Do you carry your work home with you?

  1. When you clock out and go home, do you carry your work into your home also? How have you overcome this and what helped you the most? I have known several colleagues who have stated that it was difficult not to worry about the shift they left or having worry about coming in the next day. What suggestions could I offer to them?
  2. Visit Thunderwolf profile page

    About Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 12,611; Likes: 3,284
    Charge Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 32 year(s) of experience in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health


  3. by   ChevRN
    I am a floor nurse at a major hospital. I have worked the same unit for eight years. Early in my career, I would worry about not completing or forgetting something when I would come home. At that time I worked the afternoon shift (3pm-11pm) which was busier with more admissions. I now work the midnight shift which is not as busy.

    For the most part I leave my work at work, and don't discuss a typical night at work with my wife. I will share with my wife, however, extraordinary occurrences. Most nights on the general practice unit are uneventful, some nights are pretty busy, a little busy one time then slow others, or slow and not busy at all. I seem to have plenty of time on the midnight shift to do my work plus some down time.

    I like leaving my work at work and having a life with my wife and kids. For this reason, I could not see myself being unit manager, as at my facility they have to be on-call when not on vacation for unit related emergencies. We do not have on-call for non management nurses.
  4. by   Corvette Guy
    When I get in my car to leave work for the day is when I also leave the day's events behind. My wife on the otherhand [an ER RN], will talk about her work for hours after being home. I think she does so because she knows I can relate to what she is saying. However, I try to get her to leave thoughts of her work at work. More times than not she actually relives the event being told and she starts to get vey upset.

    When a person "clocks out" they should leave work at work, if you know what I mean.
  5. by   Tweety
    Some days are so stressful they need processing. I would say as long as it's not causing loss of sleep, relationship problems or other problems, then it's healthy to process it before letting go. Sometimes this is how we learn....what did I do wrong, what could I do better, etc. As long as it's not consuming.

    Most of the time I leave it at the door. Some days it's a process to get it off my shoulders and I think that's o.k.
  6. by   oramar
    If I said I never mulled things over off duty I would be lying. But I must say that I have trained myself over the years to "leave it at the door" most of the time. It is not in my nature to just drop a thing so when I say I have trained myself I really mean it. As a new nurse I remember thinking of home when I was at work and thinking of work when I was at home and really getting to be a mental wreck.
  7. by   PamUK
    I have just had an absolutely horrendous day. I dont work on the wards, but am responsible for writing & implementing certain clinical polices at my hospital.

    Today, we had auditors in. They crawled all over the place, looking at the clinical environment to ensure it is clean and comfortable and adequately equipped; they compared written policies against clinical practice to make sure they match. Although they really admired our services, they have picked up on "a serious issue"... I am gutted because these guys have the authority to shut a service down if it isn't up to scratch (although if it had been serious issue affecting patient safety they would have done that immediately)

    I dont know the full extent of this issue because I wont get an interim report for a few days. I was pretty confident we were spot on & even told the Board this at the begining of the week! How foolish do I feel?

    How will I cope this evening? Cuddle up with on the couch with my partner & a bottle (or two) of wine. Go back tomorrow & face the music
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes

    after a "cleansing" by telling my dh about a rough shift, and further "cleansing" by taking a LONG HOT SHOWER truly---- I "dump" it and go into family mode. I do this with the intent of not letting work stress me out to the point of burnout. It's critical to me.
  9. by   Dalzac
    I used to go home and drink it away with a bottle or two of any sort of alcohol, but all that got me was a trip to a rehab center and nightly AA meetings. I had to learn to drop work at work and it was really pretty hard at first. When I get into my car to go home I shut off the radio and take the long way home. If it possible I have the windows down and just listen to life. Kids playing, lawns being mowed, stuff like that. That seems to help me the most.
  10. by   AMARTIN1
    I tend to come home and vent to my husband, who is a detective, which drives him crazy because "he deals with people and problems all day." Thankfully he will listen and offer some of his wisdom to me. I have only been a nurse for about four months now and am quickly learning to shut off when my badge hits that timeclock. I autopilot and go home for a hot shower and wine. That usually helps
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Sometimes. Like today.

    I like Deb's idea -

  12. by   zambezi
    I don't usually bring my work home with me anymore. When I was brand new I would constantly think about what I learned that day, what I forgot to do, what I was going to fix or do better next time I worked, what my patients were like, what I would do when my patient coded- it never stopped. I would even dream about it. Thankfully that stopped once I became comfortable in my position.

    Now I only think about work if it was a particularly eventful/busy/or crappy day. If my pateint codes or a big event happens and I am running around nuts I think about what I could have done better or differently next time, even though I try not to.

    When I could drink (I am pregnant now, so I can't do this currently) I would have a drink and take a nice warm bath. My husband dosen't like to hear about work so if I had to vent I would call a friend (who is also a coworker) and blow off some steam. I also like to go out and exercise to release tension. Sometimes I would get into a really good book to take my mind off things too. A journal is also a great idea, especially if you are a newer nurse and things weight you down, once you write it you can reflect and try to forget once the pages are closed.

    For the most part I can sleep now with out thinking about work, thankfully it is a fairly rare occassion that I end up thinking about someone all night.
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    When you clock out and go home, do you carry your work into your home also? How have you overcome this and what helped you the most? I have known several colleagues who have stated that it was difficult not to worry about the shift they left or having worry about coming in the next day. What suggestions could I offer to them?
    I don't have take my work home with me. I know that people are sick all over the world whether or not I'm a nurse. But since I am a nurse and while I am at work I can make a difference in the life of a patient then I have done my part to help the sick. I'm not conveying my thoughts very well but hope you know what I'm getting at. If I wasn't a nurse I would feel worse about all the sick people in the world because I couldn't do not one thing about it.