Stress @ Work, No Support.

  1. 1 Lately work has been getting worse and worse. Just very busy, many days of missed lunch breaks or if lunch is able to be taken it is way late in the 12 hour shift. Stress has been getting to me and from talking with other people at work, they feel the same way. However, one of management nurses told me I was the problem and making everyone else feel this way? Another day I was upset and cried and was told need to be more positive. I am not saying I am perfect but just seems like no support or empathy from management. They have also basically stripped me of charge nurse duties which I found this out thru looking @ new schedule, not from being sat down and talked to about need for improvement, etc. I do have a dx depression/anxiety d/s which is inherited but I am currently on medications for it and am fine at home and elsewhere, just at work so it makes me seem like it is environment/situational stress.

    Looking for guidance here. Not sure where to go from here.
  2. Visit  NurseyPoo7 profile page

    About NurseyPoo7

    NurseyPoo7 has '7' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Acute Care'. From 'USA'; Joined Jul '08; Posts: 300; Likes: 218.

    11 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Davey Do profile page
    3
    Been there, done that. Even bought the T-shirt. For starters, NurseyPoo (what a cute name) I want to let you know that I can identify with you, in hopes that the connection gives you a little peace.

    Sometimes we just have to trudge our way through a situation in hopes that it's a stepping stone to something better.

    However, if you wish to stay and fight the good fight, there's a lot of work involved. For example, begin documenting everything which can objectively be considered to be subpar. Send some of these objective reports to those who have the ability to improve the specific situation. The mere act of documenting and alerting Administrators to certain situations wil cause them to act. Sometimes changes are made. Sometimes not.

    If any Administrator has any type of complaint that specifically affects the Facilities Services, request, in writing, a formal report. Remember the old adage, "If it wasn't (documented), it didn't happen". Calling Administrators to task in these matters causes them to be more careful about what and how they choose to complain.

    Do not allow Administrators (or anyone for that matter) to proclaim that you are responsible for things which are out of your control. This is an example:

    Quote from NurseyPoo7
    However, one of management nurses told me I was the problem and making everyone else feel this way?
    No one can make anyone "feel" any way. An Individual is responsible for theirt own feelings. Confronting an Individual with this fact will often take them off balance.

    If this Introduction into a Technique to which I ascribe intriques you, feel free to keep the conversation going.

    If not, I wish you the very best.

    Dave
    Last edit by Davey Do on Nov 10, '11
    AngelicDarkness, lindarn, and Tait like this.
  4. Visit  ramairlady profile page
    1
    hello nurseypoo7 first, your issues are not unique to you. doing the right thing the right way (it seems to me) is always met with negativity at some level. i think we as nurses want more out of a system that is broken and the "oh well" approach taken by others is what causes situations like you are finding yourself in. working alot and not taking breaks is what makes it worse, believe me. you lose objectivity. you can't not work and you need x amount of dollars. maybe splitting your time at different places will help. good luck,
    lindarn likes this.
  5. Visit  Been there,done that profile page
    1
    Davey.... are you stealing my lines
    Davey Do likes this.
  6. Visit  Been there,done that profile page
    3
    You are experiencing standard management strategy to get you under there thumb.
    Of course what you are describing is the standard crappy work environment..... pretty much across the board.

    Taking charge away from you.... may seem painful, but it is actually a GOOD thing.You will have more time to concentrate on YOUR assignment. STOP focusing on anything other than your patients and
    excelling at your work.
    Yes, documenting all this b.s. is an excellent idea.. but who could you take it too?
    Please be careful .. with your history of anxiety and depression, this kind of problem can put you in a crisis

    I have been there, and done that. Feel free to private message me. I really don't want you to go this alone.
    anotherone, Davey Do, and lindarn like this.
  7. Visit  HouTx profile page
    3
    Let's step back a bit here. The charge nurse or team leader sets the tone for the shift. If he/she is stressed and 'on the brink', it has a negative effect on the group. So it seems that taking the OP out of that role at this time is the correct move, but it should have been discussed with her before taking action. Seems like management is really sub-par in this instance.

    OP, is your stress and anxiety associated with anything in particular? Do certain situations or events trigger it? If so, addressing those areas may provide some relief. However, it it is 'free floating' and unrelated to anything in particular - this is a real problem that needs professional help. Maybe a call to your EAP? AN is a great forum and we really do care, but you may need more than a virtual shoulder to cry on.
    Davey Do, Horseshoe, and lindarn like this.
  8. Visit  Jenni811 profile page
    1
    Quote from Davey Do
    Been there, done that. Even bought the T-shirt. For starters, NurseyPoo (what a cute name) I want to let you know that I can identify with you, in hopes that the connection gives you a little peace.

    Sometimes we just have to trudge our way through a situation in hopes that it's a stepping stone to something better.

    However, if you wish to stay and fight the good fight, there's a lot of work involved. For example, begin documenting everything which can objectively be considered to be subpar. Send some of these objective reports to those who have the ability to improve the specific situation. The mere act of documenting and alerting Administrators to certain situations wil cause them to act. Sometimes changes are made. Sometimes not.

    If any Administrator has any type of complaint that specifically affects the Facilities Services, request, in writing, a formal report. Remember the old adage, "If it wasn't (documented), it didn't happen". Calling Administrators to task in these matters causes them to be more careful about what and how they choose to complain.

    Do not allow Administrators (or anyone for that matter) to proclaim that you are responsible for things which are out of your control. This is an example:



    No one can make anyone "feel" any way. An Individual is responsible for theirt own feelings. Confronting an Individual with this fact will often take them off balance.

    If this Introduction into a Technique to which I ascribe intriques you, feel free to keep the conversation going.

    If not, I wish you the very best.

    Dave
    NurseyPoo and Davey Do cute!
    Davey Do likes this.
  9. Visit  headinsandRN profile page
    0
    have you considered the pros and cons of changing floors?
  10. Visit  Davey Do profile page
    0
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Davey.... are you stealing my lines
    Your username, btdt, indicates that you have learned valuable lessons from your experiences.

    It's also interesting way to say that the two of us have similar perspectives on certain concepts. It seems that people who have found a path to take or a system they utilze that works often agree on tacts to take.

    Keep on keeping on.

    Dave
  11. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    0
    Do not expect any support or empathy from management.

    Speaking out can get you pegged as the problem. I have experienced this.

    It seems to me that you need someone outside of work to talk to about your job related stress. Do you have a counselor or therapist you see for dealing with your anxiety/depression? If so, they can probably lend you an objective ear.

    In my mind, you have three options:

    1) Stay where you are and work for change, as Davey Do suggests, but be prepared to meet resistance.
    2) Just keep plugging away, do your job to the best of your ability, and hope things get better.
    3) Make a change to a different unit or a different type of nursing altogether (but don't burn your bridges; leave on good terms). This is what I did.
  12. Visit  Imafloat profile page
    0
    Hi Nurseypoo.

    You are in a toxic unit run by toxic managers.

    I left such a unit a few months ago. Our unit was the darling of the hospital, raking in oodles and oodles of money, we were so awesome, our manager such a gem, I'm pretty certain she probably even got a bonus for being so profitable.

    The profit was on the backs of the nursing staff.

    The assignments morphed over time from normal to a little hard, to a little more challenging, to downright unsafe in a 2 year period. We would say, oh wonderful manager, we need more nurses, we can't keep going like this, and she would reply (from the top of the mountain) oh nurses, there is an economic crisis, we are in a recession, half of our patients are either uninsured or on Medicaid, you should be glad you have a job, because you know, there are lots of nurses and new grads knocking on the door who would love a job. Here is a hospital monogrammed lunch bag as a thank you for your sacrifices.

    We started noticing that the other units of the hospital were hiring people, and we also started noticing how some days, we had more floats than unit staff working in our unit.

    Anyone that complained got labeled a complainer.

    Some days I don't know how I got through the day, because I had some of the most unmanageable unsafe assignments I've ever experienced.

    We tried to be proactive and look at safe staffing guidelines and bring them to management, to which our manager said, oh, they don't mean units like ours.

    We tried to show management how other units were hiring people, to which we were told, well....when we slow down, you are going to have to float and people will quit if they have to float.

    The people who tried to enact change in the unit got labeled as trouble makers by management. The coworkers agreed with them in the break room, but in public, nobody would stand up next to them and say, yes, nurse Susie Q is correct and I'm with her on this. You should have seen the snark management put on their evaluations, it was ridiculous. Totally unprofessional and uncalled for.

    The 'trouble makers' started leaving. Little Miss PM (perfect manager) said, I hope they can be happy, but they'll be back, this is the best place to work ever. Things will get better around here, because these unhappy negative people are leaving. Things didn't get better, because once they left, the rest of us were left with 5 less nurses and their patient load. Things went from worse to downright HELL. But PM stated, this is normal, we see highs and lows in staffing on a 5 year continuum, keep on keeping on, here is a lovely hospital monogrammed key chain and badge holder for your sacrifices.

    I eventually moved on into a different unit in the same hospital. I can't believe how different it is, the assignments that they apologize to me for giving me are so easy compared to where I've been. I have managed to keep my mouth shut about the atrocities of my former unit, even though it's a known fact how bad the unit is and people try to engage me in the reasons things are the way they are. I just smile and say, I really wanted to try something else.

    The saddest part about this post is that there are a lot of nurses who can relate to this story. There are a lot of people who are going to read this and think I am talking about their unit.

    When there is a problem in a unit and a manager buries their head in the sand instead of fixing it, natural leaders will step up and try to fix things, it's how natural leaders work. Sadly, the power lies in the management and they can make things how they want, and they hold all the power.

    I suggest you go to work, do your job, do it well and document your heart away. What I did when the going got bad was keep a journal. I wrote what room numbers I had, what diagnoses, and if I had to talk to anyone in management about anything. I went to management several times and said, my assignment is unsafe, I can't do this please help. I documented that too, and if I got a response or ignored and what that response was.

    They took you off charge, try to not take it personal. Think of it this way, it gives you more time to focus on your patients and not worry about everything else. If you vent about this, it gives them more opportunity to blame you for being an unhappy person who is bringing the morale down.

    I'm a bad girl, I have asked members of the management team to come take care of my patients so I could go eat lunch. I liked to do this on days where I had the worst assignments so they could see what my day was like for 12 hours.

    When I left, they smiled and wished me well, I don't think they were planning on missing me.

    On a practical note. I suggest you look elsewhere. This is your life, your body, your mind, you only get one of each. Don't let this take over and berate you. Leave the drama at the time clock. I don't talk to my coworkers outside of work for this very reason. I was miserable enough for the 36 hours a week I was there, I didn't need to think about it on my time off.

    My mantra was this, I can do anything for 12 hours. It got me through a lot of long shifts. Just prioritize and keep going.
  13. Visit  NurseyPoo7 profile page
    0
    Just a question....

    Should I email or speak with the manager regarding being seemingly stripped of charge nurse duties, or keep my mouth shut? I don't want to burn bridges but feel like I am being blackballed.


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