Developing Mental Fortitude

Healthcare Training Resource
July 22, 2013 — 1,706 views  
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The job of nurses and other health care providers is very demanding – mentally, physically, as well as emotionally and can often turn out to be extremely strenuous. Working long hours with ill, anxious, and stressed out people day in and day out is as challenging as daily life can get. In such a situation, it becomes essential for all nurses and health care professionals to not let the pressure and exhaustion catch up to them. Acquiring and displaying mental fortitude is an effective method of keeping these negative sentiments at bay.   

What exactly is Mental Fortitude?

Emotional stability is similar to mental fortitude and is the prime component of a healthy mental attitude. As a nurse, you’ll often find yourself rejoicing with a family who just got a new born baby, feeling hopeless and desolated about the condition of your patient, or grieving the loss of a patient who had been in your care for long. And these are the times you need to show fortitude.

Emotional stability should however, not be confused with complete lack of emotions and empathy. As a medical aid provider or a nurse you always need to be particularly empathetic because you’ll be dealing with worried and scared people who are undergoing immense physical, mental, and psychological pain. But this empathy should not let you get carried away. 

The Benefits of Maintaining Mental Fortitude

In a day you will experience different emotions – joy, surprise, anticipation, indignation, fear, anger, sadness, frustration, and even disgust. If you let each of these emotions take a toll on you, you’ll end up drained in a messed up pool of unresolved feelings and emotions. This feeling will stay with you even after work gets over, affecting not only you but your children, family, and friends as well. A healthy mental attitude will help you wade through the day in better spirits.

Mental fortitude is also critical in maintaining a professional work environment. You’ll often face difficult and trying situations where you need to take care of the patient and manage several other situations related to family, doctors, and other team members at the same time. Keeping your cool will be impossible in such cases if you are not emotionally stable.

Your healthy mental attitude will also provide much needed reassurance and peace of mind to your patients and their family members, who already have their minds clouded with apprehensions, fear, and pain. Not only this, your healthy mental attitude and emotional stability will also be rewarding for your career.

How do you Build and Maintain Mental Fortitude

Patience, physical endurance, and an optimistic attitude toward life will be particularly helpful in developing mental fortitude. You must learn to always keep in mind the bigger perspective of life and sufferings. Learning to do what you find particularly uncomfortable will also help you build a stronger mind and more stable emotions.

In trying situations, choose between reacting and letting go, by weighing its impact on you, the patient, as well as your career. You’ll find that the sheer realization of the positive impact your emotional stability will have on all three will be enough to help you hold yourself back and display mental fortitude.

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