What are your methods for keeping your cool at work?

  1. First of all I have to say that things are going a little more decent in the workplace, but as always, there is something else.

    I have been having a problem keeping my cool at work. Whether its another staff member, or a super demanding patient, they find a way to shorten my fuse. I am not mean about it, but I am a complete grump for the rest of the day, I end up in verbal conflicts with staff memebers because I feel so edgy after some one says something that offends me. I'm not happy, and other people are unhappy around me. Do you feel like this often? How do you get rid of the feeling of resentment? I have tried counting to 10, I have tried not to think about it, but still I end up leaving work thinking that I don't want to come back.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mandi
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   FROGGYLEGS
    That is tough to answer. Yes, I have definitely felt that way at work before and I have also left the facility mad at the world and resenting that I would even have to return.

    Sometimes I try to act like I'm in a really good mood even though I'm not. I have found that a lot of times when I do that I end up actually being in a good mood.

    With a very demanding patient I usually try to find out everything they want at once. That way I can try to fulfill their "list of demands" and not have them calling for me two minutes later. That doesn't always work though. Some of them are seeking attention and will always want you in their room as much as they can get you in there.

    With your coworkers I suppose it depends on what they are doing to make you mad. I've encountered my fair share of work-place bullies and general bungholes. It is not a fun situation to be in . You don't want to let them bully you or constantly mess with you, but at the same time you don't want to escalate the problem into a rendition of Smack-Down. I wouldn't want to keep my feelings about it bottled up because that will only make you miserable. I try to let them know that I have a spine of my very own and that I won't be taking a lot of mess from them without being hostile or doing anything that can come back to bite me.

    Sometimes a break from the place helps. Unfortunately at lot of times that isn't possible.

    If the facility has a toxic working environment I would be tempted to go elsewhere. In the past I have switched shifts and units because I was just sick of where i worked. Sometimes a change, even within the facility, will help.

    I wish I could help you, but it really depends on the specifics of what is going on. I wish you luck, Mandy.
  4. by   tattooednursie
    Thank you froggylegs. Your advice does help. I have never tried faking to be in a good mood before. I'll give that a whirl.

    To be more specific on the whole co-worker thing: I am the youngest employee in the nursing department. Many people think that they can use that against me. When I first started there I would let them treat me like crud. I would do nothing but cry at work. Then I got sick of it. I felt like a big dork always boohooing, so I began standing up for myself. Well, I found that whatever I said I'd go back and appoligize for what I said. After 2 years of this I am now the quiet emotionless one, but I get really moody, and I hate being that way. Your advice does help alot (even though they'll probably drug test me or something) LMAO!!!

    ty
  5. by   HealinghandsRN
    Quote from FutureRN_Mandi
    Thank you froggylegs. Your advice does help. I have never tried faking to be in a good mood before. I'll give that a whirl.

    To be more specific on the whole co-worker thing: I am the youngest employee in the nursing department. Many people think that they can use that against me. When I first started there I would let them treat me like crud. I would do nothing but cry at work. Then I got sick of it. I felt like a big dork always boohooing, so I began standing up for myself. Well, I found that whatever I said I'd go back and appoligize for what I said. After 2 years of this I am now the quiet emotionless one, but I get really moody, and I hate being that way. Your advice does help alot (even though they'll probably drug test me or something) LMAO!!!

    ty
    Hi Future RN Even if u weren't the youngest employee there for some reason they find something to talk about. It is ridiculous. Just know where they are coming from at least u know there true colors....and look at it this way....it is their weaknesses they are showing u by bullying others. I know how u feel as I haven't been in the nursing profession all that long and in my late thirties, they think as if I was just born to go to nursing school and graduate...they don't realize that people have experience in "Life" and maybe even more then them and keep throwing up in your face how long they have been a nurse. Why do Nurses do this to other nurses??.....It is almost like an "initiation" period u go thru and a power struggle but generally passes. How mature is that? it takes a few years to learn how to deal with this...but u will learn. Good Luck
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Taking a pee break helps.
  7. by   lady_jezebel
    I take a 10 minute break, chow on something, and try to center. Then I realize what the majority of my patients are going through -- many facing the loss of limbs, chemo/radiation, and looming death -- and realize that I am able to LEAVE at the end of my shift. I can walk out of the hospital a healthy person at 1530. Really, this helps me gain perspective.

    I still dislike my job much of the time, though. It's easy to get caught up in the frustrations at work. Sometimes I wish that I had chosen a much easier and happy profession!
  8. by   tattooednursie
    Ty healinghands, and LPN. Your advice helps also.
    The pee break never fails. You know they're really demented if they hassle you while your on the potty lol. I can just lock the door and its my own little world.

    Andyes I bet they would find another flaw about me if I wasn't the youngest. They'd come up with some BS like "her eyes are too close together" or "her hair is frizzy" and they'd use that against me! These baby games are more than rediculous.

    Thanks again
  9. by   lady_jezebel
    Sorry Mandi, I didn't realize that you were also referring to co-workers, not just pts.

    Well, co-workers are much more difficult to deal with. In fact, they can be more problematic than ANY other aspect of the nurse's job. I'm fortunate in that I currently work with wonderful nurses. However, if they were not so lovely, I would probably consider finding another position. I don't want to work with people that make me feel miserable about myself! Life is too short for that, and there are millions of nursing jobs out there. :chuckle
  10. by   nursebedlam
    l work 9 to 5 & keep my kewl by thinking about going at 5 , whoo hooo "Beer O'clock"
  11. by   Teacher Sue
    Quote from FutureRN_Mandi
    First of all I have to say that things are going a little more decent in the workplace, but as always, there is something else.

    I have been having a problem keeping my cool at work. Whether its another staff member, or a super demanding patient, they find a way to shorten my fuse. I am not mean about it, but I am a complete grump for the rest of the day, I end up in verbal conflicts with staff memebers because I feel so edgy after some one says something that offends me. I'm not happy, and other people are unhappy around me. Do you feel like this often? How do you get rid of the feeling of resentment? I have tried counting to 10, I have tried not to think about it, but still I end up leaving work thinking that I don't want to come back.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mandi
    This may not be popular advice, but here goes. Have you ever thought about examining your own behavior? Perhaps you are doing something that brings on this treatment. Or maybe you are being overly sensitive and taking offense to remarks that are not meant to be offensive. It has always been my experience that whenever there are workplace conflicts, that all involved parties carry some of the blame.
  12. by   bellehill
    Leave the situation. Take a smoke break even if you don't smoke just to get off the floor. Grab a cup of coffee or soda and sit down for 10 minutes. It really does work!
  13. by   jaimealmostRN
    Hi Mandi! I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm also young, but have found that presenting yourself professionally and slightly seriously can help you seem more "mature." I can't tell you how to deal with toxic co-workers, but I have GREAT advice on how to deal with those problem patients. I work in an ER so we are allowed to be a little more pissy at times than perhaps on a floor :angryfire heheh. (No I'm not advocating it, Just my observations). But my friend taught me how to raise just ONE eyebrow and give this kinda "wow you're a loser look" without saying a word. It's not overtly mean and it doesn't come across as angry. AFter I do this the patient/family member usually gets embarassed and backtracks and sometimes even apologizes! You have to practice the eyebrow thing in the mirror a lot, but I swear by this!!! And if the person is still angry at you/service, what are they going to say to your manager..."She looked at me weird and I could tell she didn't like me!" Manager to self: Hmmm, lets get a psych. consult... Good Luck!!!
  14. by   ambhee04
    It really is very hard sometimes especially under stress and crisis. I must say that I have been in many situations when I let it get the best of me. I have to learn to control me and how I react to the crisis at hand. All behaviors are learned and the unpleasant ones can be unlearned as well by replacing them with healthy behavior. To remain calm, cool and collected is a choice and to acknowledge that there will always be someone or something that will push your button is a start. To not let this get to you is a conscious decision . I'm still struggling at times so what I do when conflict is in front of my face is, I take a deep breath and remember in my head that I don't want to be part of this toxic environment or situation. I try to get back to whatever I'm doing and refocus my energy to my daily goal which is to do my best, take care of my patient safely and go home knowing I have made a difference. Hope this helps. Good luck!
    God speed
    Ambhee
    Last edit by ambhee04 on Apr 30, '04

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