An ER stress-buster: The chaos theory

By Ilene MacDonald

Our most-read story of 2015 was an article that examined the use of the chaos theory to help nurses cope with stress in the emergency room.

Stories about stressed-out clinicians and staff always strike a chord--it's a perennial problem. The advice, in this case, was unexpected: Embrace chaos. 

Nursing students must learn the chaos theory, said Elena Capella, assistant professor and director of the online Master in Nursing program at San Francisco's School of Nursing and Health Professions because the reality of the job involves unpredictable situations and constant changes.

Elena Capella, assistant professor and director of the online Master in nursing program at San Francisco's School of Nursing and Health Professions, said she teaches students that a chaotic environment is natural and they need a Zen-like mindset to handle the stress of 12-hour shifts, a lack of sleep and a poor diet.

An ER stress-buster: The chaos theory
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