Published May 13, 2005
Sorry, this is probably the longest post in the history of this message board and probably only few of you will finish reading this (I don't blame you). But I REALLY need a serious vent. So to those of you who will, I am eternally thankfull...
Exhausted, burned out and with my feelings hurt. How can you become assertive? Can you even learn to be assertive or do you have to be born with it? How do you deal with aggressive/assertive co-workers? When do certain nurses stop "eating their young"?(After all I've been there for two years now and feel like I payed at least some of my dues.) Am I just nuts for taking this so seriously? Am I just whining and it's all much easier that I make it out to be? (My darling husband seems to think so.... :uhoh21: )
Sometimes I feel like I'm going to loose it, give up, lay down on the floor and start kicking, pounding my fists and screaming like a baby and just decide to stop being the responsible "I-can-carry-the-weight-of-the-world-on-my-shoulders, I-can-take-it-all" person that I am.
Forgive me for this being very long and excuse my whining, but I just HAVE to vent and I don't know where else to do it.
I'm an LPN in med-surg and I work nights (not by choice but d/t recent LPN lay offs at our hospital and my absence of seniority). I just started nights two months ago but I've been on this unit (and a nurse as a matter of fact) for two years now. I am also a mother of a five year old and of a nine month old. My husband works day shift and my shifts are arranged in such a way, that I absolutely need baby sitting only once a week. (Hubby has the kids on weekends and I don't sleep the first day before and the last day after my shifts.) As you can imagine, I'm exhausted, but I pretty much have no choice. If I quit, given the current LPN sitaution, I am shutting my door to a hospital for good. I can't just stay home because we can't do without the extra money, or better said, I just don't WANT my family to go without it and be merely scraping by. And I can't and don't want to put the kids into full or nearly full time day care, since that would cost me my entire pay check and then why put them through it in the first place? My husband is a construction foreman who doesn't make hundreds of thousands. ....Also my entire family's health insurance is in my name. ...And I'm not even talking about our non-existant retirement plan.
Well, yesterday my baby sitter - my husband's step daughter from his first marriage, was supposed to show up at noon so that I can go to sleep (I worked the night before and was going back for another shift). How big was my surprise, when I came home at eight am and she was allready here WITH her boyfriend... "We had nothing else to do so we just thaught to come in early." No big deal, that I wasn't able to get a shower, to unwind a little or to interact with my kids in peace and quiet, because we live in a small appartment and it was JUST too noisy and too crowded... The BIG DEAL to me was, that next thing I know, my dear BABY SITTER is nodding off on MY couch and her boyfriend is allready hopelessly passed out on MY floor. All because THEY did not sleep all night. ...Now I'm strating to feel like crying. What an awfull feeling of insult and helplessness at the same time. Doesn't anyone have a sense of responsibility? Why didn't they go and get some sleep before they came in? I'm paying her MONEY for this!! Doesn't anyone feel bad for me? Is this all a da#$ party and a joke to you all??? All these things are running through my head, I'm raging inside, but I say nothing... I know, I'll have to go to sleep, because if I don't i will be even more miserable the next night... But I have to leave my kids with someone, who themeselves acts irresponsibly at this point ...I mean I have a NINE MONTH old who gets into everything the second I turn my eyes off of him. And there the sitter is, falling alseep. Anyway, in my own home, I snuck off to the bedroom and whispering called my husband telling him about my dilemma... So he decided, he'll call her, but as usual, all I hear on the phone is laughter, and her saying "Oh, I'm allright dad, I'll be fine.... love ya dad..." !@##%^^%$!! It's all good,right? it's just the overprotective wife...
Well at least she was awake enough now, so I finally mustered the courage to leave them alone and go to sleep with an Ambien on board. They survived. I got whoping five hours of sleep disturbed by periodic awakenings and night mares.
My next night shift was expectadly miserable, but I stayed bussy and did a lot of extra work, helping other nurses and actually doing some paperwork for the oncoming day shift to take a load off of them. I felt pretty good about myself as a nurse untill early in the morning:
First, I found out that someone who was doing chart audits, has written a "Quality Care Reminder" on me for filling out only part of the pre-surgery check lists for patients that were scheduled for surgery in the late afternoon the next day. Normally night shift nurses don't do these check lists at all because some of the things to be checked off on the lists have to be done immediately before the patinet is wheeled off to surgery, so they don't even bother to start them. Silly me for wanting to help.
Second, since I was in the middle section of the hall, I was supposed to split my report between two tape recorders. Well, like many nurses many times before, I didn't do that and taped the two patients that were supposed to be on the othe tape together with my other patients. Fifteen minutes before the end of my shift, as I'm helping a colleague to finish up her meds for the night, this little day shift RN comes in (brand new to hour floor) and she says: could you give me verbal, because I DONT FEEL LIKE listening to the whole tape in break room A... I found that very odd and inappropriate, since I TAPED and I was bussy doing something else... So I told her something like "Well, if you want I can but I allready taped and I would rather finish this..." I didn't realize then that her rationalle was that I taped on the "wrong" tape. This happens all the time and I have never seen anyone make a big deal out of it. But this nurse, after I did at least an hour of her work for her, just to make her day go smoother, just smiled kind of vindictively and said "Never mind, don't worry about it." And stomped off right to their charge nurse. Now this charge nurse is a towering,very loud, very grumpy and very aggressive person who can in an instant make you feel THIS small.... And with her loud,commanding and aggressive voice scolded me infront the entire staff at the nurses station... And yes, I felt THAT small.
Third: After a tearfull and sobby drive home, I get called from work. I made a med error and gave 15 units of NPH instead of 15 units of 70/30.
I think I'm gonna loose it. I think I want to quit... I want to be three years old again...
.....Anyway, back to changing diapers, reading fairy tales and drawing houses, doggies and momies and daddies with crayons...
If there's anyone who finished reading this, THANK YOU!!! :heartbeat: And if there isn't anyone, it's okay, it still felt good to get it out.
you need a HUGE HUG ((((here it is)))). Hang in there. Breathe. Take a hot bath, and do something really nice for yourself. It's been one crappy week for you....
you need a HUGE HUG ((((here it is)))). Hang in there. Breathe.....
Ah, thanks, SmilingBluEyes. I'm gasping...
Some of the nurses at my hospital do "nanny shares", and you find these people by going throught the work/life dept or HR. Also, some nurses swap kids -- ie. I watch your kid a couple days per week, then you watch mine -- and that way neither nurse pays anyone & childcare is covered by someone responsible. Some people find others looking for childcare on "craigslist.com", which is a great resource if you live in a larger metropolitan area or city.
As for work, it sounds like the typical kind of stuff all of us face in nursing today. Just typical garbage. It is hard to deal with sometimes. If you really don't like some of the people you work with, have you considered an internal transfer within your hospital?
I understand all your frustrations. I'm a new mom myself & working as a nurse. It's really, really, REALLY difficult sometimes. Obviously our children come first, but unfortunately our personal needs are placed at the absolute bottom. That's why it's important to do as SmilingBlueEyes said & take a little time for yourself, just to breathe deeply & relax.
First, as far as the day shift charge, try not to let her get to you so much. It sounds like her bark is worse than her bite and really not worth the aggravation. She sounds like an unhappy, miserable person who is taking her personal life out on everyone (ie...belittling coworkers on the floor :angryfire , hum...just a bit unprofessional) Second, pick and choose when, where, and how your going to help your coworkers - fact is, you can't do everything and is SOOO much to be said about teamwork.
As far as being assertive, it is really hard to stand up for yourself the first time but after that it gets easier and if your coworkers get bent out shape, let them. Nurse generally will have a little more tolerence for you when you stand up for yourself and then will tend to leave you be more.
"Eating Our Own" well, unfortunatly, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Far too many hormones and power trips...how sad!
Big hugs....hope everything works out for you!!! :) :balloons:
you need a personal day and that means a day OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT KIDS! tell your partner this is necessary and mean it! Go see a movie or get a massage and have a nice dinner or whatever floats your boat. TURN THE CELL PHONE OFF. Instruct hubby or whoever else not to leave any messages unless the baby is injured sick or the house is burning down. You need personal alone quiet time or you will go nuts. I know i would. if you can hire someone who you trust or feel is competent to watch the baby for the day so you won't spend it tense and worried. Don't do anyone anymore favors at work if all you get is grief from it. Resolve to just be the best you can be at that particular moment. You also may need to start scheduling a regular biweekly or monthy girls day out, my friends and i had a BUNCO game and dinner night the first friday of every month for the past 3 years and it is nice, something to look forward too and the spouses knew it was our night and they knew not schedule anything and that they would be watching the kids ( a lot of the guys got together and got pizza and had a guy night with the kids). Anyway i hope you feel better and can get some time to relax.
Okay, you're probably not going to agree, but I feel you need an objective opinion. You HAVE to change something!! This is not working, your not being good to yourself, which makes you not the "best" you can be. If your not good to yourself, your not a good mom, good wife, or good nurse.
I truly understand your financial situation, we had 3 kids in 4 years. But you HAVE to sleep!#!*!
Maybe you could find a babysitting coop. Where people "pay into " an account by babysitting, and "draw" on the account by having the kids cared for. Alot of work to setup, and you need reliable sources. But I seen done very successfully.
If that doesn't sound good, you need a sitter. A real sitter. I know it's not what you want to hear, but children a very resilient. They would do better in a more structured environment then this stepdaughter is providing.
Here's my 2 cents. You need 48 hours off to SLEEP, gain perspective, see things clearly. Pray for guidance. Night shift is a way of life, you have to embrace it and live it or it will destroy anyone.
You have to make a realistic schedule that works for you, your husband and children.
Don't be afraid to try "unconventional" approaches. It has to work for you, not someone else.
Good Luck, and God Bless
Thank you all so much.... I know that I have a lot of thinking to do... :balloons:
That kind of behavior is UNACCEPTABLE!!! We should not ever put up with that kind of crap from anyone. I think you should talk to your charge nurse and set her straight. Someone needs to. Otherwise, she'll continue to yell at people in front of their peers. This kind of behavior needs to be nipped in the butt and not tolerated. It sickens me that this profession seems to be notorius for this kind of behavior. Its embarrassing and contributes to the disrespect that people have for our profession. The RN unfortunately was very childish in going to the charge nurse to tattle tale on you when she could have solved the problem with you and only you. You don't sound like an unreasonable person. I'm sure the two of you could've solved this situation beautifully if this nurse wasn't so bent on getting you in trouble. Can you tell that I'm a bit irritated? I have never been in a profession that had this sort of mentality. I don't think I will ever get used to it. Do what you feel is right. Take care of yourself in the mean time. The next time your step daughter falls asleep, I'd wake her up and tell her that she can go home to sleep. I know that you don't want to rock the boat considering she's part of the family; but she needs to learn responsibility and taking care of a 9 month old isn't for those who don't take the job seriously. Anyway, I truly truly feel for you. You seem like such a good person and good people should not have to be treated this way. Let us know if things get better.
......RN unfortunately was very childish in going to the charge nurse to tattle tale on you when she could have solved the problem with you and only you....
Exactly! At that time, I didn't even think of that and didn't realize, that I taped on the wrong tape (since evening shift before me did it too, incidentaly - which didn't bother me any...) If she just would have said: "Hey, you taped on the wrong tape yadda, yadda..." I would have said "Oh, I'm so sorry, of course I'll give you verbal". but I thought that she's just being lazy... Silly, silly me... And I know, I should have spoken up, but as I allready stated, I'm sooooooo, not assertive... As a matter of fact, I was thinking I'm being assertive by telling her off the first time :chuckle What a ding dong!
That really does stink! I really feel for you. Hang in there...we all have had days like that! I agree with blue eyes take a hot bath and do something nice for yourself. No one can be the super human and nurse that we are expected to be.
mom and nurse
Just wanted to let you know that I read your post and as the mom of five teens with a dh I wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I work full time alternating days and evenings. My husband works nights. Hang in there. Sometimes just venting helps. :wink2:
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