As a nurse, how do you tell your PCP you want anti-anxiety meds?

Nurses Stress 101


I just got a job as a new nurse, graduated in May. I ALWAYS feel so incredibly stressed at this job. I'm on an ICU step down unit, and literally had about 4 weeks of orientation. I deal with difficult patients...chest tubes, ICU post cabg, cath lab patients...and general telly pt's.

I always feel like I'm 2 mins from killing someone, and I've made alot of mistakes. I have to ask alot of questions and some charge nurses aren't helpful AT ALL. I always feel like crying....doctors talk to me like I'm stupid and some have no respect for me. I'm just tired of it all. I dread going to work. I wish I was on a lower care floor (but I am thankful to have a job) I have student loans to pay, so I can't quit.

How embarrassing would it be to walk into the dr's office and say I have all this anxiety over being a new nurse and would like a prescription? :crying2:

Specializes in hospice, corrections.

It's very easy. My PCP has known me since before nursing school. When I was crying and raging and decided that I needed anti-depressants (again) I made an appointment, explained my symptoms and he asked me what anti-depressant did I think I needed. Like I said, he really knows me. We both pulled out our drug books and discussed the pro's and con's of each. Luckily, I really like my PCP and we have a good relationship. Some doctors do understand the stress we deal with and are very helpful. good luck, do what is best for you and let opinions go hang.

you should not feel bad looking for help. i do not understand why if we need help we are wierd or something. you should not even have to tell your provider what you do for a living. where i live there was a doctor who committed suicide while he was running for a policitcal office and they made him sound like we cant get stressed. You are human not a machine or whatever, you have feelings too

Specializes in Neuro Critical Care.

Walk in, tell the doctor your symptoms and how you feel. There is nothing more to it. What would someone who isn't a nurse tell their doctor? You are human and normal.

Specializes in L&D, ICU, Family Medicine.

Anxiety medication is not as uncommon as you think it is, and for healthcare professionals to think they are excluded from things like anxiety, depression, postpartum depression, and any other mental health conditions, THAT would be foolish. Your doctor should respect your privacy, and treat you as a patient with respect and professionalism. If you feel your doctor cannot do this for you, then it's time to find a different doctor. Maybe the anxiolytics will help you get to the point where you can function on an everyday basis, but living like how you described isn't going to last long. Take care of yourself, exercise, get enough sleep, eat right (generic and cliche, but it will do wonders), do something that relaxes you. Leave work at work! Do your best, and NEVER let anyone intimidate you into NOT asking questions...that is what leads to mistakes, and is a scary quality in a nurse. Hope this helps :0)

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU.

I tell my doctor what is going on. Such as when I was suffering from panic attacks so bad that it felt like I was having a MI. He started me on an anti-depressant and Xanax PRN. Yes my panic attacks was work related and I was eventually able to handle what was going on at work without meds. At the time I was in a situation that I had no way out of and I needed some help dealing with the stress. There is not anything wrong with needing some help.

Good luck and get the help that you need. Whatever that may be.

When I ran into problems from all angles of this problem, I ended up settling with the original problem rather than going through the baloney it takes to get real help.

Please, by all means talk to your PHP about what is going on and how you feel. But I feel like this discussion is nuts. You should be getting more support at work then what you are getting. You should have had a lot longer then 4 weeks of orientation and orientation should be extended until you and your preceptor feel you are ready. You should be able to ask questions all day long and get help and assistance from other nurses when you need it. You are a new grad, thats what being new to the profession is all about. I know that this sounds a little unrealistic but its what is safe for both you and your patients and if hospitals can't afford to train their new grads and to offer them the support they need and deserve in such a way then they shouldn't be in business, period and we as nurses shouldn't accept anything less.

Instead of having conversations about how we as nurses should accept and deal (with psych meds no less) with ridiculously stressful and unsupportive environments we should be putting our feet down and saying no more. Its no acceptable, its not ok, we deserve better.

I wish you luck and I hope you can find the support that you need and deserve. Hang in there!

Specializes in pulm/cardiology pcu, surgical onc.

I have developed a wonderful relationship with my FNP since she has worked the floor and is very understanding. While I have not felt like I needed a medication lately there's been times in the past that I have and I've felt like I can talk with her and she listens to help brainstorm on the best solution. I'm sorry you're having problems and stress at work. Please try talking with your health practioner, you will feel a load of relief in taking that first step!

Specializes in Retired NICU.

I'm sad and not surprised to read your post. Yes, you should have received more orientation for your position. However, you need your job. Hopefully, in time, with more experience behind you, you can move into a position that is a better fit for you. I don't know how long you have been working as an RN, but it certainly takes a good 6 months to 1 year to feel reasonably comfortable; and then there are still days that aren't, even after 31+ years in it. Your working environment sounds particularly difficult from your description. There is no reason not to go to your PCP: explain what you have here and request an anti-anxiety med. You would probably be surprised at how many people use them, and it is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It is very stressful out there. Exercise and good quality sleep are extremely helpful also. :up:

Specializes in Retired NICU.


MIssed, that you graduated in May....Got it now!

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

Before you medicate, please seek other ways to cope.

Please--we've all been there.....relying on meds will just set you up for future issues....

I'm not anti-meds...just so sad to see so many people walking through life on meds, rec drugs, and alcohol to stop from dealing with life.

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