Anxiety is a feeling of panic or fear. Most people feel anxious about a certain situation in life such as exams or money. You feel calmer after overcoming the thing that disturbing your mind although some feelings of anxiety continue even after the difficult situation. Some people have a stronger sense of anxiety, and it may turn to a problem if it starts affecting the things you do every day.
Symptoms of anxiety
When anxiety becomes extreme, you may experience physical symptoms such as dry mouth, faintness, trembling diarrhea and stomach cramps.
It is normal for nursing students to have anxiety. In fact, it is higher than the level that students in most other schools encounter. Some studies suggest that that s nursing students have more anxiety than their counterparts in pharmacology, social work, and medical school programs. The nursing program has profound workload because the academic studies and clinical practice are both intensive. They strive to maintain a balance in work and life especially for those taking a degree program when they are more mature with family and job commitments.
There are many nursing students with multiple family concerns including caring for their elderly parents or coping with adolescent children. Start to address your anxiety before it gets the better of you. A good way to start is to think about those questions that health care professionals ask patients who complain about restlessness and consider the advice they get on how to improve their lifestyle and habits. You can also consider following these simple tips that you think to be obvious but contribute a lot n maintaining optimum health.
After spending some time at a nursing school, you know the workload to anticipate at the beginning of a semester or term. Start working on assignments at your comfortable pace but resist temptations to procrastinate something you can complete. Regular postponement leads to piling up of workload which you may have to complete during "all-nighter" sessions that are extremely unhealthy. Consider that nursing keeps you much busier than other programs with longer breaks in between and students can find time to sleep during the day. For a nurse, a clinical assignment is likely to be at a day after the marathon study at night.
Just as you learn during the elementary years, a nutritional and well-balanced diet is essential for energizing the body for it to cope with your numerous activities. Your body metabolizes more during stress meaning that you will be hungry more frequently. The urge to eat could make you make poor food choices. The nursing profession is prone to eating disorders. Do not be part of these statistics. Maintain a good eating habit throughout your class education and clinical sessions. When you get into the habit of eating the right diet, it is easier for you to maintain it throughout your career. Do not get into the temptation of taking heavy meals because you feel hungry. It is healthier to eat five to six small meals each day comprising of whole foods. Take more fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Remember to drink much water.
Nursing school faculty and the nature of curriculum encourages group study. It is constructive and helpful but at times might cause "group anxiety." The anxiety levels by each student might rise drastically and affect the entire study group. Determine the things that work best for you. It could be that quizzing with your colleagues when preparing for tests might work well, but the reading of the difficult chapters and sources of information works well when alone at a quite place.
Nurses are good at multitasking, and they often exchange the mastery by sacrificing their personal time. A nursing student can become so busy when taking care of the needs of patients, lecturers, physicians and other commitments. They forget the importance of physical and spiritual nourishment. It might seem difficult, but you need to create a minimum of half an hour each day for yourself. Spend this time wisely and include something that helps to relax your mind. For example, you can use it for walking, listening to music, getting massage or yoga because it helps in meditation. If you have never tried Yoga, try a deep forward bend of turn yourself upside down. It will increase blood flow helping you to rest better and also think more clearly. After relaxing, you get a new perspective to your challenges.
Nursing is a highly respected career but like with other professions there are low moments. Studying nursing is interesting as you learn new things and anticipate how your profession will be but there are frustrations and upsetting moments along the way. Sometimes things go wrong in front of colleagues and professors or getting high grades might be a tall order. You should take everything in stride for physical and emotional balance. Remember that you will be entering into one of the most admirable professions in the US and all over the world.
There is a shortage of nurses, and if you do not join the profession, the healthcare system will be weaker. As you go through your studies, focus more on what you intend to do next and the things you can learn to help you in providing better care rather than. Think about things you can do to be a good model that can encourage more to enter the profession. A positive attitude does much in giving you the confidence and feel good attitude about you program.
Some people think of alcohol as a reliever from anxiety. Others use caffeine to help them focus. Both can cause adverse effects and might increase stress or even cause panic attacks.
When you are anxious, your body needs more rest to recover. It might seem like a contradiction because school workload and other practical activities might require you to wake early or stay up late. It is, however, important to sleep well at night as it prepares the body to overcome anxiety better.
Some events can be triggers for severe reactions. Single out the activities that make you more anxious. It could be assignments, clinical or lectures. When you identify the sources of your exceptional anxiety, it will be simpler for you to come up with various tactics that help you in responding to anxiety triggers and prepare to handle them better before they happen.
Venting with your friends or family makes a big difference. They will listen and probably offer you some guidance. If the anxiety does not reduce, it is wise to find a professional who can provide guidance and additional support. Most nursing schools have a counselor who knows how to handle issues affecting students.
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When students are preparing for important tests such as NLE or NCLEX, you spend most of your time to study and review your notes. Even after a thorough exam preparation, most students are very anxious on exam day, and some even lose focus. Test anxiety is common among students, anyone who is preparing to take an exam experience some degree of stress and some it is helpful. Anxiety is at four levels:
Mild anxiety motivates and enhances creativity as at this level, you become alerted and your perception increases.
Moderate, severe and panic levels or anxiety are dangerous. They completely scatter your focus and preventing you from paying the usual attention. You are likely to feel lost about your next move because anxiety narrows your awareness of the surrounding. It is an unpleasant condition for any nursing student during exams. If you experience a tendency to comprehend information and go blank when you need to recall it and answer a question, your anxiety is at a serious level.
These tips will help you to reduce and overcome test anxiety.
Anticipate the topics tht an exam will cover. Dig for information about the likely number questions on the test and the time allotted to complete. You will be less anxious and prepare better when you have much information about the test. Going through material also helps to improve your confidence before an exam. When you are ready for an exam, it is unlikely that anxiety will affect you.
Go to the exam room on time. Getting to an exam room late, you will panic especially if you find that other students have already begun the test. If you happen to be late, sit down and relax rather than rush through your paper. Despite the lost time, you will be more composed throughout the exam. Rushing through a test makes you read the questions and choices wrongly especially for questions with different wording.
If you are at the exam room early, maintain calmness when your instructor brings the papers. Remember that this is not a speed test. When the test starts, relax first and settle down rather than rushing to answer the questions. The short moment of calm gets you mind to work. Saying a short prayer or breathing deeply for a few seconds helps to calm you down.
Imagining yourself passing an exam can work well for you. View the examination as an opportunity to show that you have studied much and to receive a good grade for your studying. Acknowledge that you have done the best.
Use the exam to answer the questions in the best possible way at a reasonable pace that allows you to cover everything. There is a reward for finishing first especially when you do not give enough attention.
There are many sources of unwanted pressure. One source of pressure is other students. When some of you keep pointing out what you need to study, remember and the questions that might be in the exam, it can affect your preparation. Do not allow negative comments and thoughts to water down your confidence. Remind yourself that you know the topics well as you have studied them in class. A few minutes before an exam, focus on relaxing your mind and getting it ready for the test. Disregard comment by students who express negativity as they are likely to demolish you confidence.
Getting restful exam before an examination helps you to focus. You will be well settled for the task ahead than if you wake up tired. Scientific studies have in the past linked good night's sleep to higher test scores.
Vegetables and fruits are excellent stress busters. Whole grains will give you enough energy for you to sit through the exam time. Avoid processed foods or those with spices or preservatives as they might upset your stomach and even distract you when doing your exam.
A good way to control anxiety is by taking a deep breath by inhaling slowly for about ten seconds. Hold breath for a short time then exhale slowly through the mouth for about ten months. It helps in regulating the body's physical reactions to anxiety every time you feel stressed.
Sometimes, factors beyond your control can be a cause of stress. In such instances, you should accept that it is impossible to do everything. Focus towards issues that you can control and define ways of reacting to the situations.
Many nurses with a diploma in nursing or associate degree are compelled to enroll in nursing school for BSN degree as many employers now require graduates in their workforce. Even graduate nurses go back to schools to gain more knowledge and make more accomplishments in their field.
Such nurses are at more risk of anxiety as they have more responsibilities to balance. At their age, some have large families, more responsibilities at work and even elderly parents who need their care.
Practicing nurses can reduce chances of anxiety by doing the following:
It is essential for those with minimum computer skills to enhance their abilities for them to take an online degree program and perform more tasks digitally at their convenient time. It reduces the need and time to commute between home, workplace and nursing school.
A computer can crash, and it is essential to take precautions by having a backup to avoid loss of your academic work. You should regularly send your papers to yourselves by email to avoid the anxiety of losing bulk work especially when you need it.
If you do not manage the time between family, school and work efficiently, you will have anxiety most of the time. Although nurses can multi-task, there is a risk that you education might overwhelm you, especially around exam time. If possible, ask your employer to exempt you from some of the duties and delegate some of your household roles. You might be surprised about how your family, colleagues, and friends are ready to help you.
Log into the class as many times as you can during the week. It is even better to log in for short periods than missing for days. It will keep you connected with conversations taking place in the classroom including responses to your postings. The ongoing dialogue makes learning to be fun and helps to reduce anxiety. It also keeps you up to date with class work.
Whether you are attending part-time or online classes, do not be stressed about something you cannot understand. All instructors who offer lessons online are available to help students even though the interaction is not face-to-face. Reach out to your online instructors through phone, email and official messaging platforms.
Do whatever you can to maintain good health. Nurses can take good care of other people but often neglect themselves. Yo can reduce and prevent anxiety caused by the pressure of studies while working on taking some time off your schedule to relax. Nurture yourself by going out for nice dinner, hike or movie, a round of gold or jogging. When you feel tired, try sleeping for some extra hours
You should know that it is usual to have some level of an anxiety during your time in nursing school. Fear and worry will creep in on various occasions such as when you need to memorize complicated drug facts or participate in a lab when fellow students and tutors are watching.