Healthcare is one of the most important sectors of employment to date – after all, people’s lives are in your hands, and it’s your duty to do the best you can for them. Whether you’re a nurse, surgeon, or psychologist, there are many challenges you’ll face in your career, and whilst it’s not always easy to face them, you’ll be able to prepare and overcome the hardest bits. After all – it’s the challenges you face that make healthcare such a rewarding field. Read on to find out the biggest challenges you’ll come across and how you can prepare yourself for them to look after both your patients and yourself.

Difficult Situations

It’s no secret that healthcare is a hard job – whether you’re working busy shifts in the emergency room, or discussing a life-threatening illness with a patient, or even dealing with deaths. Difficult situations like these are something you can never get used to, but there are things you can do and skills you can develop to help you cope with them, putting you in the right mindset to help your patients as well as look after your own wellbeing.

One of the most important skills to have is resilience. Resilience is what keeps you strong in the face of adversity, and helps you keep moving. Moms like us already have a bank of this stored away – there’s no denying that being a mom builds up your strength and resilience! But working in healthcare requires a different kind of resilience, and you don’t want any struggles in your work life to start chipping away at your individual strength. Not only will resilience help keep your own wellbeing sturdy, and avoid your mental health dipping too low, but it will give your patients the reassurance and confidence that things will be okay, even when it may not feel that way.

Resilience is a skill that needs time to build, but anyone can work on their resilience, whether you’re planning on using it in your job or in your personal life. This article gives detail on how to build resilience, and it has scientific research to support it.

Difficult People

It’s well-known that difficult situations are unavoidable in healthcare, but a less talked about element of working in healthcare is that eventually, you’re going to come across a patient who is particularly difficult – and yes, that means more difficult than the dreaded teenage rebellions in your kids. Perhaps they decide nothing you do is right; perhaps they demand to see someone else all the time. Maybe they don’t communicate with you – or maybe they talk way too much! When you’re dealing with people all the time, it’s unsurprising that you’ll find people who make life a little harder, and if you’re working long shifts, you might struggle to work with them.

With people like this, it’s important to focus on two things – empathy, and patience. Many patients you’re working with are going to be experiencing large amounts of stress – even just being in a new environment and putting their health in the hands of someone else is stressful enough. So, try to understand the way they act from this point of view – maybe they’re being curt and critical because they’re worried something may go wrong. It’s nothing personal.

Secondly, it’s important to have an element of patience with things like this. Try breathing exercises like these to keep your composure, and maybe consider taking up something like mindfulness. These will help you keep your cool in situations like these, and help you bring a smile to the most difficult of patients.

The Professional Bits

When most people consider going into healthcare, they think about being by a patient’s bedside, helping them, and guiding them. They don’t think about the administration behind it, or the professional guidelines you have to abide by! Whether you’re coordinating handovers and offering updates on your previous, or organizing prescriptions and medical records, there’s always paperwork, and it can be overwhelming to get used to.

This is usually a matter of time – getting familiar with procedures. If you feel a bit out of depth, there’s no harm in asking someone, or even taking some further study to help boost your confidence and knowledge. This is particularly useful if you’re worrying about whether you’re doing things right – maybe you’re unsure how to approach a particular patient correctly, for example. You could do some training, or you could take a whole qualification to really give you that extra support and knowledge. There are plenty out there, especially for nurses – click here for a good example of an online nursing college course provider. This type, of course, is easy to fit in with that busy home life!

Separating Home and Work

All of these previous points mean that often, it can be difficult to separate your home life from your work life, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of stress. This can come out in negative ways and can be hard to control. The last thing you want is to take it out on your kids or partner, and so it’s important to develop proper coping mechanisms for any stress. This may even mean counseling if you feel as if you need someone to talk to.

It’s also worth reinforcing that home is home. Take some time when you get home to relax and establish that link between home and relaxation. Get your partner to look after the kids for half an hour whilst you have a bath, or maybe have some “quiet time” as a family – whatever you need to do to give yourself some time to chill out. Try to keep your home space as positive as possible, even if this means establishing rules and boundaries – although putting yourself first may feel selfish, you can only be the best for your kids when you feel best in yourself, and you deserve to feel good.

These challenges may pose some difficulty in your life, but with preparation, you can be sure to deal with them well and enjoy the rewarding feeling you get from working in healthcare.


Hey there, I’m Tiffany! I’m a work-at-home mom of two rambunctious children (Jasmine, 9 + Sean II, 5) and recently widowed at just 35 years old. I've remarried and currently live right outside of Baton Rouge in Denham Springs, Louisiana with two adoring cats and a dog. Let's connect on Twitter @fabulousmomblog.

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