Returning to Floor

  1. I've been away from traditional hospital floor work for quite some time and am very nervous to return to the floor. Anyone have this type of anxiety? Ever question your skills and abilities? Suffer from impostor syndrome? I keep ruminating about every scenario I may face when I return and it is becoming quite irritating and exhausting. I'm afraid to screw up and look foolish. Could this be a type of performance anxiety? I'm truly afraid of making mistakes in front of patients and coworkers. I feel I have to be " perfect." Anyone else have these problems?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from ruhunt
    I've been away from traditional hospital floor work for quite some time and am very nervous to return to the floor. Anyone have this type of anxiety? Ever question your skills and abilities? Suffer from impostor syndrome? I keep ruminating about every scenario I may face when I return and it is becoming quite irritating and exhausting. I'm afraid to screw up and look foolish. Could this be a type of performance anxiety? I'm truly afraid of making mistakes in front of patients and coworkers. I feel I have to be " perfect." Anyone else have these problems?
    While a little anxiety is normal and even desirable -- keeps us from making those foolish mistakes than can have serious consequences for our patients -- too much anxiety is paralyzing. Please try to manage your anxiety. Counseling can help.

    No one is expecting you to be perfect -- not patient, not coworkers, not other members of the health care team. We only expect that you do the best you can, learn from your errors and be willing to laugh at yourself if you do look foolish from time to time. (There are lots of threads on here about what we have done to look like utter fools at work. Read it and laugh -- at us, but also at yourself. When you see what dumb things some of us have done, it should ease your anxiety about looking foolish.)

    When I went to work after a six month medical leave of absence, I laid awake at night for weeks, ruminating about every possible scenerio and how I could screw it up. It didn't help. It just made me sleep deprived, cranky and more prone to mistakes. My nursing superpower is using humor to overcome anxiety and get myself through my worst days. I can get through just about any horrible assignment or shift just by imagining it as a funny story I'll tell one day.
  4. by   LovegelatoRN
    Your anxiety should decrease once you get back in there and work some. (Though it may take a few months to get your sea legs back and become accustomed to organized chaos and becoming efficient).

    If the floor is understaffed or has terrible ratios, though, your anxiety won't go away...so, try to determine that when you start, and if it's bad, just give a proper notice and find something else. I feel fortunate to work in a good environment with pleasant people...but I didn't always have that. Makes me appreciate it more. Now...are there crazy days? Yes...but most days are "steady"...and like Ruby says...all shifts come to an end. I space my shifts out so I typically only work 1 12 at a time...best for me and for my family. The secondary benefit...is that if you have a terrible day, you know you won't be walking into the same assignment again the next time. I walk out feeling good, though, that I provided quality care for my patients...even on the insane days where my charting is decent, but probably not winning any documentation awards. Patients first...
  5. by   ruhunt
    Thank you for the comment, much appreciated. I didn't make it back this time, but I'm not giving up. I'll continue to try. Thanks again for the comment.
  6. by   ruhunt
    Thank you for taking the time to comment and offer advice. I didn't make it back this time, but I'm going to continue trying. Pretty sure I'm taking things way, way, way too seriously. Yes, our jobs are serious, but I've taken it to a new level. I do have some PTSD issues which makes things a bit more difficult. I'll keep trying. Thanks again for the comment and your time.

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