I need some advice.
Lately I have been incredibly anxious and I've also been feeling very depressed. It had been building up throughout the year and I haven't been coping well over the last few months.
I keep having thoughts that I'm not good enough and over analysing each shift to the point that my anxiety makes me think that I might have missed something or not signed for a drug even though I have.
I also have this incredible fear that I might make a mistake that could potentially harm a patient. I have this fear that 'what if I make a mistake and didn't pick up on it and then my patient dies and I end up in the coroners court. I have made a few mistakes this year working on a busy med/surg ward but they have been minor with no harm to the patient.
I keep telling myself that if I made a serious error, then I would have heard about it. I'm currently on my third rotation. But my anxiety just keeps creeping in and I don't know what to do anymore. It's affecting every part of my life and I can't seem to separate nursing and my personal life.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Dec 10, '15
Your feelings of inadequacy and fear of inadvertently harming a patient are completely normal for a new nurse. These feelings can be useful, as they can make you vigilant and careful in your practice, reducing the likelihood that you will make a harmful mistake.
At this stage, it's really important to learn the art of self care. Are you eating nutritious foods, drinking water, exercising regularly? Do you have any friends outside of work or any hobbies?
Another thing that could be helpful is finding someone you can commiserate with- another new nurse who is experiencing similar feelings, for instance. Talking about your feelings to someone else who understands can be helpful, but you may find that there are some things only other nurses understand.
Starting tomorrow, go for a walk. Read a book. Learn to crochet. Sign up for a yoga class. Call up a friend from nursing school and go out for coffee. Do something- anything that's just for you.
If your anxiety and depression are interfering with your ability to function, then you need to seek out some professional help. Your employer's Employee Assistance Program would be a great place to start.
Dec 10, '15
I think that if you can afford to see a mental health practitioner it would be a good idea to help you and sort things out.
Working can bring on a lot of stress and anxiety, which in turn can make depression worse. Talking to somebody could be helpful. Depression can lead to people obsessing over things - seeing mental health profession can help!
Check out your insurance web page to find somebody who is in network and get e referral from your PCP.