Good question.....Normal? I would hate to think it is, but I know lots of us sure feel the same way! Been out of school going on 2 years and still have times when I want to pull my hair out (joke! Im already bald!!) Same situation for me, too many high acuity patients, not enough help, most people sympathize, but nothing changes. I melted down awhile back over the stress and feel like I learned something along the way. Ive got to take care of myself. During shift, I try to get off the floor, if even for a few minutes. I also will stop and park my butt in a stairwell for a couple of minutes and focus on just deep breathing and getting my mind back to the moment. I dont take any shifts I dont absolutely have to and when I leave I try to visualize actually taking off the stress and concerns of the day before I get out of the elevator in the carpark. When Im off, Im off. I have started getting a massage a couple of times a month, drive around (relaxes me) and play loud music on the car radio - I sing my A** off and feel better almost instantly (I like Bob Seger, Garth Brooks and Golden Earring - sorry, Im old...) Bottom line is to make it, youve gotta take care of you, find ways to beat your stress and focus on the game. I work with a guy who tells me each shift we work together "welcome to hell!" Mentally I approach work like a major fight or a conflict. Am I sure Ill stay in the field? Nope, lifes to short to do something I really hate. I will give it hell until Im sure Ive got to go. I work with some great folks and get some real feel good from some patients.
I hope things get easier for you. I am sure you are a great nurse and are doing a lot of good. Its tough right now, hopefully only temporarily. Maybe you want to look at a different type of nursing, LTC, Peds, rehab or something like that. I think lots of nursing has to do with finding your nitch and feeling good about what you do. Hang in there and be tough. Lots of us feel just the way you do on any given night. Often I just want to make it through the night and get out the door!!! Sorry for the rant, just know lots of us are pulling for you!