Anxiety before work

  1. 0 Do any of you guys have this problem? On my first night back on, I feel this overwhelming anxiety and depression before I go into work. Once I'm there, I'm kind of ok. But I hate this feeling. The following nights after the first night are a little better, but I still feel anxious and uncomfortable. I'm a travel nurse and don't really have friends at work, so may be that has something to do with it, but I remember feeling this way even when I was a staff nurse at my old hospital, maybe not as intense.
    Anyway do you guys ever feel super anxious and depressed before going into work and what do you do to alleviate this? I work nights on a busy high-acuity cardiothoracic unit with very sick patients. Sigh.
  2. Visit  tinderbox profile page

    About tinderbox

    Joined Oct '05; Posts: 224; Likes: 34.

    22 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  NurseCard profile page
    0
    One thing that has always helped me is to just do something really relaxing right before work, to help clear your head and get you ready. I used to try to leave for work early, stop somewhere and get a good cup of coffee, get to work, just sit in my car for at least ten minutes, sip my coffee, and just take good deep breaths.

    My current job actually doesn't make me feel this way very often, which is one of the reasons why I feel I must be crazy that I'm leaving it.

    Anyway, I digress... something else that used to help me, may sound like the exact opposite of what I said above. =) But, I used to sometimes work out right before work. A *small* workout; maybe thirty minutes walking on the treadmill at a brisk pace. Relaxed me and got those endorphins moving.


    Quote from tinderbox
    Do any of you guys have this problem? On my first night back on, I feel this overwhelming anxiety and depression before I go into work. Once I'm there, I'm kind of ok. But I hate this feeling. The following nights after the first night are a little better, but I still feel anxious and uncomfortable. I'm a travel nurse and don't really have friends at work, so may be that has something to do with it, but I remember feeling this way even when I was a staff nurse at my old hospital, maybe not as intense.
    Anyway do you guys ever feel super anxious and depressed before going into work and what do you do to alleviate this? I work nights on a busy high-acuity cardiothoracic unit with very sick patients. Sigh.
  4. Visit  Kimbalou profile page
    0
    Is this your first travel assignment? Maybe that's causing the anxiety?

    I feel somewhat anxious, too because you never know what you're going to walk into! I have been working in PICU instead of NICU because i'm getting more hours, but I do feel anxious there at times...esp. the other day when the charge nurse told me I was getting a 9 year old! I've only taken care of babies for 17 years, with a little floating here and there. Anyway, after she told me that, i took a few deep breaths and it actually went better than I thought it would!
    If you are feeling that badly before work, do you think you might need to change jobs?
    Or have you considered medication for anxiety and/or depression?
    Take care...and remember you're not the only one that feels the same way at times!
  5. Visit  mercyteapot profile page
    0
    I work M-F and I have severe anxiety on Sunday afternoon/evening. To the extent that it ruins the bulk of the day for me. For me, actually being at work is much less stressful than anticipating going there.
  6. Visit  meownsmile profile page
    1
    I go to sleep every night i work the next day not wanting to go. I get up every day i work not wanting to go. I get ready, get in the car and im still thinking i dont want to be here by the time i swipe my card time. By the time i hit the floor and get report im over it and i just do what i do everyday.
    But then,, i guess if you loved GOING to work, being at work,, looking forward to going to work,, it wouldnt be called work it would be called a hobby you are paid for.
    DutchgirlRN likes this.
  7. Visit  ericalynn profile page
    1
    I am a brand new nurse and I have been working on the floor as an RN officially now for 5 days. The first 3 days I only slept like 4 hours because I was so anxious and nervous, and I almost vomited on my first day before I got there! It gets better each passing day but I don't know if it will ever go away. hopefully..
    RN_MishMish likes this.
  8. Visit  DutchgirlRN profile page
    1
    Been there, done that, no fun. I went to therapy. I would greatly recommend it if you are having that much anxiety about anything in life.
    RN_MishMish likes this.
  9. Visit  CyndieRN2007 profile page
    1
    I used to have this when I worked in the hospital. I took worrying to the extreme. When I was at work, I would check and double check and triple check my work. I would waste my breaks checking my documents, and my patients. It was crazy. At my current job, I dont feel that way at all. I just thought it was the insecurity of being a new nurse. I have been told otherwise though.
    RN_MishMish likes this.
  10. Visit  DutchgirlRN profile page
    1
    Quote from ericalynn
    I am a brand new nurse and I have been working on the floor as an RN officially now for 5 days. The first 3 days I only slept like 4 hours because I was so anxious and nervous, and I almost vomited on my first day before I got there! It gets better each passing day but I don't know if it will ever go away. hopefully..
    Very expected for newbie's but not for experienced nurses, IMHO.
    RN_MishMish likes this.
  11. Visit  Idon'tcodgerdodge profile page
    0
    I used to feel that way when I started working on a very busy med/surg unit for about the first 4 months, then it got a lot better, as I felt more comfortable. I worked there for about a year and a half. Then a research nurse position basically fell into my lap (friend of a friend kind of thing) and I LOVE it!! I make more money with less stress..and I look forward to going into work now. I only see my research patient when they have an appt with the oncologist next door to give them their med, schedule tests, etc. Other than that, I'm in the office at my desk. It's so peaceful. I really enjoy the fact that these clinical trials are working towards curing cancer. So anyways, I would definitely recommend research if you don't want to work by the bedside, but still want to work with patients.
  12. Visit  YellowFinchFan profile page
    0
    Anxiety before work (especially on a Sunday night) is very common! Almost all the nurses I work with in an acute care floor have this problem (from new 1 yr nurses to nurses there 15+ years) Most of us only have it the first night of a 2 day shift - after the 12 hour shift we're pretty tired and can sleep for the next shift.

    At our unit we love the travel nurses - try to find a friendly soul at this present assignment. Some of our nicest travelers we are sad to see go ....well, we throw "going away parties for" they are the ones that were right there in an emergency or offering (without being asked) to help someone out that was swamped. I think travelers are an amazing breed - maybe I'll try it someday but it's not for me yet!

    Here's wishing you some peaceful ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's in your near future!

    I have to get some sleep myself!
    Last edit by YellowFinchFan on Aug 19, '07
  13. Visit  AngBthatsme profile page
    1
    This thread made me think of this girl I went to nursing school with. She was so anxious that she would shake. At clinicals she was scared to go into the patients rooms. She cried a couple of times in post clinical conference about how she was so scared any wrong step on her part could put the patient in harms way. She had come from the medical field before nursing school, she was a CNA. Anyway third semester the nursing instructors had to let her go. It was a good decision the woman was a mess. Her patients and everyone around her knew she was scared. I agree with the previous post though. Normal for new nurses to have some anxiety, but it should subside with time as your confidence grows. Good luck. :spin:
    ericalynn likes this.
  14. Visit  bethin profile page
    0
    I've experienced the same thing, although I'm an aide. I went to therapy although not for this but it helped. Now I have no anxiety before work. I still feel the dread but I'm fine once I hit the floor. I work weekend option and on Friday's I start watching the clock. 12 hours before my shift starts, 11 hours before it starts.

    From these posts, it sounds like you're not alone. Why not strike up a conversation at work? Ask a coworker about family, husbands, where they went to school, etc. Keep talking and then ask if they want to decompress after work one day. Go out for a drink, coffee, food. If you're new to the area ask where a good place to get a haircut is, oil changed, tires rotated, etc.

    It does work. I work with my best friends.


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