Stress/Panic Before Going to Work

  1. 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 the panicky feelings that I get before I go to work. I even dream about situations that might arise at work. I don't have an anxiety disorder about anything else. I also find my self looking through the classifieds for another job that's less stress.

    I was wondering if anyone else these feelings or just me? I am not asking for medical advice. I am thought of at work as someone who is very on top of things and motivated. I am motivated by anxiety!!

    Thanks for listening.

    Rn-n-2005
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    About rn-n- 2005

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 46; Likes: 24
    Specialty: Hem/Onc, ER

    28 Comments

  3. by   classicdame
    I went thru the same thing till I had enough experiences to make me feel comfortable. It also helped when I got to work with a team I trusted and admired. Perhaps you need to practice in another area. If you have employee assistance at your facility I recommnd you use it. There are tools for stress management.
  4. by   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.
  5. by   oramar
    Quote from rn-n- 2005
    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 the panicky feelings that I get before I go to work. I even dream about situations that might arise at work. I don't have an anxiety disorder about anything else. I also find my self looking through the classifieds for another job that's less stress.

    I was wondering if anyone else these feelings or just me? I am not asking for medical advice. I am thought of at work as someone who is very on top of things and motivated. I am motivated by anxiety!!

    Thanks for listening.

    Rn-n-2005
    I think your body is sending you a message that is time to make some changes.
  6. by   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.
  7. by   PAERRN20
    I have these same feelings. I could have wrote your post. I am also an ER nurse and have been one for a little over a year. I get the same anxious feelings before I go to work. Sometimes I can't sleep the night before, falling asleep around 3 even though I have to be at work at 7. It's awful. I have always gotten wonderful reviews from my boss though.

    I have been looking into moving into a lower stress area like PACU or rehab. With the economy it is tough though.
  8. by   tobesmartt
    Take a break if you can. vacation days ........ ... you spending too much time work.. Do you have any hobbies? or something else? This has nothing to do with nursing, but I use to watch the soap opera's daily, then I started getting emotionally involved with it.(is that ridiculous) I had dreams, night mares, about it.. I took a vacation from it. It mentally drained me. Now, soap opera?/? huh?? . Give it a shot.
    Quote from rn-n- 2005
    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 the panicky feelings that I get before I go to work. I even dream about situations that might arise at work. I don't have an anxiety disorder about anything else. I also find my self looking through the classifieds for another job that's less stress.

    I was wondering if anyone else these feelings or just me? I am not asking for medical advice. I am thought of at work as someone who is very on top of things and motivated. I am motivated by anxiety!!

    Thanks for listening.

    Rn-n-2005
  9. by   tinabina612
    i have the same thing happen to me. i have never had anxiety until i became a nurse. sometimes i get so nervous and worked up before i leave that i vomit on my way to work
  10. by   PAERRN20
    Quote from tinabina612
    i have the same thing happen to me. i have never had anxiety until i became a nurse. sometimes i get so nervous and worked up before i leave that i vomit on my way to work
    I totally agree with this. Nursing is an anxiety inducing profession for sure. I wonder if the anxiety ever goes away completely?
  11. by   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.

    I have been where you are and had to leave to find decent ratios before the pre-work anxiety subsided.
  12. by   neatnurse30
    Wow, this is exactly how I usually feel going to work, too. I can't sleep or relax before work at all, and my heart is pounding so fast when I approach my unit... I don't know what to do about it. Otherwise, I'm a happy person besides work and don't experience any stress in other areas of my life. Sometimes I think nursing is a devastating profession, we are supposed to teach others about health, but in the meantime we develop physical and emotional symptoms that can have serious consequences on our health. Most of my coworkers agree that nursing is a sucking profession, at least in the hospital setting.
  13. by   sarahjanern
    I think every nurse has had this experience. And every time you stretch yourself with a new skill, job or dept the anxiety can creep back into your life. I like you started in the ER about 3 yrs ago and for the first year I was often anxious before work. In fact I used almost all of my PLT time by offering to be the first to go in the first 6mo. But after I experienced the same critical care scenarios again and again I increased my confidence and the anxiety went away. I have since started traveling to stretch myself once more and I am all the better for it. This job isn't easy and it is full of the unknown. I think you should forge forward and master the skills you need. You might just one day turn around and realize you are now the teacher and you are mentoring others going through these struggles. You will never know it all just talk it out with your confidants and find yourself some mentors.
  14. by   tobesmartt
    Are you in the Education field or patient care .?? Now I am very curious after reading some of the responses. I to do patient care.. my co-workers drive me nuts with all the drama and bull. Let me know . Thanks

    Quote from oramar
    I think your body is sending you a message that is time to make some changes.

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