Stress/Panic Before Going to Work - page 2

I have been a RN for 4 years now and feel fairly comptetent to handle situations at work. I have been working in the ED for 1 1/2 years. I like most of the people that I work with but I cannot shake... Read More

  1. by   hherrn
    Quote from pennyaline
    Off the top of my head: Sounds to me like you're on the right track looking for a job with less stress. Take your ED experience and break into ICU, OR/PACU, surgical center...

    Life is too short to put up with stress. If you're dreaming about work and dread going to work, make a change. It'll be good for you.

    FWIW, I find ICU a lot more stressful than ER.
    I agree with the other posts that if you aren't generally anxious, and ER makes you that anxious, you might look for a better fit.

    With your background you have great skills that might be well used in another ER, or another department.

    Good luck.

    hhern
  2. by   BrightEyes
    I used to feel the same way. Panicky, nervous, wondering what on earth the shift was going to bring. It got better the more experience I gained, so hang on in there. I eventually did switch to a less stressful position purely to save my sanity and home life!

    Good luck!
  3. by   mwboswell
    Quote from loricatus
    If your nurse to patient ratios are too high, you can find yourself stressed to the max. The ENA recommends 1:4. If you have anything greater than 1:5, you may just need to find a better place to work.
    Are you sure about that - it would be kind of hard to take care of 4 pts on vasoactive drips/vents.....?
  4. by   rn-n- 2005
    Thanks to all for the support and advice! I find that the anxiety is all before work. Once I'm there, even the most high stress pts, situations, etc, do not make me particularly anxious. I will admit to having a rough month. It seemed that for every shift I worked I had severely ill people all come into my zone at the same time. Like a 90 year with a subdural bleed and then a pt with a variable HR of 140's-200. Our ratios are good and I work at a good place. Management supports their nurses and the Dr's are good to work with for the most part so it's just me getting anxious about all the bad things that could go wrong!!

    The thing is I really love the ER and all the craziness that sometimes goes with it!! I'm going to stick with it longer and see how things go. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that feels this way.

    I worked last night and after posting this the night was good. I went out to triage and it was a nice change of pace.
  5. by   loricatus
    Quote from mwboswell
    Are you sure about that - it would be kind of hard to take care of 4 pts on vasoactive drips/vents.....?
    Ha. I had to manage up to 6 of those type of patients, along with 6 other bays/beds at one place in NYC. I got through those shifts by repeating to myself "NO ONE IS GOING TO DIE ON MY SHIFT" After leaving there and going to another state that had 1:4, it was a walk in the park, even if they were all critical patients.
  6. by   ERnewbieRN
    I could have written your post! I have basically been anxious since I started nursing... I have been doing ER nursing for 2 years now and I still feel anxious before I go in to work, not because I don't feel confident in my abilities, but because I don't know what the night's going to bring. It could be total unruly chaos, or it could be nice, controlled chaos, which I don't mind. I too go home from work and sleep lousy because I keep dreaming about scenarios at work, etc. Then on my days off, i can't sleep worth anything... like tonight I went to bed at 3am and woke up at 630 am. Yeah, I feel real rested after doing 3 night shifts, 2 nights off, then 3 more night shifts in a row. And no, I don't like that schedule but I'm kind of given a "too bad" response. Blah, I am done commiserating, I feel terrible right now and I really would like to get a better shift somewhere, possibly not ER since there are pretty much no mid or day shifts available anywhere, and definitely not on the floors or ICU because I am just so sick of working in hospitals and the lousy hours!
  7. by   rn-n- 2005
    ERnewbieRN,
    I feel the same way as you about the shifts. I work straight nights ,7p-7a, and do 3 nights a week but other shifts looks better and better all the time. I sleep best now during the day even on my days off!! I feel part of my anxiety is due to the fact that I've been nights for 3 years straight. I sometimes think that maybe 8 hours during the day might be heaven!! 5 days a week seems like too many days though!
  8. by   tobesmartt
    I work 8 hours alternating days and evenings. I have request to work every weekend with 2 days off during the week , so I can at least be a stay at home mom for 2 days for my child. I like it best cause the bologny that goes on during the week and day shift. I am going to be very wealthy and then just volunteer here and there . 12 hours seem so longgggg........to put up with bull . My son and family are first in my life besides me.
    Quote from rn-n- 2005
    ERnewbieRN,
    I feel the same way as you about the shifts. I work straight nights ,7p-7a, and do 3 nights a week but other shifts looks better and better all the time. I sleep best now during the day even on my days off!! I feel part of my anxiety is due to the fact that I've been nights for 3 years straight. I sometimes think that maybe 8 hours during the day might be heaven!! 5 days a week seems like too many days though!
  9. by   Knoodsen
    Perhaps emergency nursing is not for you. No shame in that. Very few people can do it.
  10. by   pusangirl
    Dear AuntieEMNurse,

    I was so happy to read your post as I am new graduate RN started to work recently and I am coming off the orientation. I was wondering if there is any bible verse that has helped you and prayers etc?

    Thank you,
  11. by   MassED
    Quote from AuntieEmNurse
    I used to be the same way. As a matter of fact, i used to have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. And it was especially bad before I went to work or if I even thought of going to work. Well, since I have gotten closer to God, it has all gone away. My blood pressure, pulse, and everything is much better. All I do is pray before and during work. The Lord helps me to get through a shift, make the right decisions, and remember my education. I don't know how you feel about it, but it works for me. Just take your fears to God and he will help you through it.
    and in a non-religious response

    taking deep breaths before work, finding some great coworkers that can be part of your "team" when things get a bit hairy is helpful. It's all about teamwork. You can do it - think positive and always know where your ace is - your charge nurse!
  12. by   Virgo_RN
    What helps me is knowing I'm not alone. I just worked my 4th shift off orientation, and of course I still get those butterflies in my stomach just thinking about going back to work. Previously, I was a fairly confident cardiac nurse who thought I knew my stuff, but now in the ED, I feel like I'm a brand new grad. Something that really helped was talking to another ED nurse who has been at it for nearly a year, who still has those uneasy feelings. What I'm getting is that the ED is its own animal; that there is no such thing as feeling comfortable or confident. If that's what you really want, then maybe working in an area with more predictability, routine, and more stable patients might be for you. If you're okay with not ever knowing what the next shift will hold, feeling really dumb sometimes, and always having to be on your toes, then the ED might be the place for you.
  13. by   RoyalNurse
    VirgoRn,

    how long were you on orientation? My manager said I'd get at least 2 months, it's been 3 weeks, and I think I'll need the entire 8 weeks!

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