Almost called in a "mental health day" today...

Nurses General Nursing

Published

But I didn't....I'm working 4 12's in a row this week 7p-7a...to me this is impossible. Tonight will be my third 12. The floor has been crazy lately, we've been packed full to the brim. No break in site. And yesterday "they" out right told me they will be calling me in on Saturday (I'm on call) because a pregnant nurse has taken an early leave of abscence. I've been working every weekend for the past month (because I signed up for overtime due to low staffing, my fault!) So I planned this whole call out thing for today and tomorrow....but I couldn't do it. The guilt that I felt as I picked up that phone was just too intense. Just knowing they will be calling the on-call in due to my call out just makes me feel so horrible. What do you all think about "mental health days"...am I being too overly concerned about others, or should I focus on my own sanity? I'd love to hear some opinions!

tommycher

110 Posts

You cannot be forced to work overtime, it puts the patients in jeopardy, not to mention your license. You need to talk to a supervisor. This is what agency is for, if the hospital cannot hire enough nurses to staff safely, then they will have to pay for it, but YOU should not pay for it! And your patients should not have to pay for it! They deserve better, and that is in the hospital's best interest. Stand up for yourself.

mattsmom81

4,516 Posts

You are doing exactly what the facility hopes you will do...complying out of guilt. Be careful to take care of yourself in this equation or you will be concocting a recipe for burnout.

If you are too frazzled/exhausted to care adequately for your patients, IMO you are obligated to NOT report for duty. I've told myself this everytime I use a sick day or take a mental health day (which IS a sick day).

Nurses are not robots, we are human beings and fallible. Nobody else has the job to care for you, you must be willing first to care for yourself, believe me. If you make a mistake on duty nobody is likely to give you a break because its your fourth 12 hr shift in a row or because you didn't feel well. Soo...think about these things and take care please. We all have our limits and its our job to find them.

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