Anyone have nightmares?

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I was just curious if other nurses experience work-related nightmares on a frequent basis?

Even after being on vacation for 10 days, I am still having nightmares that things go wrong at work. (I once dreamed that I had patients in two of our ICU units, which are physically far apart, and had to run between units all shift to care for them both. I woke up exhausted!) I have been a nurse for over 20 years and in this department for over 10, so it isn't "new job stress". Anyone else have this occur? Does anyone have any advice for me on how to keep work out of my subconscious once I leave the hospital? I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

Specializes in ER.

I have had dreams about work before. It was usually something ridiculous. I know some people have had ptsd dreams from EMS but I'm lucky not to. One guy dreams about falling off a bridge because he fell off a bridge when a patient jumped out of a car.

Has 34 years experience.

I have been out of nursing for quite a few years and am only now returning but during my refresher course I started having the recurring nightmares about work related things that mind you happened a LONG time ago now.

I have gotten rid of several more bothersome dreams by self talking myself through them while awake.

For instance the school related ones that lots of people have where they find out they didn't attend a class all semester and now it's finals or something. I had a what fore talk with myself about that one lol I just said "ok let's pretend that really happened during is anyone really going to care at this point that I failed that?" Uh no. Or in another case I'd walk myself through what I would do to remedy the situation.

The dream usually stops. The missing class one immediately stopped.

nursekimmie72

43 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric, hospice. Has 19 years experience.

I usually dream that the whole shift has went by and I didn't give anybody any medications.

qnmimi

45 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg crit care, coronary care, PACU,. Has 30 years experience.

The only time I have work related nightmares is when I spend too much time monitoring patients in MRI....it triggers my claustrophobia big time, and manifests in nightmares. I occasionally find co-workers appear in my dreams, but that's about all.

brido

27 Posts

I usually dream that the whole shift has went by and I didn't give anybody any medications.

I have that nightmare about once a week.

Another common theme is totally forgetting about a patient or 2, or giving the wrong medications.

Or that I cannot work the machines correctly.

chylerlove

33 Posts

Specializes in ER, Neuro, Trauma, Educator. Has 5 years experience.

Another common theme is totally forgetting about a patient or 2.

Even when i took a break from the floor for about a year (educator job) i still had this dream once a week. HOURS go by then i realize i had a patient i did not know about.... Sometimes I'll dream and its so realistic, like, an entire 12 hour shift and wake up exhausted :p

dec2007

1 Article; 508 Posts

So I've tried everything I know to overcome this (meditation, chamomile tea before bed, etc.) with no results. Does anyone have any ideas how to stop having these nightmares?

bridg0809

184 Posts

I usually dream that the whole shift has went by and I didn't give anybody any medications.

Haha I have the same dream! Or that I forgot a patient that I was assigned too

Specializes in Burn, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

I've had pts with chronic nightmares who are prescribed Minipress/prazosin. They say it helps them.

I get them sometimes...most recently, I tried to start an IV in the same arm for an entire night of dreams (it felt like); also I dreamed about coding one of our long-term patients and then later in the dream she also managed to fall out of bed. Sigh. I'm glad I have a few days off!

I usually read in bed before sleeping because it helps get my head out of work and into something else. But sometimes I'm tired and can't keep my eyes open for even a page. Maybe I'm more prone to work-dreams on those days? (I work nights). I haven't tracked it, but it seems possible.

sevensonnets

975 Posts

I have those terrible dreams too! I'm lost in a building that doesn't even resemble my hospital, can't find my patients, and suddenly it's time to go home and I still can't find them. Freaks me out!

Has 34 years experience.
I have those terrible dreams too! I'm lost in a building that doesn't even resemble my hospital, can't find my patients, and suddenly it's time to go home and I still can't find them. Freaks me out!

I just had one like this...I lost my patients in a super mall. How weird is that? :eek: