How to Stay Calm in the Midst of Chaos

by | Dec 9, 2013 | Patient Care, New Nurse, Time Management | 0 comments

Most of us have a lot going on in our lives all the time. Between work, children and school, most people are constantly running from one to another, spending more than we would like even when we know it will do no good.

Life is stressful even if you’re one of those who can maintain a relatively calm and steady demeanour in almost every situation, especially if you are a nurse. Working in the nursery can be a crazy job, but you must stay calm.

Nurses have been faced with many difficult situations, and they know that an easy way to maintain their composure is by keeping focused on what needs to get done next.

Research has shown that being able to stay calm under pressure not only calms others but inspires confidence. As a result, you might even be eligible for a management position.

Now let’s start with our tips on How to keep calm in chaos as a nurse.

Stay Composed

In an emergency, appearing calm can be half the battle to settling down others and yourself when you’re feeling anything but. Having efficient movements and a slow and steady voice will help you stay composed while making those around you feel more secure themselves.

Creating a calm and organized environment around you will help to keep your cool. Be sure that everything is set up the way you like it so that when an emergency comes into the room, you know where everything is and can quickly get what you need without wasting time looking for things or asking others to bring them.

That being said, try not to over-prepare for emergencies that are unlikely to occur. The best way to stay calm in chaos is to remember that no one knows what’s happening except you. Other medical professionals have many responsibilities of their own, and they won’t be able to devote all of their concentration on your patients while handling whatever else was brought into the room first.

When an emergency occurs, do everything you can to help out. You may even have times when you will feel helpless and not handle a situation on your own. But this is why team management is very imporant; the other team members will support you in keeping calm and working together to solve any problems.

Anticipate Emergencies

Your best chance for staying calm in chaos as a nurse comes from being prepared for emergencies before they happen. Ensure that all medical equipment is functional and up-to-date by constantly updating it during use to handle any malfunctions swiftly. When setting up an area, organize it according to what kind of work needs to get done first: cleanliness comes second, while treatment should always come first.

Being prepared for anything can be a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort. Outlining your typical emergency scenarios in advance will help you to think about how you might handle them and give you more confidence when they arise. Never assume that an emergency won’t happen.

There are many instances where this has been proven wrong: doctors have had their operations messed up as a result of sudden emergencies right after surgery or during routine procedures like blood-work; power outages have occurred leading to patients losing access to life support systems.

People who were already injured by accident require medical attention for entirely new injuries; equipment malfunctions affecting not only the patient in danger but also those working around it. If anything could go wrong, it probably will.

Break the Cycle of Fear

When a chaotic situation happens, you must remain in control above all else. Don’t allow yourself to be overcome by your fears-it is important that you stay calm and optimistic for the patients’ sake. While it may seem difficult at first, don’t forget that staying positive gives others around a sense of hope as well. They will feel supported and confident when they have someone who can rise to the occasion with them.

Make sure that everyone around you knows what needs to get done if there’s something specific you would like help with. Let an assistant know about it right away so their efforts are focused on assisting in those specific areas while establishing their sense of self-worth along with yours.

You Must Stay Active

If you want to remain calm in chaos as a nurse, remember that while it’s important to stay organized and prepared for anything, you must also make sure that your actions are focused and not sluggish. The moment you become passive is when overwhelmed feelings start to rush in.

If someone needs help around the room with equipment or supplies they can’t reach for themselves, do whatever you can to help them, so the problem doesn’t continue longer than necessary.

Reducing time spent dealing with potential emergencies before they develop into full-blown ones will lessen your stress levels overall. Also, keep in mind that one day of hard work won’t be enough; staying proactive is key, so take every opportunity you get to add something to your repertoire or practice something you’re not familiar with.

Keep Cool and Stay Positive

Don’t let others see you panic when a chaotic situation arises; it shows that you aren’t in control of yourself and gives those around you a sense of despair that can lead to other issues. Instead, stay collected no matter what happens and keep helping out the people who need assistance around the room, remembering that things usually work themselves out after some time.

It’s important to trust your instincts, so make sure that you feel like there is a problem regarding patient care or safety. Then, check into it further rather than waiting for someone else to address it first because they may be too busy dealing with their problems at the moment. Even if you’re not in charge of the situation at hand, you can still make suggestions or let an attending know about your concerns.

You Must Be Confident

One way to hold yourself together during chaotic moments is by being confident with what you are doing because seeing others who are undependable can cause a chain reaction that makes it difficult for everyone else to remain calm.

For example, if there is a power outage and all monitors go dead but life support systems remain on, panic-confident leadership will help anyone around who might be afraid. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, remember that someone has already gone through the steps before: speak up if you need assistance from those around, but stay focused so no one feels overwhelmed by what’s going on.

Sharing is Caring: Don’t Be Afraid of Helping Others

Don’t be afraid to ask others for assistance when you need it despite how irritating the situation might have been or how hard your day has already been. It will help you feel more confident and boost the morale of those around and give them a sense that they are important in what’s going on, which is especially helpful in chaotic situations where everything seems to be at odds with one another.

If something is wrong, don’t pretend like it isn’t; telling people what happened can make them feel better about themselves and even provide insight into improving any potential problems before they grow out of hand later down the line. Knowing when things are going to happen is impossible in hospitals.

However, whether you are involved in a chaotic situation as a nurse or just trying to better handle your life outside work, these simple steps will help you stay calm and collected to effectively help yourself and others overcome whatever obstacles come your way. Being proactive about what happens around you will also allow you to get through it quicker with less strain.

Ending thoughts

Take responsibility of your life in the hospital. If you are willing to do that, you’ll be more effective and remain human. Working as a MSN RN I have shared above all the things that I faced when I started my career as a nurse. I hope you will find these things helpful.

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Have a good day.

Picture of Kati Kleber, founder of FRESHRN

Hi, I’m Kati.

Kati Kleber, MSN RN is a nurse educator, author, national speaker, host of the FreshRN® Podcast, and owner of FreshRN® – an online platform created to educate, encourage, and motivate newly licensed nurses in innovative ways.

Connect with her on YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, and sign-up for her free email newsletter for new nurses.


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