Had to take a mental health day today.

  1. Seriously. Haven't done that in 14 years of health care, but today I did. Had one of those weeks where yesterday I just got home and cried. Felt better but just emotionally drained. Worried that if I went in something bad would happen in my inability to perform at peak (there's that old gut talking again.) And feeling bad about leaving the staffing messed up, but feeling better for not going in.
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    About Nurse Ratched

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 6,584; Likes: 70
    RN - College Health
    Specialty: Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health


  3. by   disher
    Nurse Ratched you don't need to feel guilty for preventing burnout. I think healthcare organizations should adopt a policy allowing 3 paid rest and relaxation days per year. Many businesses outside of healthcare have this policy. Employees return to work rejuvinated, without worrying about colleagues being overburdened in their absence. And the result is happier, healthier staff. In my 15 years of nursing I have never seen as many digruntled nurse as there are now. The working environment has to be improved and if it means closing beds or using more agency staf to cover r & r days, then that is what hospitals will have to do.
  4. by   oramar
    The shortage of the late 80s produced a novel idea. I heard about one hospital that worked people 3months on 1 month off. Just think how that would prevent burn out. Of course when the glut of the early 90s came that was all dropped.
    You shouldn't feel guilty Nurse Ratched. Period.

    Get some rest and do something fun for yourself, and feel good about it knowing that you'll have a better outlook at work when you return.

    Have a great day!

  6. by   l.rae
    Nurses need "NO GUILT" bumper stickers....you know..like the ''no fear''.......hope you feel better....LR
  7. by   suzannasue
    Nurse Ratched,
    I do believe we are all in agreement that you should not feel guilty...I knew I had to start taking mental health days years ago when I cried more than I laughed... and it hit me...if I were to die,right now,my position would be covered...no guilt here...and when I say I am sick,I am sick...either physically or I am sick of the crap where I work...I am not obligated to give anyone details of my illness...heh heh heh...be GOOD TO YOURSELF!!!
  8. by   Kayzee
    Mental health days are a necessity of life. At one time I used to feel so obligated to my job, that I never wanted to miss work. Then I realized mgt. didn't appreciate my loyalty, and darn it I deserved one. Take them occ. usually after a horendous day. your body and your mind talk to you ...so listen and don't feel guilty...just enjoy!
  9. by   jurbyjunk
    I took a "mental health" day Friday (well, actually just phoned in and booked off ill).

    My daughter was (note the operative word) engaged to someone that she'd known since grade 3 (she's 32) and was expecting to move to NYC in September. They went to school together until high school, then he moved and they lost track. He married in his early 20s but had no kids and was now divorced.

    Since March, "Rob" has been in London, Ontario, "cleaning up" his company's office there (he is the manager for the Vancouver office). He's emailed her every other day, yakking about the weather, etc, how much he's missed her, etc.

    "Rob" told her that he'd been headhunted by a NYC company, had been hired and had negotiated the company moving her belongings, flying her there and putting her on his medical. He started work on July 1st in NYC, emailed her and told her that he had to be in SE Asia on company business, was leaving on 5th, probably gone 6 weeks. Then he'd be back in Vancouver, they could ship their belongings and move. "Rob" sent her an email on the 4th, yakking about how hot it was in NYC and that he was going to do some touristy things and watch the fireworks.

    My daughter gave notice at work and has been systematically selling off some of her furniture in prep for this move.

    Wednesday afternoon, my daughter gets an email from his girlfriend, informing her that "Rob" never left town, has been sleeping with this girl, moved from his apartment in Surrey to one in Vancouver itself and that he is STILL married (his second) and has children. His wife and son live in the Interior, he isn't divorced yet. My daughter phoned the NYC information operator and found that his "company" doesn't exist. She phoned the office back east (haven't seen him since last year) and out here ("why do you think that he's been away?")

    Eventually, she tracked him down via his email, and he replied back "yup, it's all true". No remorse, no sorry. Just that he'd cared about her when they'd been together, but then he "found" a new girlfriend, his heart "belongs to her now, and I have to follow my heart". When my daughter asked just when he was planning on telling her, he wrote "I don't know, sometime I guess".

    This is what I came home to Wednesday night. Thursday was my day off and I "bagged it in" on Friday. His girlfriend has continued to email perfectly filthy painful messages. When my daughter phoned "Rob", asking Angela to lay-off, he told her that "whatever Angie does is okay".

    Fortunately, through all of her pain and tears, my daughter announced Friday night that she "deserved better, to be loved, to be honored and to be respected", not to be dissed. She has added their email addresses to her filter list.

    Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. Anyone know anyone who wants to buy a size 8 wedding dress?
    Last edit by jurbyjunk on Jul 14, '02
  10. by   mcruss
    Oh, that is just horrible !!! Poor thing...I'm glad she was able to admit that she definitely deserves better..Oh my goodness, my heart is breaking for her..and you....My daughters are only 7 and 3, but to imagine that someday I may face this is just plain scary..Thank goodness she has you to help her through....My mom has helped me through a broken heart or two(or three) and I know how much I appreciated it......You sound like a wonderful woman !

  11. by   hoolahan
    (((((((jurby and daughter)))))))) she is soooooo right, she DOES deserve so much better. What a scum he is!!!

    How sad for you both. I hope your dtr can secind her resignation?!
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    ((JurbyJunk)) You poor dears!

    So glad your daughter is blocking those email addy's - now that other woman can email her hurtful filth to her heart's content - your daughter need not be hurt further.

    I can't imagine the shock. Thank goodness she made out the way she did - not being tangled in a marriage with such a person - he probably would have cleaned out their joint bank account and been gone the first week. What a WEASEL!!!!!!!!

    BTW - if your daughter is feeling particularly energetic, there is caselaw in the US at least where people who breach "social contracts" so to speak (not showing up for a prom date where the other part spent $ on dress, or leaving someone at the altar) can be sued for damages. Breaking off an engagement is one thing; allowing one to continue when he has no intention of marrying and letting the other party make financial sacrifices with the understanding that she will be married - well, that's quite another. I'm sure she just wants to get this behind her, but that *is* an option.

    My best to you both. I'm sorry that such people exist to give the rest of the human race such a horrid name. You're a great mother - my own would have done the same .
  13. by   Nurse Ratched
    BTW - forgot to add thanks for all the support yesterday - had a *great* day off. Refreshed - ready to go tackle it again tonight!
  14. by   fiestynurse
    Taking a mental health day is nothing. A day off to take care of your emotional and mental well being is perfectly acceptable.

    But, this can be carried to the extreme. The popular thing to do here is to take a medical leave for 30 to 60 days for "mental health" reasons. The local psychiatrists seem to be very supportive of nurses in this community and more than willing to give time off during the summer to recover from "depression." I know of two nurses out on 60 day medical leaves for mental health reasons. They both work evenings and both left within a week of each other. They are very good friends. One recently left for Chicago, while the other took care of her pets. They both have enough extended sick leave to receive a full paycheck.

    In the meantime, the rest of the unit is left severely short staffed. The staff has had to work over-time and fill in for these two nurses. They are getting burnt-out! One nurse had to cancel her vacation. Agency nurses had to be called in at a great expense to management.

    Of course you can't fire someone on a medical leave because they are legally protected. You don't necessarily have to keep their positions open for them, however with the nursing shortage, these nurses know that it takes months to find a replacement. They have management by the balls!