In The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner’s last blog article, we took a look at red flags of a toxic work environment. We learned there are many signs and symptoms of a negative place of work. This article will focus on how to survive a toxic work environment in healthcare.
While there is no “perfect” work environment, there are some healthcare institutions that are better than others. However, it is not always feasible to quit your nurse practitioner job and search for this perfect work environment.
First step to surviving a toxic work environment in healthcare
The first step of surviving a toxic work environment is to become aware of the negative issues that are taking place. Take a look at that list of red flags and determine how many of them you experience. Then take a moment to reflect on how the toxic work environment affects you personally.
Are your experiences so severe that it is affecting your mental, physical, and emotional health? Are you starting to feel detached from your work as a nurse practitioner? Do you dread going to work everyday? Are you experiencing signs and symptoms of nurse practitioner burnout?
If so, these underlying toxic work environment in healthcare issues need to be addressed. I recommend trying to change the things we can control personally.
Tips to survive a toxic work environment in healthcare
- Awareness of why toxic work environment and how it affects you personally
- Remembering you can’t change other people- You can only change yourself
- Acknowledge stress in other people- Most of the time people take their own personal stress out on other people
- Sticking up for yourself- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need or want
- Implement self-care- Finding healthy activities that fill up your cup
- Meeting your basic needs- Implement exercise, ensure adequate sleep, fuel your body with a healthy diet and water
- Emotional intelligence- Work on creating a sense of awareness about your own thoughts and actions
- Don’t fixate on negativity- You are what you think. Meaning if you focus on negative thoughts, this will become your reality. But if you focus on positive thoughts you will automatically feel happier
- Find positives in job- I know it’s hard to imagine, but there are likely some positive aspects of your job that you can be thankful for!
- Improve work-life balance– Work on leaving work issues at work. Creating ways to avoid bringing the negativity or thoughts home with you
- Change your charting– Learn the time management and charting tips to STOP charting at home, improving your work-life balance
- Talk with your healthcare person or find support in The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner Facebook group
If you currently have a toxic job, I want you to choose one of these things from the list to work on. If you need to show more empathy for the personal struggles your co-worker is experiencing, then focus on that. If you need to give yourself time for self-care or create actions that fill your bucket, then do it. If you need to implement a gratitude list to focus on the positive factors of your job, then work on that.
What if you can’t survive a toxic work environment?
If you have tried to make these positive changes and still experience a toxic work environment in healthcare, then it is time to look for another place of employment. No job is worth risking your own health and well-being. There are other nurse practitioner jobs and opportunities out there. You have to do what is right for you and your family.
When you do find another place of employment, I strongly encourage nurse practitioners to become aware of the red flags of working in a toxic work environment in healthcare. Ask lots of questions during the interview process. Get a feel for how the employer manages a toxic work environment. Ask past or current employees if there are toxic tendencies at the healthcare institution. Becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of a toxic work environment in healthcare can help nurse practitioners avoid a job that they may be miserable working at.
I hope these articles helped you realize the red flag of working in a toxic work environment in healthcare and how to survive the negative workplace.
It is possible to overcome nurse practitioner burnout!
For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com
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