ICU Nurses with OCD!!! - page 2

Do all ICU nurses have OCD or something??! Cuz it sure seems like it! The people i work with in the SICU are so anal retentive and obsessive compulsive, i hate it. They are not friendly at all,... Read More

  1. by   slou!
    I know you didn't mean to offend anyone, but I just wanted to say that there is definitely a difference from OCD and being clean, or anal. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not just being really clean and a germaphobic. Being clean and having things done a certain way is a part of a nurses' job. OCD is not something that you just have "sometimes" or are a little, it is something that takes over your whole life and way of doing things. I suffer from OCD, and have as long as I can remember. Too many people over use the term OCD. It's not just being clean, it's about doing things until they are "just right". It's hard to explain it but you need to redo things until you feel like they are just right, even if you have to do them over and over again. I'm not saying some nurses don't have OCD (I'm sure many actually have it, it's the 4th most common neuropsychiatric illness in the US. I'm also not saying people on this website don't have it, because I'm sure many do!)

    Your tone also states that having OCD is a bad thing. It is not at all. When I was first diagnosed with OCD I really resented myself. I can see why, too. People act like it is something people can control and just stop doing, when in reality, you can't. It's a disorder you can not help so please don't act like having OCD is a bad thing. Would you say the same thing about nurses suffering depression? I can't imagine someone saying "All ICU nurses suffer depression and it really bothers me! They are all so mean!" I'm not saying it's okay for nurses to have OCD when it puts their patients at harm and it is interfering with their work, either. I'm just saying I don't like how there is a negative tone associated with this disorder.

    Once again I know you probably didn't mean to offend anyone by posting this, and I am really sorry you are going through a tough time in ICU. I am not a nurse yet so I don't have any advice on handling these nurses, but I just wanted to show you OCD from a different perspective.
  2. by   jbp0529
    I definately believe in keeping a room clean and tidy for my shift and the on-coming shift, because you need to know where supplies are if you need them quickly, and because one doesnt want to hunt around for hours looking for the mainenance iv line to push emergent meds. I used to think too when i first started that ICU nurses were overly anal, but before long I developed the same ideals. I absolutely hate it when I come on, get report, and find the counter overflowing with 20 angiocaths, unused iv tubing, unused pumps laying on the floor, swan ganz catheter dangling on the ground or in the crevices of the bed... not to mention that on my unit we have a supply pyxis which requires you to click on the pt's name to get stuff out, so all those unused supplies left around are needlessly billed to the patient; it can be very irritating. Once I found 3 unopened central line kits in an empty room and had no idea who the patient was (bc i had been off several days), so there was no way i could "credit" them back...those cost alot of money!

    As far as other anal stuff, of course everyone has a couple shifts where it is really busy or the pt's are very sick, so one doesn't have time to cross every "t"/dot every "i" (i mean it is a 24 hr job), but as a whole when someone is in the ICU as a patient and the nurse only has 1 or 2 patients to care for, dont the pt's deserve a little extra care? And doesn't the nurse have a little more time to do the little stuff if they carry a smaller assignment as opposed to a floor nurse?
  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    The nurses are not like this in my ICU. They are very friendly and love to teach (with the exception of maybe one or two who can't wait to trip up a newbie just for fun).

    I agree that if your idea of OCD is being excessively neat and particular...that's just the way it has to be in the ICU. Day shift is even worse because you have alot more going on!

    If you are having a really tough time and there is just a personality difference between you and your preceptor, perhaps request a new preceptor. Not the end of the world.

    If you are having a difficult time adjusting to the ICU setting in general, perhaps spend some time on a Med Surg Floor.

    Someone told me in another thread once that if you expect to race on the nascar strip then don't be surprised if you run over (or something like that...thanks Timothy). Basically, you chose a very intense area to work in coming right out of school and others expect you to be on top of your game. You have to have very thick skin...and you have to want to constantly be learning. You took on a very big responsibility.
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    I also wanted to add that sometimes the instructors/preceptors who are the hardest on us are the ones that we want to thank later when we are confident and able to stand on our own two feet.
  5. by   EmerNurse
    I remember being told by my med-surg manager once that I was "too intensive" because I expected I&O to be charted from the previous shift, central lines to be flushed, heck even assessments to be complete! I took being "too intense" as a compliment, thank you very much!

    Even on med-surg, a solid sense of organization and having things "just so" helps make your shift run better. YOU feel more in control and have more confidence that you're not missing important things for your patient or their care.

    You find, after a while, that nurses get very possessive of their patients/bedspaces/areas. While I've learned not to dive into the room behind anyone who goes into it, I can promise you my eye is right there on 'em LOL.

    If anything, I've gotten even more intense with my ER patients. There's less time to get things done and care for what may be a very unstable patient coming through the door. Having my specific routines and ways of doing things helps me to give the best care I can while the "basics" have become second nature.

    Every nurse has their own way, but I've always been happy following another "too intense" nurse. Color me TOO INTENSE!
  6. by   NurseyPoo
    I am sorry you feel this way. I am very perceptive to my patients and their environment at all times. I do not have time for chit-chat. The nurses that I work with are all generally the same. We tend to be sticklers for detail...and I mean all details in relation to our patients. You need to be this way in the ICU. A patient can be fine one minute and WHAM! Having a cluttered room can cause mistakes and injuries. Maybe I belong here...When I wokred MS my rooms were never cluttered and I was exactly the same way as I am now. Being detail oriented and having OCD is not a bad thing in the ICU. Give it time and develop your own way of working and you will see that you too will be this way. Unfortunately you will also run into people who are not very warm and fuzzy at work. It is just the way it is...but then again you will have this no matter where you go. People are just being people...You need to find a way to deal with them. If you are concentrating on your patients then this detail should not really affect you. If you have questions you need to figure out who is approachable and who is not.
  7. by   carolCCRN
    I went to ICU straight out of nursing school and have been there ever since. I was so lucky to have a few coworkers who liked to teach and didn't mind answering my questions, because ICU is so intense- no pun intended- and you have to be ready for anything (hence the OCD). Some nurses see new RNs as a liabitity, so instead of helping them grow, they abuse them (ignore, neglect, verbally mistreat) which sounds like what's happening to you. I'm so sorry for your bad experience, but be encouraged that Nursing offers a huge variety of possibilities for your career. You need to figure out how to best use your talents---and it may not be in the unit you're in.
  8. by   adrienurse
    I used to work with a nurse with OCD, this involved her being exactly 5 minutes late for every shift, having to spend exactly 45 minutes in the bathroom at 1000 hrs, having to continuously apply hairspray until there was a sticky film over everything we touched, and having to spend 20 minutes at the and of every shift in the med room smoothing her skirt. That is OCD.

    Being vigilant about procedures, routines, cleaniliness at work is a sign of caution and responsibility. Holistic nursing is very important, but I'd say in the ICU the necessary details to preserving life need to take priority.
  9. by   RNforLongTime
    ICU nurses are intense because the acuity of the patient population requires it to be this way. You sometimes have to make split second decisions in the ICU. Sometimes theres no time for socialization. And yeah after a rough day, it's important to go home and research the new diseases, treatments, medications that you are learning about. It's part of the job of being a new nurse. Just because you aren't in nursing school anymore, doesn't mean that you are done learning and studying new things.

    What bugs me are the messy nurses. There are two of them in my unit. Their patient rooms are a mess. Open syringe wrappers all over the room, trash cans overflowing, linen strewn about the pt's room. I may be messy at home but am a neatnick at work! I wonder how these two nurses are in their own homes? Does their mother come in and clean-up after them?

    Good luck in your career!
  10. by   emmycRN
    I can see both sides of this. I definately understand why ICU nurses have to be extremely vigilant and may be seen as OCD when actually it is just that the bar for knowledge and skill level has to be a lot higher in the ICU. But I also see ICU nurses who are eaters of their own young and it seems that some do not want to see new nurses succeed.
    I am so glad to read the posts about the next shift picking apart your work and making you feel like you didn't do everything humanly possible when you come back the next day. I am having issues with a nurse who does that to me each time she follows me. Glad to see I'm not alone here. I think that when this occurs it usually has more to do with intimidation than actual problems with pt care.
  11. by   slou!
    Quote from adrienurse
    I used to work with a nurse with OCD, this involved her being exactly 5 minutes late for every shift, having to spend exactly 45 minutes in the bathroom at 1000 hrs, having to continuously apply hairspray until there was a sticky film over everything we touched, and having to spend 20 minutes at the and of every shift in the med room smoothing her skirt. That is OCD.
    Exactly. OCD isn't just being clean and not wanting to touch germs. It's about doing things until they feel "just right", even if you have to repeat it 60 times to get it just right.. If you have OCD it doesn't just mean that you are really neat and freak out about messes, while that may be a symptom of OCD, it's not JUST that. Part of a nurses job is to be neat, am I right? I'm not a nurse (pre-nursing student) but I always assumed all nurses were clean (Should I say all good nurses? :uhoh21: Because I'm sure there are some nurses out there who don't clean up after themselves..) I guess being in ICU you have to really really be on your toes about it..
  12. by   nursern20
    Quote from slou!
    I know you didn't mean to offend anyone, but I just wanted to say that there is definitely a difference from OCD and being clean, or anal. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not just being really clean and a germaphobic. Being clean and having things done a certain way is a part of a nurses' job. OCD is not something that you just have "sometimes" or are a little, it is something that takes over your whole life and way of doing things. I suffer from OCD, and have as long as I can remember. Too many people over use the term OCD. It's not just being clean, it's about doing things until they are "just right". It's hard to explain it but you need to redo things until you feel like they are just right, even if you have to do them over and over again. I'm not saying some nurses don't have OCD (I'm sure many actually have it, it's the 4th most common neuropsychiatric illness in the US. I'm also not saying people on this website don't have it, because I'm sure many do!)

    Your tone also states that having OCD is a bad thing. It is not at all. When I was first diagnosed with OCD I really resented myself. I can see why, too. People act like it is something people can control and just stop doing, when in reality, you can't. It's a disorder you can not help so please don't act like having OCD is a bad thing. Would you say the same thing about nurses suffering depression? I can't imagine someone saying "All ICU nurses suffer depression and it really bothers me! They are all so mean!" I'm not saying it's okay for nurses to have OCD when it puts their patients at harm and it is interfering with their work, either. I'm just saying I don't like how there is a negative tone associated with this disorder.

    Once again I know you probably didn't mean to offend anyone by posting this, and I am really sorry you are going through a tough time in ICU. I am not a nurse yet so I don't have any advice on handling these nurses, but I just wanted to show you OCD from a different perspective.
    You're right, i really didnt mean to offend anyone. Just venting my frustrations so i apologize if i used the term ocd in the wrong way. Another thing, i should clarify is that not "all" icu nurses have this behavior. Im just experiencing this on my unit. Also, thank you for sharing your story
  13. by   nursern20
    Quote from adrienurse
    Holistic nursing is very important, but I'd say in the ICU the necessary details to preserving life need to take priority.
    thank you!! this was an issue i was a little confused about, but you just made it a little clearer for me, im understanding more now.

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