When I was a brand new nurse (not too long ago!) I allways hated leaving anything at all to the oncoming nurse. And i still hate it. As a people pleaser, I hate "making" people unhappy. And so I spent every shift prioritizing, rushing around, stressing, never sitting down, never taking breaks, not eating or hydrating, and still, going home and dwelling on the complaints of small scale tasks that I hadn't gotten done. What more could I do? Everything was cleaned, restocked, ready to use. All patients were cared for. Every medication was given, every treatment was done. No IV bags had run dry. But it still wasn't good enough, because that last minute, non-urgent telephone order I received was flagged for the next nurse to carry out. "I'm sorry, MD called as you walked in, and I had to finish the report for you" but it still irked her.
I had to be faster, be better. Complete every task and make everyone happy. But then I found myself often being lectured by my higher ups about leaving on time and not working off the clock (which is not even legal)
Because after all of my work was done, I would FINALLY sit down AFTER giving report, and THEN start charting on patients. Every time I charted, I used my little notebook as a guide. It had all the info I needed to chart; all of the things I jotted down throughout the shift. And as time went on the list of things to chart got bigger, because I rarely charted during my shift anymore. I had run out of every minute I had.
Eventually I found myself breaking down, burnt out. And feeling that nothing I did was ever good enough.
To be honest, I find most oncoming nurses to be understanding and not bothered by left over tasks. But I focused on the ones who were always annoyed. I actually learned from my first nursing job, something about myself that affected my life for as long as I remember. And I began to change it. I know now that I cannot fix everything, I can not take everything on. I cannot make everyone happy. And I don't need to do those things to be a good nurse or a good friend or a good person in general. I know this now.
I also know that when I step into work, it is not about me feeling good about myself. It is not about making every coworker happy. Its not about killing myself to do these things!
ITS ABOUT THE PATIENTS. ENSURING THEIR SAFETY. HELPING THEM. CARING FOR THEM. LEARNING AND GROWING AS A NURSE, FOR PATIENTS EVERY DAY AND IN THE FUTURE.
Just thought I'd share. It's a valuable lesson I learned.