While nursing is one of the most trusted professions in the world, it is also one of the most stressful. We wondered what we could all learn from our nurse friends about what they do to relieve stress. The results may surprise you!!
At Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, the institution hosts Paws for Pennsy, an event where nurses and other hospital staff are invited to cuddle, pet, and enjoy the antics of dogs and cats and get much-needed tension relief. Paws for Pennsy is an offshoot of the Pet a Pooch program previously offered at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Surveys to check on the levels of stress, anxiety and happiness revealed that individuals experienced significant stress relief after their animal petting experience.
Another route to reducing stress is laughter. Terry Foster, MSN, RN, CCRN, CEN, CPEN, FAEN, hosts workshops and lectures on humor as a coping mechanism for stress relief. Foster works as a clinical nurse specialist in the ED at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, Ky.
Many nurses – too many to count – volunteer as a way to dealing with stress. Through organizations like One Nurse At A Time, ReSurge International and Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, they have an opportunity to share laughter, joy and fellowship with others while doing good and changing lives of those in need.  While from the outside this may seem like work, it is much more. We’ve heard time and again from our nurse partners that volunteer nursing is one of the most rewarding and heart-renewing experiences they have ever had.
~Michael and Frida Donner