You might wonder why this unit has been included in the Communication unit. Our scoping confirmed that your first post as a registered practitioner can be very stressful, and the area where this manifests itself is in communication with others. This unit is designed to help you both recognise and manage stress in a positive way. Use the following activities to help you identify how you can cope with stress and to help you plan how to put these strategies into place when you need them.
Access the sites suggested below to review how useful they may be for you.
- Royal College of Midwives (type 'stress' into the search function)
- Your professional body/organisation may also be a good source of information. If you are an AHP, you can find this on the HCPC Professions page
Reviewing your stress management skills
With your mentor/KSF reviewer discuss the factors and situations that can cause stress for practitioners in your work setting and the skills that you may need to develop to deal with these effectively. Identify and agree the priorities for you to work toward over the next three months. These should be reflected in your Personal Development Plan.
It is suggested that you repeat this activity every 3 months.
What stresses you?
Building on the previous activity where you identified factors and situations that can cause stress for you in general, now look at the specific factors that make you feel stressed within your new role. For example, the increased responsibility and accountability associated with being a qualified practitioner, rather than a student, can be stressful at times.
Using the resources you looked at in the Stress Management activity, or others you have discovered, explore:
- ways of coping with stress that you have found to work for you
- new techniques that you might be able to use.
What stresses others
What situations do other team members or other healthcare professionals find stressful? It is very likely that there are overlaps in these situations between individuals.
Explore these situations with them:
- discuss these situations and how they deal with them.
- you may also want to discuss how the team can work together to deal with these sources of stress
- identify resources that are available within your team and organisation to counter the effects of workplace stress
- identify training and development opportunities are available.
Stress management scenario
The following scenario looks at a situation that can arise in many work settings. Work through these to help you develop your understanding of managing stress. You might find it useful to discuss your responses with your mentor and/or other healthcare professionals.
You work in an extremely busy work setting, the volume of work that you need to get through is making you feel stressed and you are beginning to feel reluctant to come to work. How can you use the coping mechanisms you used and learned as an undergraduate, and what you have learned in this unit to help you cope?
- the key factors causing you stress
- the coping mechanisms you have already developed that can help in this situation. This may be from your undergraduate or other experiences
- strategies can you employ, on a personal level, to help you deal with this situation
- how the team, managers and organisation can help to deal with this situation
Portfolio activity: managing stress
Having worked through a selection of the activities in this section, you should summarise your learning, highlighting how this may affect your future practice. You can share your findings with your mentor.
Add an alert to your Flying Start NHS® portfolio and /or make a date in your diary to revisit Managing Stress.