Stress for Nurses in Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Stress for Nurses

Nursing is widely considered to be one of the most stressful careers due to a combination of long shifts, a heavy workload and a high level of responsibility. Nurses have to deal with patients that are anxious or in pain and provide comfort and reassurance to worried friends and family members. Working in a neonatal intensive care unit is a particularly demanding environment as nurses provide care for newborn babies that are sick or premature. The vulnerability of the patients combined with a baby’s inability to communicate exactly what is wrong can make the job difficult at times, and it is important for nurses to find ways to relieve their stress at the end of the day.

Caring For Tiny Patients

Seeing a child that is sick or injured can be extremely distressing, and neonatal nurses receive newborns every day that require round-the-clock care. Unfortunately, not every patient will make a full recovery, and all nurses experience sadness after the loss of a patient they have grown close to. Nurses may also have to care for babies that were exposed to drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy and have become sick through no fault of their own.

Environmental Stress

Intensive care units can be highly stressful places due to overcrowding, noisy equipment and a lack of beds or resources. Patients will occasionally need emergency care meaning nurses will have to dash to their bedside and administer the appropriate treatment.

Stress for Nurses

Common Problems

Respiratory nurses are responsible for performing CPR on newborns that have stopped breathing, and the procedure can often be stressful for everyone involved.  Those applying for neonatal intensive care unit jobs in North Kentucky will occasionally have to prove that they have completed CPR training before being considered for a role. Being unable to locate a medical professional in an emergency or dealing with anxious parents are also common problems that nurses may have to face in the course of their career.

Reducing Stress

Being able to remain calm in high pressure situations is a vital attribute for nurses to enable them to carry out their duty and provide support for doctors and other medical staff. Meditation, yoga, acupuncture or even a good night’s rest can help nurses reduce their stress and cope with the demands of their profession.

Despite the pressure, working as a neonatal nurse is one of the most rewarding careers imaginable, and thousands of nursing graduates seek employment in this sector each and every year. Nursing a newborn baby back to health and then reuniting him with his parents is an amazing accomplishment that nurses perform each and every day. If you are considering a career as a neonatal intensive care nurse, then visit our main website for more information on training and accreditation programs.