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

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

  1. Visit  brandy1017 profile page
    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.
  2. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    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.
  3. Visit  Aem1215 profile page
    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.
  4. Visit  Genista profile page
    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.
  5. Visit  Pappilli0n profile page
    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.
  6. Visit  jrbl77 profile page
    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.
  7. Visit  nursemarion profile page
    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.
  8. Visit  CiscoNurse profile page
    0
    Walk every day at a fast pace for a minimum of 40 minutes each and every day
  9. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    0
    Quote from jrbl77
    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?

    Based on the above quote, you might find this interesting:

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-blogs/a...ce-650655.html

    BTW, I agree. And it isn't just the insecure who are affected by the excellence craze. It's designed to get everyone ramped up and rattled. Actually, these campaigns are meant to increase patient census, but what they really do is make staff members a little loony. And then patients complain about their stressed-out nurses.

    It would be nice if someone from on high figured out that happy nurses mean happier patients, good word-of-mouth advertising, and a better reputation over all.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Dec 31, '11
  10. Visit  Chanel360 profile page
    1
    Wow, this article is amazing! I love it! I believe that as humans we always tend to think negatively, no? I know I do, especially when I was in school. I would always freak/panic during tests, it was horrible. And although I excelled wonderfully, I feel that my brain was altered unconsciously, bc now I panic for anything.. Ahhh, it's a work in progress, and mind over matter.

    Anywho, great post! I think everyone who is coming into this profession should read this, I'm glad I did. I'm starting nursing school soon, and I feel it gives good insight into the things that we will be exposed to. Well done!
    rn/writer likes this.
  11. Visit  Marine2Nurse profile page
    0
    If it wasn't worth it, it would be easy and everyone would do it!
  12. Visit  xcatltc profile page
    0
    We are human, and i have had my share of mistakes as well being an LPN for 16 years, do yourself a favor "do not panic". I know your heart starts beating, and you start to sweat, and think" what am i going to do"? med errors esp. but everyone makes them, they are so common, just do your required checks, and you will be ok.
  13. Visit  JourneyRN profile page
    0
    Wow, I'm a member and didn't realize it! Working on getting kicked out, can't wait.

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