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How to Overcome the Unique Stressors for Nurses in ASC Settings

by Barbora Ilic
Nurse meditating on the beach

When it comes to being a nurse, it seems that a certain level of work-related stress is an inevitability. These jobs are demanding, time-intensive, and relentless – all of which can activate “stress mode”.

However, the specific stressors of nursing jobs are not one-size-fits-all. There are paediatric nurses, ophthalmology nurses, oncology nurses, and the list goes on and on. And the stress these types of nurses face is as unique as their profession. However, there are also nurses who are expected to cover all of these specialties at once, like those found at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). 

In this blog, we’ll discuss how nurses in ASC settings face a unique subset of stressors that are different from those in other healthcare settings. More importantly, we’ll offer proven strategies for managing stress and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

High patient turnover

ASCs tend to provide care to a high volume of patients, which can lead to a fast-paced and stressful environment for nurses. ASC Nurses will often have to care for multiple patients at once and quickly transition between different types of procedures.

Shifting from one type of patient procedure to another requires you to refocus and direct your attention to a different set of skills. In these types of environments, make sure to take breaks whenever you are able to. Even a short break can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and provide the reset you need to help you be more efficient throughout the day. 

Clinicians recommend the “4, 7, 8” method (breathe into a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and exhale slowly to a count of 8) as a quick way to pause your day, and make sure even the shortest breaks are effective. 

Short turnaround times

ASCs often aim to have patients in and out quickly, which can mean tight turnaround times between procedures. Nurses may need to work quickly and efficiently to keep up with the pace of the center.

This is where healthtech serves a greater purpose. Digital solutions are not only meant to speed up day-to-day processes by moving paper logs into templates, but they present the greatest benefit when important data needs to be found and referenced quickly. It is not uncommon for ASC nurses to find out about a compliance survey within the same week it’s happening. In these instances, nurses are often staying late after hours to find and organize the correct logs the surveyor will need. 

With Surglogs, that problem is finally solved. Nurses can rely on the fact that when good data is logged on a regular basis, they will always have what they need to stay compliant and pass surveys with flying colors. No overtime is required. 

Always stay survey-ready with Surglogs. Click here to request a demo today

Limited resources

Due to the smaller size of ASCs compared to larger hospitals, they often operate with limited resources, such as equipment and supplies. This can put additional pressure on nurses to make the most of what they have and be resourceful in their approach to patient care.

That’s another gap healthtech aims to solve with digital solutions. By subscribing to just one platform, nurses and healthcare workers gain access to unlimited resources, regardless of their center’s size or stature. Plus, they sometimes come with a few extra bonuses that serve teams with limited resources well. 

For example, at Surglogs, all of our ASC customers receive 1 complimentary Apple iPad to be used within your center for logging on the go. Additionally, our customer success team is available throughout the day via chat in case you need extra help or attention with any of your online tasks. 

Pressure to maintain quality outcomes

ASCs are typically evaluated and expected to deliver high-caliber care to patients, which can put pressure on nurses to meet certain benchmarks. Unfortunately, in this case, there is no one best practice or solution. But there are several avenues nurses can take to try to relieve the stress that comes as a result of this pressure, including

  1. Set boundaries: Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life can help you maintain a healthy balance. Avoid taking work home with you and prioritize activities that are important to you outside of work.
  2. Seek support: Talking to colleagues, friends, or family members about your stressors and concerns can help you feel supported and reduce stress. Consider joining a support group for nurses to connect with others who understand the unique challenges of working in healthcare.
  3. Seek professional help: If you’re experiencing significant stress or mental health concerns, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in healthcare-related stressors. 

If there’s one positive thing that came from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the high appreciation for nurses and the growing visibility of the concerns, issues, and stressors they endure on a daily basis. This is the best time for nurses in ASC settings to use their voices, speak up about issues they are facing, and ask for solutions to be put in place. 

If there’s anything Surglogs can do to help, do not hesitate to contact us so that we can better provide solutions that will help ASC nurses overcome the unique challenges they face in the profession. We cannot erase all the tensions of your profession, but we are here to ensure remaining compliant is the easiest thing you’ll do all day. 

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