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Helping Sandwich Generation nurses find a work-life balance

By Kari Olson Finnegan, BSN, and Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

If you have at least one parent age 65 or older and are raising children or financially supporting a child age 18 or older, you’re part of the Sandwich Generation. Coined in 1981 by social worker Dorothy Miller, the term originally referred to women, generally in their 30s and 40s, who were “sandwiched” between young kids, spouses, employers, and aging parents. While the underlying concept remains the same, over time the definition has expanded to include men and to encompass a larger age range, reflecting the trends of delayed childbearing, grown children moving back home, and elderly parents living longer. The societal phenomenon of the Sandwich Generation increasingly is linked to higher levels of stress and financial uncertainty, as well as such downstream effects as depression and greater health impacts in caregivers. (more…)

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Achieving a work-life balance

Nurse Work Life Balance

By Julie Boertje, MS, RN, LMFT, QMRP, and Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Almost everyone agrees that achieving a work-life balance is a good thing. Without it, we risk long-term negative effects on our physical and mental health, our relationships, and our work performance. But many clinicians have a hard time achieving this balance due to job demands, erratic work schedules, or the inability to say no when someone asks for help.

The challenges of stress and burnout

Stress and job burnout can cause, contribute to, or result from a poor work-life balance. They disrupt our normal patterns, behaviors, and feelings.

Of course, no one can escape stress altogether. Sometimes stress is a good thing, but we need to be able to identify when it’s a problem. For many clinicians, stress springs from the desire to provide good service and care in all parts of their lives. This desire can create stress, especially when barriers exist to achieving it. (more…)

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