dealing with stress as a nurse

Posted
by katy81 katy81 Member

I just registered for my nursing classes, but i want to get as much experience as i can, so i am trying to volunteer at hospitals. One hospital had a job application type form to fill out with forms for references to fill out. I chose one of my coworkers as a reference thinking he thought highly of me. but when he filled out the form he chose "Average" on "how does applicant deal with stressful situations" I was just curious what the appropriate way to handle stress in a nursing setting is? How bad is the stress?

Thanks!

steve40

steve40

44 Posts

Stress in nursing? NO........I have been in the nursing field for 25 years and lately at work I feel like I am going to have a heart attack, stroke, and nervous breakdown all at the same time:) I have found the confiding in a nurse or "mentor" you feel you trust or look up to is good way to vent our feelings and get feed back on how they deal with similar situations.

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience. 2 Articles; 2,636 Posts

LOL. IMO, the biggest factor to remember is, people around you (co-workers, family, patients) take a lot of emotional cues from the nurse. Remaining calm yourself will be contageous to those around you.

And when that doesnt work, a night of Pizza and playstation helps. You'll gain weight, but its fun.

ambil

ambil

Has 20 years experience. 42 Posts

How bad is the stress? There are so many different types of stress to begin with. It really depends in what type of setting you work in. Lack of time to treat people humanly is for me a big stress maker. I get very irritated too when I know I could do a better job here or there but because of too little time I have to rush through something and do a half*** job. Unexpected situations, like a patient going suddenly bad and you having to drop everything can be a tough one. What I've learned through the years is to believe in myself, my abilities, and to know at the end of a shift that I gave my best, regardless of the outcome. And after work do something for yourself. Try to have a hobby and see friends. Don't take the work home with you. It took me a few years to be able and just close the door behind me when I went home at night. I mean, you can't change the world. I've always like the following quote......."To laugh often and much, to win the respect of diversified people and the affection of children, to leave the world a better place....to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Don't let stress, whatever type it is, get the best of you.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED. 3,543 Posts

Nursing is just a little stressful. Recently, I had a four day weekend and went out of town with my SO for a little weekend getaway. It took me until the middle of day two to wind down. It was funny and sad at the same time. I remember feeling glad to be off work for the weekend and looking forward to our getaway, and then all of a sudden on day two, I realized I had not been relaxed that entire time, and finally just took a big deep breath and felt....at peace.

Some of the ways I attempt to deal with the job stress are, when I am working and I realize that my stress levels are reaching a critical high, that is when I just have to stop, sit down for a minute, and reboot. Off the clock, I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising regularly. I engage in hobbies such as taking my dog to agility class, and I keep my house tidy because clutter in my house makes me feel cluttered inside.

Ashleyj424

Ashleyj424

1 Post

Im currently a LPN..I have only been a LPN for about 6 months. I am constantley Stressing about my job everyday...Wether it be: Did I report that to the next nurse?

Did I order all the labs needed?

Is this person going to be ok when i leave, because the next nurse is more worried about getting her med. pass started?

Is ALL my documentation finished, Is is 100 percent correct, Did I leave anything out?

It is VERY nerve racking for me, I am having to hardest time coping with the anxiety and stress of nursing. It seems like EVERY time I go to work it may start as a good day, but then all hell breaks lose. I don't know , I chose this Career because I enjoy helping people, and I enjoy nursing. Im just at a lose for what how to cope with the whole aspect of nursing.

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/Trauma. 2 Articles; 2,010 Posts

One simple rule - Nursing maybe your "job", "career" or your "calling" but it's not your "life".

There will always be "work to do" - but there may not always be a "life to live".

"Perspective" is one half of the battle...

IMHO.

Is this person going to be ok when i leave, because the next nurse is more worried about getting her med. pass started?
Let us assume this is correct - what are you going to do about it? Stay over for another 8/12 hours to make sure? I'm not trying to chew you out - just asking a question to make you think :)

Besides, like Momma always said: "Worrying about something never solved a problem in the world... it only made you feel worse".

Is ALL my documentation finished, Is is 100 percent correct, Did I leave anything out?
Find me a nurse/doctor/healthcare worker who claims their documentation is 100% everytime and I'll show you a liar. :)

We all go through this, Ashley. Goodness, I remember my first 2 years as a nurse. GooooooLLY!! I was so worried about "doing a good job" that I forgot that it was a "job".

At what point do you let go? At what point do you let the other person take care of it?

I remember a very valuable piece of advice my preceptor gave me when I was orienting as a new grad: "Roy, we've survived so far without you and we'll survive without you. GO HOME! GET SOME SLEEP! See you next time..."

She didn't mean to be 'condescending' - what she was merely trying to tell me was that I was starting to develop an 'unhealthy attachment to work'. Nobody is "indispensible". Nursing is a 24/7 profession.

We all strive to do our best each shift we work - but no matter how hard we try, nobody can do it all (or as a good Texan friend of mine likes to put it: "Some days, you're the bug. Some days, you're the windshield"). As long as your conscience is convinced you did the best you can, well then... that is all you can expect anybody to do.

It is VERY nerve racking for me, I am having to hardest time coping with the anxiety and stress of nursing. It seems like EVERY time I go to work it may start as a good day, but then all hell breaks lose. I don't know , I chose this Career because I enjoy helping people, and I enjoy nursing. Im just at a lose for what how to cope with the whole aspect of nursing.
Stress is normal for any job. In fact, stress is all around us - even seemingly joyous occasions like marriage or organising/hosting parties are stressful.

But the key is to have a balanced perspective and good judgment.

As the cliche goes: "How do you gain good judgment? From experience. How do you gain experience? From bad judgment". It sounds 'horrid' but it's the truth (and it's true for all aspects of life, not just nursing). "Success" and "failure" are very important teachers - the conscientious person learns to pay attention to BOTH!

A good deal of stress any nurse faces on the job has to deal with "prioritisation" (or "time management"). Ask any nurse worth their salt and they'll come to similar conclusions (ever heard a nurse wish for 10 hands and 10 legs and 4 heads so that they could do 40 things at the same time?)

But "prioritisation" is not an innate ability. School and preceptorship can only teach you so much... you have to figure it out for yourself and learn ("Can only lead a horse to water...").

And NO, it is not easy.

But nobody ever said that it would be easy, only that it would be worth it!

Do you know what the word "nurse" means?

It is secret code for "I CAN DO IT!"

Honest! It's true!

SO! Chin Up, troop! You're a "NURSE". That means .... ???

cheers,

Roy

Edited by Roy Fokker
merged posts and fixed QUOTE tags

fojo

fojo

1 Post

Thanks - I am struggling with the same thoughts, I just wish there was a way to shut off the minds games when you finally sit down to relax and then think did I do this, did i handover that- any suggestions !!

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