I also think that self-care is in order.
The only way to survive is to change yourself. Being able to put things into perspective is really difficult, and IME not too likely during early years of career when one is stressed about learning, about doing a good job, and about upholding the nurse's roles and responsibilities as dictated by the Code of Ethics. But you certainly can give it a try now that you've identified a problem.
Much of the time our natural reaction is to take things in a way that is simply too personal. It's very common to react to patients by feeling, "How dare you (pt.) act like this is my
fault?" or "You will not speak to me that way!!!" or "I don't need this!!" And although we know the things they're complaining about are not our fault
, per se, we react as if all those things are
our fault. We get defensive. You know? Those are some natural internal reactions when being treated poorly. And when administrators constantly nitpick about what we could be doing better or what we're doing wrong collectively or individually, our profession has a very
lengthy history of taking on the blame for all of those things, too, although in reality we control absolutely nothing other than our own individual actions and reactions.
So what do we do about this. My suggestion is to practice being non-reactionary. Re-focus on the patient. It is their
situation, after all - not ours. When we're done caring for them, we are going to move on. If we know that we're doing our best, then we can't legitimately take responsibility for the rest of it. So we work on seeing ourselves separate from the situation. The only frame of mind that is required is, "I am here to help with what you are going through today."
That's it. Let other pressures melt away. If you can get to a point where you're there to help that patient with the situation they
(not you) are dealing with, you're good to go.
Patient suffering with sickle cell crisis: "I'm sorry you are facing this situation today. The doctor should be in soon so that together you can make a plan that is best for you."
Ab patient suffering with physical and emotional crisis: "I am here to help you as you're going through this."
Dialysis patient suffering with....life of dialysis: "I'm sorry you've been feeling so poorly. I'm your nurse and I'm going to work on stabilizing your blood pressure and hopefully helping you feel a little bit better."
Drunk patient seizing: (to self) "I will help this individual the best I can; this condition is not how most people envisioned their life going..."
It feels really good to stop accepting (internalizing) inappropriately-placed blame. Start practicing your "I'm rubber, you're glue...." mindset."
Get the emotional reactions off the table so that you can focus on doing the ED nurse role, which is to attend to whatever circumstances our patients presently find themselves in.
It's possible that another job is in order, but no matter where you go I predict that it will be necessary to incorporate some of the above ideas. Release your tension, put a smile/pleasant look on your face, stand up straight and carry yourself with purpose. Literally the only thing you have to do is try your best to help people with their
Best to you~