If you have ever visited a hospital ER, it is not hard to understand why training for a role in one of those environments is going to be stressful.
Nursing is an area that is growing the world over, but that does not mean that nursing school is getting easier. With recent issues surrounding COVID-19, student nurses entering the profession in 2022 have even more to learn than those who entered nursing school in 2019.
This can be daunting for those who have always wanted to become nurses. How do you get through nursing school without becoming so overwhelmed and stressed that you lose all your hair? Not to worry. Students in all areas become stressed with studies, especially in nursing, and in this article, you will be introduced to 5 tips on how you can get through nursing school without mentally unraveling.
Tips on How You Can Get Through Nursing School Without Mentally Unraveling
Set a Routine and Stick to It
As is the way with studying for something like nursing, you will need to develop an ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ mentality. That way, you will not burn out or become overwhelmed. Even if you are studying online, like the University of Indianapolis online ASBN, you will still need to pace yourself to get through.
So, when you are not on the wards, it is worth breaking down your tasks into daily schedules, kind of like a revision timetable. Set Mondays for learning and reviewing flashcards, have a study meet-up on Tuesday, and so on. Do not try to do everything at once and if you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break.
As mentioned in the previous point, study groups are great for those who are going into nursing, as they allow you to ask questions to fellow students, as well as make new friends and destress.
Best of all is that if you don’t have the time to meet up in person, you don’t have to. Many study groups are available via meeting platforms like Zoom, so you simply log on and begin your revision. However, as nursing is a very hands-on job, you will want to partake in a study group that allows you to practice the practical elements of this role too, so aim to meet with your study group at least once a week to get some experience with the hands-on part of nursing.
Look After Yourself
There is something of an image associated with students overall, and that is that they are overworked, tired, and stressed out. Nursing school is a lot harder than the standard degree course, so nursing students tend to suffer from a higher rate of burnout.
It is vital when you are studying at nursing school that you look after yourself. Exercise as often as you can, aim to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, and eat a minimum of 3 meals a day. You will not be able to learn and retain information if you are exhausted, so aim to make self-care a top priority. Spend time in the company of friends, watch a film or read a book and, as before, if you feel yourself becoming stressed out, take a break.
Ask for Help
It sounds easy, but it isn’t. Many nursing students on placement feel intimidated by the nurses that are teaching them, as they can themselves be overworked and tired. But you aren’t going to learn by avoidance, so always ask them for help if you need it. It is their job to help you to learn, and if you feel that they are being too irritable, or are hindering your learning, ask the advice of another nurse on the ward.
The same applies to the academic side of the nursing course. If you are struggling to keep up to date with lectures, then ask those who are teaching you for help. This will not make you look foolish; it will make you seem dedicated to getting the most out of the course.
OK, so much like the last point, this is often easier said than done.
One of the biggest issues that all students face is their level of dedication. They start the course eager to learn, but after a few weeks, they become lethargic and cannot be bothered to revise their notes. This is a big no-no in nursing and is one of the first signs of burnout. Yes, there will be a lot of work, and you will make mistakes, but you are only going to get the work done and overcome your mistakes if you become your own cheerleader. This will begin with discovering what your weak spots are, and dedicating time to strengthening them-every student has weak areas, and by identifying yours early, you will save a lot of hassle in the long run. It is also a good idea to reward yourself when you get something right, as this will keep you on track to completing your nursing degree.