier and more productive in all aspects of their lives.