Magazine article American Nurse Today

How to Succeed at Floating: Learn How to Decrease Your Stress and Increase Your Job Satisfaction as a Floater

Magazine article American Nurse Today

How to Succeed at Floating: Learn How to Decrease Your Stress and Increase Your Job Satisfaction as a Floater

Article excerpt

IF YOU'VE EVER FLOATED, you know the experience can be challenging at times. Wherever you work, you may sometimes feel you don't have enough hours in the day to complete all your tasks, especially when working in clinical situations less familiar to you.

To float effectively and efficiently, you need to be skilled, knowledgeable, and competent. You have to stay current with new techniques and equipment, and be familiar with the policies and procedures of each facility where you work.

In many settings, floaters have opportunities to learn new skills. Once you've established key skills and gained the necessary knowledge, you can float to different departments with confidence and convey the message that you're a team player. What's more, gaining experience and skills in multiple settings can enhance your job security.

Floaters' de-stressing guide

Patients trust all nurses (floaters or not) to take good care of them. With this responsibility comes stress, which can impair your mental, emotional, and physical status.

Here are some strategies that can reduce your stress--and increase your success--as a floater:

1. Incorporate spirituality.

2. Be flexible.

3. Boost your knowledge base.

4. Continue your education.

5. Build your confidence.

6. Be humble.

7. Hone your communication skills.

Getting in touch with your spiritual side each morning and throughout the day can bring comfort and peace--not just to yourself but also to the patients you serve. Spiritual activity, such as prayer or meditation, can calm you and make you more compassionate. Remember--patients notice your countenance. Yours may be pleasant and calm, or miserable and uptight.

Spiritual practices can lead to a compassionate heart, which ultimately becomes part of your character.

Flexibility is a must for floaters, helping you roll with the punches of new coworkers and new work settings. Coworkers are more likely to have a positive attitude toward a floater when they know that person is willing to be flexible. Expect some colleagues to see you primarily as a helper, calling on you to assist them and to provide coverage on their breaks. Being flexible nurtures camaraderie, which can reduce tension and improve patient outcomes.

Being knowledgeable in a wide range of practice settings increases your proficiency--and your value. It could even advance you toward a management position, if desired. Knowledge and proficiency promote excellence in quality patient care and a safer environment, which in turn provide a calmer workplace.

Continuing your education not only is important to retaining your nursing license, but it also keeps you abreast of the latest research, techniques, equipment, procedures, and guidelines; helps you maintain your nursing skills; and deepens your knowledge base. To continue your education, you can complete continuing nursing education (CNE) modules, seminars, and hospital-mandated classes. …

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