It’s stress awareness month in April so what better moment to consider ways to reduce our stress and anxiety when studying?
Whilst studying to become a dental nurse is exciting, we would be lying if we pretended there wasn’t a lot to learn. Working towards a dream job takes time and dedication and sometimes we all feel tired and overwhelmed.
However, don’t stress (literally) there are a number of practical steps you can take to reduce your stress levels while studying.
1. Practice kindness
Often our expectations of ourselves can be sky-high but that does nothing for your stress levels. Try to take the pressure off and practice some self-kindness. If your friend was feeling stressed and anxious would your reaction be frustration and anger or kind words? Be kind to yourself when you are feeling the pressure and keep goals achievable. Learning is a marathon, not a sprint.
2) Little and often
Sometimes when there is a lot to learn taking it all in feels overwhelming. The key to success is to pace yourself. If you try and cram for hours on end you will end up exhausted and burned out. Set small goals for example reading and studying Levison’s from day one – even just five minutes daily will be a massive advantage. If English is your second language translate all unknown phrases and medical terms beforehand and practice.
3. Think about the end goal
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed whilst studying but a positive mindset makes such a difference. If you are feeling the pressure, take a few minutes and picture the end goal. Think about yourself working as a fully qualified dental nurse and helping others to smile. Breathe deeply and remember everything in the world that is worth having requires some effort. Keeping positive and thinking about the sense of achievement when you pass your exams can help you to feel less stressed.
4) Ask for help!
The great thing about studying to be a dental nurse is that you must work in a dental practice for at least 16 hours a week. If you are struggling with any aspect of your course or feeling stressed don’t be afraid to speak to your colleagues. Every single dental nurse has been in your shoes. We all feel stressed and anxious but ask your friends and colleagues for their learning tips and tricks to help you retain the information. An encouraging word and some understanding can help fight the stress levels and turn them into positive motivation.
5. Get enough rest
Working and studying dental nursing is great fun but let’s be honest it is also pretty exhausting on occasion. If you need to hit the books hard for a few weeks or are finding one part of the course tricky think about scheduling some extra rest. A good night’s sleep and ensuring you are well-rested can make all the difference.
6. Ask questions
You know the expression…” there is no such thing as a stupid question” it is 100% true when it comes to learning. In your classes, if there is something you don’t understand speak up! All our tutors are more than happy to answer any question you have or to explain again if you were struggling to understand. The same goes for when you are at work. As a trainee dental nurse, you will be expected to have questions so never be scared to ask.
If you want to find out more about taking your NEBDN diploma in dental nursing, click here
As we live in increasingly stressful times, mental health should be high on the list for both practices and individuals alike. We’ve put together some resources below to get you thinking about how you might be able to better help yourself, your colleagues and your patients.