Staying focused and calm

  1. 0
    Hello all,

    I have a small problem with staying focused and calm during my 12 hour shift. Much unlike the little icon that I attached to the beginning of the post, I tend to look just a bit more like this :scrm:after about the 8-9th hour.

    (Actually, I tend to become more harried, easily frustrated, and more scattered. I don't like this.) I would prefer to be more calm and centered but don't know how to get to that wonderful serene place.

    I have decided to rule out the use of , or the application of pillow therapy, or just becoming downright . I don't think any of these options are good for me, or the patient or the coworker.


    That said, I do not work in an intensive care unit. I do work on a med-surg floor where priorities are often juggled and re-juggled depending on what is happening at the moment. But, dang it, that's life in general.

    Soooo the question restated, How do you stay focused and calm when frustration or tension builds up within you during a 12 hour shift?

    Thanks ahead of time for all the responses.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Loved your story and animations!! ha ha! Make sure you take your breaks, the 10-15 min ones and lunch. Just remember all that work will be there when you get back. Find somebody to do a few things while you are gone on break if you must. How ong you been doing 12's? Can take quite a bit of time to adjust. Also, take care of you when not at work too. Enough sleep, exercise and all that happy crap!!
    gentle likes this.
  5. 1
    Staying calm...different for everyone. We all get harried, in some ways, med-surg is harder than ICU because you have more patients, maybe it's just different. I have no problem asking for help and when people offer I always say yes. The only way I get through my day: say a prayer in the elevator at the beginning of my shift, "Please God, give me strength to get through this day." I go in, do my work and give it 150%, and go home. I leave work at work. I do not answer my phone when work calls on an off day, I limit my extra shift coverage to two a year. I used to be bitter, angry. I try to let it go. The antidepressants don't hurt either . Good luck.
    gentle likes this.
  6. 1
    I take a few minutes here and there for some deep breaths, and remind myself that it will end at some point. Also, try to avoid caffeine because it can increase the nerves and scattered-feeling.
    When all else fails, a little bag of M-n-M's works for me.
    gentle likes this.
  7. 1
    i ALWAYS take my meal break. i need to be away from the pts and the call light system for my sanity. do you work days or nights? i work nights so there tends to be a little more down time. day shift would definitely turn me into the person you are describing. how are your coworkers? mine are god sends and i couldnt survive the night without them. they are the ones who make it bearable.
    gentle likes this.
  8. 1
    I like to take at least 10 minutes to just get off the floor, go outside and get some fresh air. I have another watch my pt's while I am gone.

    Sometimes I just say" hey all I'll be back in a few, need a potty break and go re group even if it is in the potty At least there no one is there to bug me.


    Just remember to and keep toward end of shift!!
    gentle likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from gentle
    Hello all,

    I have a small problem with staying focused and calm during my 12 hour shift. Much unlike the little icon that I attached to the beginning of the post, I tend to look just a bit more like this :scrm:after about the 8-9th hour.

    (Actually, I tend to become more harried, easily frustrated, and more scattered. I don't like this.) I would prefer to be more calm and centered but don't know how to get to that wonderful serene place.

    I have decided to rule out the use of , or the application of pillow therapy, or just becoming downright . I don't think any of these options are good for me, or the patient or the coworker.


    That said, I do not work in an intensive care unit. I do work on a med-surg floor where priorities are often juggled and re-juggled depending on what is happening at the moment. But, dang it, that's life in general.

    Soooo the question restated, How do you stay focused and calm when frustration or tension builds up within you during a 12 hour shift?

    Thanks ahead of time for all the responses.
    Geez that icon looks like me after the 8th hour of being home with my kids all day.LOL.( Im currently a stay at home mom.) Anyway...this may sound silly but count to 10 whenever you feel anxious or aggitated because by counting slowly it calms you down and usually it works. Just a suggestion.
    gentle likes this.
  10. 2
    Gentle,

    I could of written your post about 2 months ago. The frustration and insanity building up inside of me almost made me quit... I wanted to give up. It amazed me how that place (work) could make me feel the way it did. I've never been the type of person to become so frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, ect... Then one day I was very close to my breaking point. I thought I had failed... I thought I couldn't do it anymore.. Then some how.. I just told myself... YOU CAN DO THIS... You will NOT let this place frazzle you... Everyday when I begin to feel frazzled.. I stop.. tell myself that I CAN do this... I tell myself that I will NOT get frazzled... I stop... prioritize my care... and continue calmly through out my day... I am only 1 person. I can only do 1 thing at a time... I've learned to ask for help... We are only human..

    I also make to do lists constantly... there is a sense of gratitude when I get to cross of items on my to do list...

    But remember.. Take a deep breath... tell yourself you can do it... re-prioritize... and continue on..
    gentle and litlamp like this.
  11. 1
    I find that I too get pretty frusterayed on a 12 hour shift. That is why I work 8 hour shifts only, unless I decide that day to stay late. I like having the option.
    gentle likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from Azee
    How ong you been doing 12's? Can take quite a bit of time to adjust. Also, take care of you when not at work too. Enough sleep, exercise and all that happy crap!!

    Working 12s forever. I love them. I think it's the sleep factor. I need to get more sleep. Back over to healthier living thread for me. Everyone I've met over there is really good about helping me stay accountable for good health habits. I usually forget that getting enough sleep is a good health habit.


    Quote from littleredmare
    The only way I get through my day: say a prayer in the elevator at the beginning of my shift, "Please God, give me strength to get through this day." I go in, do my work and give it 150%, and go home. I leave work at work. I do not answer my phone when work calls on an off day, I limit my extra shift coverage to two a year. I used to be bitter, angry. I try to let it go. The antidepressants don't hurt either . Good luck.
    This is exactly what I am doing. Add in a few prayers throughout the day and your entire description is me to a tee.

    I too leave work at work; unless, something really puzzles me about a patient's complexity of care as related to how several disease processes affect the persons current health state and how to fine tune the medical and nursing management of that particular patient.
    But hey, I enjoy thinking about that stuff.



    Quote from MIA-RN
    I take a few minutes here and there for some deep breaths, and remind myself that it will end at some point. Also, try to avoid caffeine because it can increase the nerves and scattered-feeling.
    When all else fails, a little bag of M-n-M's works for me.
    I do limit the caffeine when I can. But the slow deep breaths . . . hmmm, I seem to have forgotten my yoga. The slow deep breaths really do work for me. I will remember this one as well.

    Quote from RNBelle
    i ALWAYS take my meal break. i need to be away from the pts and the call light system for my sanity. do you work days or nights? i work nights so there tends to be a little more down time. day shift would definitely turn me into the person you are describing. how are your coworkers? mine are god sends and i couldnt survive the night without them. they are the ones who make it bearable.
    I work days.

    My co-workers are wonderful. We help each other at work and away from work.

    I've learned to take my meal break and that does help.


    Quote from nurse hobbit
    I like to take at least 10 minutes to just get off the floor, go outside and get some fresh air. I have another watch my pt's while I am gone.

    Sometimes I just say" hey all I'll be back in a few, need a potty break and go re group even if it is in the potty At least there no one is there to bug me.


    Just remember to and keep toward end of shift!!
    Lov-in the Hide in Potty idea. Hey as long as it is well deoderized, deep breaths in there would be safe. Whatcha think?

    I like your Dancing icon. Thanks for the potty idea. In truth, as nurses we often don't take care of our own bodies, when at work. We are not martyrs.

    Quote from Mommy2NQ
    Geez that icon looks like me after the 8th hour of being home with my kids all day.LOL.( Im currently a stay at home mom.) Anyway...this may sound silly but count to 10 whenever you feel anxious or aggitated because by counting slowly it calms you down and usually it works. Just a suggestion.
    Thank you for your advice. Hang in there as a SAHM. I remember and cherish those memories now. It is because of being a SAHM, that I am now a much better nurse and person.


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