Bad Dreams ---- What does this mean?

  1. Was out of work for 3 months of medical leave/Stress leave. Returned full time on 10/26/12. All has been well up to last thursday when i was fired by a patient. No specifics were given to me by my TL, so I didnt think much of it.

    Cut to this past weekend (i was off work). Very intense vivid nightmares about being fired from my job, committing suicide at work, police escort off property, and a blur of other intense terrible and frightening emotions/thoughts.
    I know it sounds silly, but these dreams were so intense I woke up feeling briefly physically ill.
    What could this all mean?
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    About abbaking

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 457; Likes: 1,564
    Clinical Nursing; from US
    Specialty: Telemetry, Med-Surg, ED, Psych


  3. by   sapphire18
    It means that you are majorly stressing out, and probably thinking about work before bed. Do you have a therapist? If so, talk to her/him about those nightmares. I have vivid nightmares very often as well- they happen in cycles- it is your subconscious trying to work through these fears. Engage in some stress-relieving exercises, mindfulness, and practice good sleep hygiene. This won't last forever.
  4. by   Altra
    Vivid nightmares are not uncommon when stress levels are high, particularly if there are multiple stressors in different areas of your life. As an aside, I believe nurses would do well to eliminate the phrase "fired by a patient" from their vocabulary. "Fired" is an intensely emotionally-charged term, and is not an accurate description of the situation as you are not employed by the patient unless you are a private duty nurse employed directly and solely by an individual, not an agency. The patient requested to be assigned to a different nurse, for whatever reason (that may be considered justifiable, or not) and the request was granted. The nurse's employment was not affected. Wishing you well.
  5. by   Flare
    Stress can really take a toll on your dreams. I know i've had nights that i just continued to work while i have been asleep. What worries me is the content of your dreams, suicide, police escorts, horrible images, etc are a different animal that having a bad dream about mixing up all your meds or forgetting about a patient. Sure, stress and the worries on your mind continue to play out all night - especially if it's what you were dwelling on as you drifted off, you can help avoid them with relaxation and posotive activities as you prepare for slumber, but I think it's really important to get in touch with your counselor to discuss these images and the level of stress causing them. I know you said a while ago that you were nervous about getting back into the swing of things - it doesn't sound like you're having the smoothest transition, but things will get better.
    Also - if you think there is any merit to the idea that dreams of commiting suicide in your workplace may be having any influence on you (i.e. suicidal ideation) then I implore you to act sooner rather than later.