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Balance in community nursing: Leaving work at work

Aysha Mendes - Freelance Journalist First published: Last updated:

Many of us find it challenging to strike the elusive ‘work-life balance’ that has become somewhat of a buzz term. In the nursing profession, it can be a real struggle to leave work at work (Jennings, 2008). Caring for other people, usually in the intimacy of their own home, and at the vulnerable time of illness, can allow for particular attachment. Being entrusted with a patient's care and treatment, aware that even the smallest mistake may sometimes make the difference between wellness, illness, or even death, is a lot of pressure to manage. This can result in tremendous stress, and even burnout (Jennings, 2008).

Taking work home 

Newly qualified nurses often report being unable to forget about their work day when at home:

  • Running through it repeatedly in their minds
  • Second-guessing their actions
  • Worrying about their chronically ill patients
  • Worrying about which patient may have died during their absence
  • Worrying

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Aysha Mendes

Freelance Journalist, specialising in health, psychology and nursing

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