Are nurses adaptable? Our nursing workforce’s potential for adaptation has often been questioned since the establishment of the healthcare institution. Today, COVID-19 has clarified that adapting to change is imperative for nurses to survive in their careers. However, modern-day healthcare practitioners learned now to improvise, become accustomed, and enhance their know-how according to the demands of their rapidly evolving work dynamics. They say change always comes bearing gifts since adapting to it bolsters your competency. As the world has become more digitized after the pandemic, nurses shouldn’t neglect the importance of adapting in 2022. Let’s explain here how RNs can adapt to these changes efficiently.
How can nurses cope with changes?
Proverbs have described “change” as the solitary constant in our lifestyles. So, nurses encounter change at every stage in their careers. The transition to EMRs became one of the major changes in this industry. Moreover, some changes are restricted regionally (your favorite nursing manager’s retiring) or have far-reaching impacts (the emergence of AIDS in the world). These changes are inevitable, and nurses have to learn how to adapt to them properly. It’s a matter of survival for nurses to familiarize themselves with the changing character of the health sector. So, how do you adapt to your changing environment?
- Enhance your education:-
Don’t forget that advanced education helps RNs adapt to changes more effectively. Now, nurses can leverage distance learning opportunities to become well-familiar with their shifting work dynamics. So, we suggest nurses pursue the BSN to DNP online degree to enhance their medical expertise. This degree allows RNs to increase their competency to understand the latest trends in the health sector, thereby easily adapting to changes. Use e-learning courses to become better at adjusting yourself.
- Embrace the change:-
Now, we’re not asking you to accept the change willy-nilly. Since these changes are beyond your control, RNs may consider themselves powerless to do anything but adapt. But we suggest you take a different approach; consider this an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, there’s no need to think that EHRs are your enemies; realize how they make monitoring patients easier for a nurse. That’s how you make the change appear acceptable, after which you may embrace it easily.
- Discuss your problems:-
Nurses should openly discuss their problems with the changing workplace dynamics. It can help you seek practice pieces of advice to adjust to these changes. We suggest RNs focus more on discussing their problems than their thoughts/feelings. Now, it doesn’t mean just that you should ignore your emotions. Instead, discuss how your feelings have clouded your judgment and stopped you from embracing the change.
- Hone your communication:-
Healthcare practitioners should possess effectively exceptional communication capabilities to keep the information flowing whenever changes happen. Remember that communicating doesn’t involve others listening; you must also listen to their thoughts. Consider their concerns while sharing your concerns with your supervisor/s. Discussing your anxieties can help you overcome negative feelings associated with the change. So, communication’s the key to adapting to changing work dynamics.
- Ask relevant questions:-
Effective communication can help you ask relevant questions to bolster your knowledge about the change. Some RNs hesitate since they assume that questions make them look dumb.
They don’t want everyone to know about their ignorance of modern-day technology. However, we think that questions demonstrate your willingness to adapt to changes. So, you won’t have to pose the same query twice. But make sure that you’re writing down all the important information somewhere!
- Reduce your stress:-
Depression, uncertainty, and frustration remain frequent among modern-day nurses. The pandemic caused a decline in healthcare practitioners’ mental health. Statistics indicate that 75% of RNs face stress, and changing workplace dynamics may worsen this condition. This stress prevents you from adapting to the change properly. So, we suggest nurses engage in stress-reducing exercises to overcome their mental health issues. Don’t freak out about the change, and regulate your stress.
- Always stay positive:-
Miscommunications aren’t uncommon when dealing with changes in work dynamics today. A nurse shouldn’t allow negative thoughts to pollute their passion. We suggest RNs always maintain a positive attitude about the changes. Don’t forget to cut yourself some slack when you’re handling excessive changes in the workplace. You cannot acclimatize to these changes with negativity. Hence, leverage your positive thoughts to make these changes beneficial to the organization in 2022.
- Consider your values:-
Have you considered your values? Some people are afraid of changes when they don’t consider their values properly. Make sure that the change aligns with your values and embrace it if it does! Nurses are striving for better patient outcomes.
- Seek some support:-
Unless you have established powerful connections within the organization, you can’t expect to become familiar with constantly changing healthcare practices. Don’t forget to seek some support from your colleagues by reaching out to them for emotional and work-related assistance. They can help you adjust to the change in workplace dynamics. Make friends within your community and know these people better. That’s how RNs can understand the recent changes in the health sector.
- Find a mentor:-
Don’t hesitate when it comes to finding your mentor. Many organizations are already providing RNs mentorship opportunities. These mentors are senior nurses who can help you make sense of this change. Leverage this mentor’s abilities to understand the health sector and adapt to the changes in your work dynamics. These mentors have the required experience to help you navigate the changing environment of the health sector. Now, find your mentor or shadow someone in the organization.
Working in the health sector isn’t just exciting; it’s exhilarating and nerve-racking for practitioners. Change remains a common concern for the modern-day nursing workforce. That’s why we suggest nurses cope with changes and adjust to these transformations for their survival. How do you adapt to changing work dynamics? Embrace the change and leverage effective communication capabilities to enhance your knowledge about new practices. Discuss any problem you’re having while seeking some support from a mentor. Your colleagues can also help you adapt to changes by asking relevant questions. Remain optimistic all the time and consider your values. Now, you’re ready to accept these changes as a nurse.