What are your tricks for leaving work at work?

  1. The title says it all How do you keep your mind clocked out when you've left the building?
  2. Visit ixchel profile page

    About ixchel, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 5,173; Likes: 19,987


  3. by   canesdukegirl
    My husband and I always talk to each other during lunch, so he knows when I have had a particularly bad day. When he wants to make my day from hell better, he'll tell me to meet him out in front of the hospital and he'll pick me up and drive me to my car. So he drives up, rolls down the window and my baby puppy girl sticks her head out of the window, sees me and smacks my DH in the face with her wiggly tail while proceeding to give me sloppy wet kisses. Now THAT will make ALL of my cares disappear!

    Seriously though, it's nice if you can decompress for at least an hour after you come home. Do what you want to for an hour or 30 minutes if you don't have much time. MAKE yourself do this-it will keep you sane. I am lucky that my DH is also in the healthcare field and knows many of the surgeons that I work with, so he understands when I vent. Log on to this forum and vent if you have had a bad day. Get your favorite beverage and sit outside if it's nice. If you are worried about something in particular, ask yourself what you can do about it RIGHT NOW. If the answer is 'not one blessed thing', then remind yourself that worrying about something that you cannot do anything about is going to make you crazy, and is robbing you of your valuable time away from work. I had to learn this trick when I was dealing with anxiety. It works.
  4. by   Altra
    Can you identify what exactly you are ruminating about when you're away from work? And consider, too, that if you are a new nurse ... anything challenging will seem to occupy much of your intellectual and emotional reserve at first ... this will diminish with time.
  5. by   PennyWise
    Audio books in the car. I listen to them to and from work (and everywhere else I drive).

    The stories fill my mind and replace the work stories that are floating around up there. By the time I get home.............Im more concerned with what is going to happen next in the book than with anything that happened at work.

    We all float down here.
  6. by   ixchel
    Altra, I'm just wondering in general right now. I just had CNA clinicals, and I've learned that it's hard to just brush off the hard days, so I was curious what everyone else does.Love the cute doggie!!!!PennyWise, can I join you down there so I can float, too?
  7. by   blondy2061h
    I tried for the longest time to leave work at work. It's just not my style. I never mastered it and felt guilty for not being able to master it. So I gave up. I now freely think about work and talk about work. I check my work email from home even. Checking my email at home has allowed me to know what I'm walking into when I get back from a long stretch off. When we have sad patients, I let myself be sad about them. And I'm closer to my family as a result of seeing how precious life is. When I need to not think about work I read, exercise, do yard work, or hang out with friends. It gets easier the longer you do it.
  8. by   sauconyrunner
    When I was a new nurse, I did think a lot about work, in my off time. As I got more experienced, I tended not to think of it so much, though I would often review the entire day as I was getting settled in bed for sleep...and I usually remembered something I forgot. But...I also by that point understood exactly what I needed to call the unit immediately (in the forgotten realm.) or what was acutually not that important (OMG, I said I'd get Mr Jones slippers...)

    Now I'm in a new role, and find I am again constantly thinking about work outside of work. After a month, I do find that it is a little less daily. THank goodness, because the first month...just killed me.
  9. by   blondy2061h
    Oh, the other thing I do is at the end of the shift take 10 minutes, even if it means leaving late, and review my charting, make sure I signed out my meds, and double check vitals and I&Os and make sure there wasn't something out of the normal I forgot to report. I also go around and check my IV poles to make sure all the meds I gave infused and all my drips are running at the correct rate (do this every time I go in the room as well). Probably not as realistic if you have more than the 3-4 patients I usually have.
  10. by   Bklyn_RN
    I refuse to take calls from coworkers who are also friends. Because we usually end up talking about work.
  11. by   maelstrom143
    Wine cooler, steak and baked potato, vampire movies
    get on the elliptical and keep going till I am ready to drop (takes a lot longer than the wine cooler...lol).
  12. by   StNeotser
    If it's summer, go for a long walk or bike ride. Something about the fresh air is good for forgetting.
  13. by   GitanoRN
    at this level, for me hitting the gym makes me forget the hospital and my daily ritual work. however, my friends love to hear the wild stories that come through ed... go figure
  14. by   MN-Nurse
    Quote from ixchel
    The title says it all How do you keep your mind clocked out when you've left the building?
    My ability to leave work at work is due to my previous career. As an engineer and Project Manager, I was CONSTANTLY on duty. I brought work home and my phone might ring at any time, requiring some action.

    Totally different now. When I clock out, I am DONE. No matter what happens, I cannot do anything about it. When I come back to work and clock in, I'm back on duty.

    Of course, if something happened that day that I WANT to delve into, I am free to do so.