Developing Resilience

1. Introduction - Coping and resilience

Whilst it remains one of the most rewarding and fulfilling of careers, you only have to look at the headlines, or talk with colleagues to realise that nursing can be quite stressful. There are lots of reasons for this, including complex and demanding workloads, proximity to death and serious illness, and also facing and empathising with the emotions, fears, grief and anxieties of others at stressful times in their lives. You might also be faced with difficult and unfamiliar issues, such as domestic violence, child protection concerns and abuse. So, the question you may be asking is "how do I cope?"

Actually, coping, suggests dealing with a particular situation in the short term, maybe internalising your own emotions, but finding a way to continue to function through and appear OK. The problem with this is that your emotions might come back to affect you later. It is better to look at strategies that help you build resilience. This is a more long term strategy that enables you to empathise with peoples' situation and provide therapeutic relationships, but without this adversely affecting you - a kind of "non-stick" coating!

So, how do you do that?