I'm Freaking Out and Frantic! Please, Help Me! - page 2

by rn/writer Guide

21,583 Views | 43 Comments

I gave the wrong med, and Im just sick about it. Today at work I dropped a full specimen container. My co-workers think Im a total idiot. I make all kinds of little mistakes. Now I feel so guilty I cant even... Read More


  1. 3
    I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I will be emailing it to myself to re-read when I have one of those days
  2. 2
    The writer was spot on with everything I have gone through in the last year and a half since graduating!! How did you get into my brain, dear writer??? Ah, you must've walked in my shoes....thank you so much for this article. You have helped me immensely. I was ready to run for president of this freaking out and frantic club, and, mind you, would have been elected hands down. But now I'm gaining a bit of perspective and wisdom, as well as that ever elusive self-confidence. My panic attacks are far less frequent; the self flagellations few and far between. I'll continue to pursue sanity rather than misery. Thank you for making me feel okay as a new nurse.
    rn/writer and Always_Learning like this.
  3. 5
    Good grief...........where was advice like this when I was starting out??!!

    As always, Miranda nails it---cuts right through the BS and tells it exactly the way it is. Great work!!!
    dodoy, GrnTea, ebear, and 2 others like this.
  4. 1
    I think in some situations, the stress response is really PTSD. Where because of a prior bad experience (crashing patient, etc) any patient or situation that reminds of that time when you felt scared, trapped, overwhelmed brings up those feelings again. I know that was the case for me and given the high acuity of patients these days that extends beyond ICU to the step down and even regular floors, we are all at risk of developing this kind of stress reaction.

    I used a self-hypnosis tape I made to overcome this stress reaction. Sometimes people need therapy or even meds to help them remain calm. I was surprised with how many people suffer from this that never showed it. They'd tell me how anxious they were and they seemed so calm or I'd find out someone was on a betablocker to deal with their "performance anxiety".

    So many nurses suffer from anxiety, stress and depression that if you suffer from it you should seek help whether that be therapy, meds, hypnosis or just support from coworkers, all nurses, or family. Work doesn't have to be filled with dread and anxiety. There are things you can do to get over this so work can be an enjoyable experience again. When your in the midst of stress or anxiety attack all you see is fear, you forget all the good things, your team, your ability, your knowledge and skills. You have to remind yourself I can do this, I've handled this exact situation before and it turned out ok. My coworker will help me or the MRT team is there to help!

    Even before we had the MRT team the ICU staff where I worked was always very helpful and I would ask them to refresh my memory over chest tubes or if I had a question or concern. I could call and someone was always very friendly and willing to help. I never felt put down or criticized when I called on their assistance and in the beginning I did it a lot. Now I'm the resource person on the unit!
    rn/writer likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from brandy1017
    I think in some situations, the stress response is really PTSD. Where because of a prior bad experience (crashing patient, etc) any patient or situation that reminds of that time when you felt scared, trapped, overwhelmed brings up those feelings again. I know that was the case for me and given the high acuity of patients these days that extends beyond ICU to the step down and even regular floors, we are all at risk of developing this kind of stress reaction.

    I used a self-hypnosis tape I made to overcome this stress reaction. Sometimes people need therapy or even meds to help them remain calm. I was surprised with how many people suffer from this that never showed it. They'd tell me how anxious they were and they seemed so calm or I'd find out someone was on a betablocker to deal with their "performance anxiety".

    So many nurses suffer from anxiety, stress and depression that if you suffer from it you should seek help whether that be therapy, meds, hypnosis or just support from coworkers, all nurses, or family. Work doesn't have to be filled with dread and anxiety. There are things you can do to get over this so work can be an enjoyable experience again. When your in the midst of stress or anxiety attack all you see is fear, you forget all the good things, your team, your ability, your knowledge and skills. You have to remind yourself I can do this, I've handled this exact situation before and it turned out ok. My coworker will help me or the MRT team is there to help!

    Even before we had the MRT team the ICU staff where I worked was always very helpful and I would ask them to refresh my memory over chest tubes or if I had a question or concern. I could call and someone was always very friendly and willing to help. I never felt put down or criticized when I called on their assistance and in the beginning I did it a lot. Now I'm the resource person on the unit!
    You could be right about this--if someone has a prior experience to flash back to. In many cases, though, this horrible introduction to nursing or certain aspects of it would actually be the traumatic event(s) that would sensitize someone to future problems. In other words, a nurse of five years who is now transferring from med/surg to an intense critical care unit might be thrown back into the extreme anxiety and loss of confidence she experienced as a new nurse.

    The crazy-making levels of guilt, anxiety, self-doubt, self-condemnation, and all the rest may themselves be so debilitating and damaging that they begin to experience PTSD first-hand and not just as a throwback to something prior.

    Nurses who are living with constant fear, tension and degradation are "in the trenches" every bit as much as service men and women who have had to live in a constant state of high alert. This is not conducive to either learning or good quality of life.

    Thanks for your observations.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Jan 2, '12
    brandy1017 likes this.
  6. 1
    I remember those days... and now I am the DON and see this happen to some of my staff! I am printing this one out!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  7. 1
    What a great article! I have been an RN for 13 years, and just changed specialties. In some ways, I do feel like a born again new grad. This topic really hits the spot. Thank you for reminding me how to gain perspective in a healthy way. I am going to print this out, so I can re-read it on a PRN basis. :-)
    rn/writer likes this.
  8. 1
    Until a nurse realizes that she/he "knows what they know and are willing to learn whatever else there is to learn" she/he will continue to be a ball of nerves at their jobs. We all graduated from a nursing school and we all passed Boards.....WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW.....believe it and live it!!
    rn/writer likes this.
  9. 1
    I agree that this is a great article. This sounds like me to a tee. I do find one thing that has not helped me and I don't feel has helped nurses in general is hospitals striving for excellance. Every day it is drilled into our heads that we, as the staff must provide excellant care and all our patient satisfaction surveys will only count if marked excellant. We can all strive for excellance but is this ever going to be possible? All this push for excellance just makes me more hyped up. I feel that I provide really great care, but very rarely mark any survey as excellant. Any body else find this troublesome?
    rn/writer likes this.
  10. 1
    I join the anxious me too club, after 26 years I cannot wait to retire - running on fear wears you down. Even to retire to something else would be grand. If only we were recognized for the true stress we endure every day like emergency workers and soldiers. It is in our faces every day and we have to deal with it, we cannot walk away. We cannot even take breaks much of the time.

    Great encouraging article though.
    rn/writer likes this.


Top