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Do It Just One. More. Time. and I Will....

How do you manage stress?  

Nurses Humor Article   posted

J.Adderton has 27 years experience as a BSN, MSN.

There are times, especially with the stress of nursing, I have to create a small vent to simply release frustration. It is in these “I’ve had enough” moments I become acutely aware of my nerve wrecking triggers.

Do It Just One. More. Time. and I Will....
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This is an articled filled with irony because I am very guilty of all the irritating “triggers” at some point described below.

I have always been told I have a lot of patience when it comes to dealing with people. I have also been asked “do you ever get mad or just lose it?”. I am that person who doesn’t notice the drip, drip, drip of a faucet or become unnerved when plans change. On the outside, I project tranquil and serene waters, but, my internal dialogue is a completely different story. There are times, especially with the stress of nursing, I have to create a small vent to simply release frustration. It is in these “I’ve had enough” moments I become acutely aware of my faithful triggers. Before I share my work triggers with you, I want to share a little secret. I am just self-aware enough to know it is my own reaction to stress sending me over the edge and nothing to do with my triggers.

My work triggers are specific to my job and duties nursing on a 17 bed inpatient rehabilitation unit.

The Half a Coconut Covered Donut Trigger

When I am stressed, I easily noticed a family or vendor graciously provided donuts for staff to enjoy. But wait…. The prior shift enjoyed the donuts leaving only half of a least favorite donut.

The Disappearing Diane Trigger

What a magician! Diane is able to make herself disappear during medication pass, call lights flashing and phone ringing. Sometimes Diane provides and encore by asking if I could help her take a patient to the bathroom and as we enter the room…..Poof!

The Personal Information Dump Trigger

I am usually in a charting zone when things are quiet. But when I am on edge, my co-worker frequently describes, in great detail, the intimate ins and outs of her current relationship.

The Wasting With Wayne Trigger

There are times I am on edge, but make it through the work night. I am preparing to report off to the incoming nurse and Wayne asks if I can return a narcotic with him. Unfortunately, Wayne pulled pain medications at the beginning of the shift for his assigned patients “just in case” they needed it. Guess what? They never needed it.

The You Can Put On But I Can’t Take Off Trigger

The temperature on our unit is controlled centrally and we do not have the ability to adjust up or down. There is one person I can rely on to place an ice container next to the temperature sensor. I don’t look so good hot. My face becomes beet red and I sweat…. Alot. My internal dialogue makes a very heated argument that if this person is cold it is easy to put on a sweater, jacket ect. If I am hot I am 95% sure….why don’t we just go with 100% sure no one wants to see me wearing anything less than my scrubs.

The I Just Rolled Out of Bed But At Least I Made It Trigger

Nurse R arrives 10 minutes late and needs to make a pot of coffee before receiving report. Nurse R looks as if he/she rolled out of bed, puts on scrubs that look like one more wrinkle would transform it to crepe paper, jumped in the car and came to work. Nurse R has the energy level of the number 0 and early in the shift states “I just hope I can make it the whole shift”. If this was an isolated incident, I would encourage Nurse R to go home. Unfortunately, the wrinkled scrubs make regular visits.

The My Earbuds Make it Hard For Me To Hear Trigger

I am a team player and enjoy coordinating with my coworkers. We do have nurses wear earbuds to listen to music or play on the phone. This trigger can be partnered with disappearing Diane and the nurse is unable to hear and magically disappears. My internal dialogue makes a list of what these individuals miss- call lights, questions from staff and being an engaged part of the team.

The Let’s All Work in the Dark Trigger

The patients on my unit work hard during the day in therapy and hopefully sleep well. Once medications are passed and patients asleep I am totally onboard with dimming the unit lights to reflect a calm and restful environment. When I am on edge, there is always a co-worker who goes a few levels darker than dim. My internal dialogue? “How in the world do they expect me to see with my unpolycoated trifocals?”.

By now, you (the reader) may be of the opinion I am the poster child of learned helplessness. If If I do not take care of myself, practice self awareness and tolerance, then yes, I am in full victim mode. There are times when my triggers are legitimate and it is on me to professionally communicate my concerns to management. In most cases, my wrecked nerves have nothing to do with the individuals or behaviors. My triggers become problems when I focus on the previews and miss the movie.

How do you back away from the edge when stressed?

Epilogue

How I trigger my peers…. my co-workers will competently count the ways.

J.Adderton is an experienced nurse who most likely have triggered 100s of co-workers over the past 23 years. J. Adderton also loves the profession of nursing.

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Omg I can so relate to many of these triggers but the disappearing Diane is my fav! My new attitude is a let it roll of my shoulders ...yes I know it sounds easy but if I don’t I will be cranky all shift and take it home with me. Also, I have learned over the years to say no and to clearly express that I am focusing on charting my go to a section where no one else is to chart. I also eat well exercise and I find that the gym is a great way to relive my stress.

Orca specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC.

I have been on the receiving end of the Personal Information Dump trigger. I have had personal information forced into my ears against my will. One coworker had breast implants done, and upon her return I got a totally unsolicited account of how much silicone was used, how long the procedure took, all manner of useless information that I didn't need, didn't want and didn't care about.

I would like to add the Delegating Debbie trigger. This is a senior nurse who finds a way to dump a big chunk of her work onto newer members of the team (who she does not supervise), just to give herself more free time. She knows that they will listen to her because of her "experience", and that they will gleefully perform her work in order to make a good early impression. It is often done under the guise of being helpful ("I just want you to gain more experience"). This is often combined with the Disappearing Diane trigger, so that she won't have to answer any questions from her less experienced colleagues (not that she would have that much to offer anyway). She talks a good game, but that's it.

And yes, I do have someone specific in mind. Former coworker. When I would arrive to relieve her, she would be scurrying around, and her catchphrase was "It has been Hell today." Coworkers would tell me that, in reality, she had done very little all shift and she went into a flurry of activity just before my shift came in, to give the impression that she had been hustling all day.

Edited by Orca

J.Adderton has 27 years experience as a BSN, MSN.

2 minutes ago, Orca said:

I have been on the receiving end of the Personal Information Dump trigger. I have had personal information forced into my ears against my will. One coworker had breast implants done, and upon her return I got a totally unsolicited account of how much silicone was used, how long the procedure took, all manner of useless information that I didn't need, didn't want and didn't care about.

I would like to add the Delegating Debbie trigger. This is a senior nurse who finds a way to dump a big chunk of her work onto newer members of the team (who she does not supervise), just to give herself more free time. She knows that they will listen to her because of her "experience", and that they will gleefully perform her work in order to make a good early impression. This is often combined with the Disappearing Diane trigger, so that she won't have to answer any questions from her less experienced colleagues (not that she would have that much to offer anyway). She talks a good game, but that's it.

And yes, I do have someone specific in mind. Former coworker.

I absolutely love Delegating Debbie! I see this happen- just hope my future name isn't Debbie.

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