AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Take the 30-Day Resilience Challenge

Resilience Spelled Out in Scrabble Letters on a Dark Wooden Table

October 11, 2017  

Imagine yourself 45% less stressed.

How much better could you feel? How much more focused and effective could you be?

When two groups of nurse leaders recently participated in a 30-day resilience challenge to measure their stress level, they learned new resilience practices and developed skills to help them thrive in their work and life. The challenge used the perceived stress scale (PSS) to measure their pre-challenge stress and provided initial education about seven resilience skills and 30 days of text messages with stress reduction tips such as taking a five-minute compassion break or smiling and taking a deep breath before you pick up the phone or answer an email.

After 30 days of practicing resilience every day, the nurses completed the same PSS questionnaire and independently, each group of nurse leaders tested 45% less stressed.

"We are all so busy and stressed as we put out fires and manage the constant deluge of demands, conflicts, and change—sometimes we need permission and a gentle reminder to regain our strength and perspective," notes Diane Sieg, RN, CYT, CSP, who created the challenge.

She says resilience is not something you have or don’t have, but a skill you can exercise to build and improve. She thinks perioperative nurses need resilience more than ever today in their intimate, high-tech, and fast-paced environments.

Connection and support is one of Sieg’s recommended resilient skills. Here are 5 simple ways to practice this daily:

  • Celebrate birthdays, holidays, and any wins, big or small in your department.
  • Organize an inclusive social event outside of work.
  • Offer help to someone you may not even know.
  • See how often you can smile in one day.
  • Write a gratitude note to someone acknowledging them.

Sieg will be sharing her program Chaos to CALM! Thriving in Health Care with Resilience on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at AORN’s Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2018. The interactive workshop will help participants assess their current stress levels, understand the role resilience plays in nursing, and practice the seven resilience skills.