Is it just me?

  1. So I need some advice as to whether the problems I am having are because of the floor I work on or is it just me?

    The past few days I have been extremely frustrated/overwhelmed at work. Monday was my usual busy busy day. I posted previously about how I had the HIV pt who bled out on me. I was in his room for 4-5 hours holding pressure. We switched off holding pressure so I could call the MD and get FFPs going. I stayed until 2100 that night helping the LPN who followed me get the FFPs in him.

    Well I was off Tuesday and came back Wednesday. I followed the same LPN. She left a number of things undone which I'm not going to get into. But I started out behind because of these things I had to do. I know nursing is a 24 hour job. But it just frustrated me that I stayed late helping her and then she turned around and left me in a mess....

    Well yesterday I had 2 discharges before 10am. 1 pt had to be d/c to her rehab facility before 10am due to insurance reasons. The other one had her D/c orders written by 9. I also had one going to dialysis at 8. So I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off all morning. The CNAs I had really didn't help me much and I ended up doing 2 baths by myself due to finding 2 or my completes laying in stool. My other discharge was extremely complicated. Being sent home with home health, PT, mission meds. ect ect... I got 2 admission right back in....

    I'm sorry but when you have 3 discharges and 2 admissions it just seems impossible to take care of your other patients adequately. At the end of the shift I was angry and in tears. I can't handle the stress. I want to take care of my patients. I want to give them the care they deserve. But I can't. I'm too busy to give them the care they deserve. It stresses me out. I'm too the point where I want to quit and find something else to do. All my coworkers say I'm an awesome nurse and I need to stick with it. They say I'm stressed because I'm actually a nurse who cares about my patients. I know I'm rambling.. But my ultimate question is... Am I the one who needs to learn to cope with the stress? Is it just me? I don't know what to do... This job is making me depressed.

    I get sick of running my butt off.. getting only a 20 min lunch break all day... just for my patients and families to still be upset with their care... I've almost been a nurse for a year... How do y'all more experienced nurses handle the stress of this job???
  2. Visit TigerGalLE profile page

    About TigerGalLE

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 805; Likes: 1,005
    Staff nurse; from US
    Specialty: ICU, Med/Surg

    17 Comments

  3. by   EeyoreAddict
    I have NO advice since I am in school right now, but would like to offer a warm hug and say thanks for doing your best.

    Good luck and hope you find some balance.

    Lyn
  4. by   TheCommuter
    Here's a hug, because you need one. (((((hug))))) :icon_hug:

    You don't seem like the problem. If the details you're providing are truthful, then the problem revolves around coworkers who are not pulling their weight adequately, in addition to a workplace environment that allows this type of "lazy" behavior. In my honest opinion, many of your workplace stressors might be alleviated if you were working in a facility where everyone did their fair share of work and laziness was not tolerated.

    Good luck to you. There's light at the end of the tunnel.
  5. by   callmekipling
    I think doing your best is the best you can do.. (hey, at least i didn't say "Live, laugh, love" :barf

    More work than you can handle is a dangerous condition for all involved - your license, your pt's health, and the facility you work for.

    Start small. Talk to the CNA's, and the LPN you followed. It could be that they started behind too. Did you leave work undone? Then the cycle continues, through who follows you and back to them.. and it could well be that they're ALL overloaded, and then staffing has to know. Then again, if they're slacking, staffing still needs to know.


    It sounds to me, here in the comforting womb of nursing school, that one of the biggest parts of managing stress on the job is to pick the most important task, do it thoroughly and don't waste time, but most especially be content to let other things wait. Keep hustling but accept that your limit is your limit!
  6. by   incublissRN
    I felt the exact same way you did after I graduated. I was working days on a cardiac medical unit. I felt like I wasn't taking care of my patients and I was just running around in circles all day. I was depressed. After 5 months I transferred to critical care and switched to nights and it was the best thing I ever did. My mood dramatically improved after that. Some might say I didn't give it enough time but I was so depressed I didn't want to!

    You sound like a good nurse that cares for her patients and wants to do everything right. I started doubting my nursing abilities because of how frustrated I was. DON'T do that! It is the floor and work environment causing the problems.

    I wish you the best and hope it gets better for you.
  7. by   Shantas
    I am sorry you had a such a horrible day I also face similar situations most of the time where I work. It all dpends on who you work with. When we all have a hell day like that some of us try to help each other out, particullary our charge nurse, she will be on the floor cleaning the patients, or discharging them, or dealing with any emergency situation so on. But the days when she is off we just try our best.
    You should talk to your manager about the situation and how you felt and if she/he does not do anything then go to the higher level. You should also write that LPN up. All these kind of incidents need to be reported or you will forever get abused. Good luck.
  8. by   Mulan
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Here's a hug, because you need one. (((((hug))))) :icon_hug:

    You don't seem like the problem. If the details you're providing are truthful, then the problem revolves around coworkers who are not pulling their weight adequately, in addition to a workplace environment that allows this type of "lazy" behavior. In my honest opinion, many of your workplace stressors might be alleviated if you were working in a facility where everyone did their fair share of work and laziness was not tolerated.

    Good luck to you. There's light at the end of the tunnel.
    yeah, and add to that the fact that most nurses these days are trying to do the work of one and a half or two people due to ratios, staffing, etc. that nurses have no control over
  9. by   irishnurse67
    Quote from TigerGalLE
    So I need some advice as to whether the problems I am having are because of the floor I work on or is it just me?

    The past few days I have been extremely frustrated/overwhelmed at work. Monday was my usual busy busy day. I posted previously about how I had the HIV pt who bled out on me. I was in his room for 4-5 hours holding pressure. We switched off holding pressure so I could call the MD and get FFPs going. I stayed until 2100 that night helping the LPN who followed me get the FFPs in him.

    Well I was off Tuesday and came back Wednesday. I followed the same LPN. She left a number of things undone which I'm not going to get into. But I started out behind because of these things I had to do. I know nursing is a 24 hour job. But it just frustrated me that I stayed late helping her and then she turned around and left me in a mess....

    Well yesterday I had 2 discharges before 10am. 1 pt had to be d/c to her rehab facility before 10am due to insurance reasons. The other one had her D/c orders written by 9. I also had one going to dialysis at 8. So I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off all morning. The CNAs I had really didn't help me much and I ended up doing 2 baths by myself due to finding 2 or my completes laying in stool. My other discharge was extremely complicated. Being sent home with home health, PT, mission meds. ect ect... I got 2 admission right back in....

    I'm sorry but when you have 3 discharges and 2 admissions it just seems impossible to take care of your other patients adequately. At the end of the shift I was angry and in tears. I can't handle the stress. I want to take care of my patients. I want to give them the care they deserve. But I can't. I'm too busy to give them the care they deserve. It stresses me out. I'm too the point where I want to quit and find something else to do. All my coworkers say I'm an awesome nurse and I need to stick with it. They say I'm stressed because I'm actually a nurse who cares about my patients. I know I'm rambling.. But my ultimate question is... Am I the one who needs to learn to cope with the stress? Is it just me? I don't know what to do... This job is making me depressed.

    I get sick of running my butt off.. getting only a 20 min lunch break all day... just for my patients and families to still be upset with their care... I've almost been a nurse for a year... How do y'all more experienced nurses handle the stress of this job???
    Boy, can I relate and I'm sure millions of others can, too. I used to love being a nurse and now I hate it. I love caring for patients who don't treat me like dirt. I love when I'm working w/enough staff that is good at their job. These things are too rare these days. It's all about the money and turning hospitals into hotels and nursing administration is all for it. And don't even get me started about ridiculous documentation and JCAHO and clipboard nurses. If it weren't for patients and co-workers complimenting me on a job well done, I'd really lose it. If I were younger and didn't have kids, I'd go to school for something else in a heartbeat. I strongly encourage anyone who asks not to become a nurse. I think as a group we have to put an end to all this but that will never happen.
  10. by   sharona97
    Not your fault. Being compassionate and wanting to prioritize as needed makes every second count. You are only human and a darn good nurse. It's often times alone at the top of your game, no matter how depleted you feel at the end of your day.

    When I had days like the one you described, it only took 1 gratifying nursing action, saving a life, catching a block, anything to benefit a great outcome for a patient and I realized I was in the right place....nursing.

    I hope shifts get somewhat better controlled for you and you can keep doing a great service to your patients.


    Sharona
  11. by   grandee3
    Hugs to you honey.
    I had the same thing happen to me on Tues 7a-7p. I usually work 7p shift but got cancelled a lot last week so I decided to try a few day shifts. Worked Sun (uneventful day shift) and Tuesday. Well, I started out with 4 pts. Had to tx #1 to Rehab before 9am, #2 had d/c orders written at 8am and #3 was d/c at 830am.
    So, I start immediately working on #1 after checking my charts and getting report. Stuck my head in each pt's room to make sure they were ok and introduce myself. Then, all hell broke loose. #1 had b/p of 80/44. Checked it myself and go 92/58 manuel cuff. His wife at bedside said that is normal for him. Graphics say the same, pt asymptomatic. MD on unit says give him all meds at this time, including antiHTN's. Ok, by that time b/p 102/62 so he got meds. Pt had large bm and we only had 1 CNA for 30pts. so I cleaned him and got him ready for transfer. Charted all that took place with him and got him out at 0915. #2 was ready to go, gave her meds, removed HL, went over d/c instructions and charted on her. Also, had to bring her down to car, this was about 0945. #3 got d/c about 1030 and found out I was getting a pt from ER. #3 could not leave till after lunch because husband at work. Thank God! Gave her meds and charted. Poor #4, thank goodness she was stable, I finally got her meds to her at 1030. Caught up on a few things. At 1100 getting another admit from ER, the first had not arrived yet.
    Anyway, I exahusted just typing this, the rest of the shift was the same. 3 d/c's, 2 admits at the SAME time. I working 7p-7a tonight> AMEN
    Hang in there, it gets, ugh, b e t t e r.:spin:
  12. by   swee2000
    Trust me when I say that I feel your pain.

    Today was literally a nightmare-of-a-shift....from the moment the clock struck 7am until I finally left at 4pm. I never got a lunch break, or even 5 minutes to escape the he**. And when I nicely & calmly expressed my concern to the charge nurse about what a ridiculous and very medically complex & heavy of an assignment this was for one person, let alone two(we do team nursing on my unit), she responded by getting all defensive and basically ripped my head off, chewed on it, and then spit it back out.

    Now, I'm normally a quiet person who goes with the flow of things, minds my own business, and doesn't complain about my work or assignments. But today really tested my patience and I had to do everything just to keep from snapping at the charge nurse. The best part was when she called me a little while later, asking if I'd work a double shift today, in addition to my scheduled day-shift tomorrow.
    Last edit by swee2000 on Nov 29, '07
  13. by   marie-francoise
    Two books pretty much say it all:

    "Where Have All the Nurses Gone?" by Faye Satterly

    "Nursing Against the Odds" by Suzanne Gordon

    After skimming through them, you may be comforted & affirmed in you frustration. Because it's not you, nor your working style, nor just the specific facility or unit you're on - but a universal, systemic problem: too many patients of too-high acuity for too-few nurses to take care of.

    I'm only a nursing student, but I've been researching why so few nurses have persisted at the bedside, and I'm hearing about these nightmarish "days in the life" of a nurse and I'm wondering, "who in heck would become a nurse these days?" I honestly don't think I have the strength of will or body for such a career.

    Such a laudable profession, yet something very bad happened to nursing in the 1990s! Cost constraints and health care just don't mix. And nurses and patients are truly suffering for it.
  14. by   Midwest4me
    My heart goes out to you!!!Sounds like a staffing problem to me; the CNAs should have been assisting with the baths so you could take care of other nursing tasks. Time management skills are learned but when faced with so many admissions and discharges, that kind of goes out the window....or at the very least is definitely put to the test. The stress you feel is BECAUSE you care and will always be there on some level due to the environments in which we work. You have to find some outlet to relieve the stress--venting here is excellent; physical workouts, etc.

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