worn out

  1. Hey guys, I just needed to get it out, the hubby is non-medical and can't understand. I work IICU, only Sat. Sun. and Mon. and just had a bad week. It began with a co-worker and friend's dad going bad 5th post-op day and my telling her we have to intubate. It progressed to intervening with the family of a 3 month IICU vented patient circling the drain, and trying to facilitate a no CPR order. The week was so draining--I woke up today to find that I had cried in my sleep so much I couldn't get my contacts in!! I'm still very fragile and teary eyed. I think that I'm most disturbed at the fact that I lost control (even if it was in my sleep).
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    About minurse

    Joined: Nov '00; Posts: 54; Likes: 2
    Specialty: 22 year(s) of experience in ICU, ER, MED, SURG, TELE, HOME HEALTH


  3. by   sharann
    Hi minurse,
    Sorry you're feeling so down. Don't worry about losing control and crying(asleep or awake). It's important to get things out and to do it often. It's helpful to talk to someone who understands. Nurses have to be so "perfect" nowadays, it's a wonder we appear normal at all some days. The job is a stressor(staffing is usually the #1 culprit though). Well, I'm sure I didn't help much. I am orienteng to a new unit and am still relatively new to nursing. I've had a few horrible days myself so I know how great I'd feel if I COULD cry.(But I can't because then I'd be a wimp, right?!?).
    Hope your next shifts are better :-).
  4. by   KatieRN
    Hi there, just had to respond to your post. I, too, work in IICU, just started at the beginning of this year as a new grad. Overall it's been pretty good, but the past week in particular has been extremely frustrating and stressful and I have cried nearly every day. I don't wear contacts, but my eyes are almost always puffy and swollen due to my continual crying! I'm not usually such a cry baby, but, man, the stress sometimes is unbelievable! I just keep telling myself that tomorrow will be better, and today was, in fact, a little better. Hang in there and know that others can definitely empathize with you. Hope things get better for you soon.
  5. by   sharann
    Okay, I'm glad we aren't the only wrecks around here. One question though. What does IICU stand for? Intermediate?
  6. by   cmggriff
    I believe anyone who has worked the units for any length of time loses control now and then. Crying in your sleep indicates you aren't dealing with the stressors while awake. I'm fortunate having a wife who is an RN too. But you have to replenish all that you give to your patients somehow. Just remember, if you burn out or die from the stress, all that expertise you have goes with
    you. It can't be replaced. Good luck.
  7. by   oramar
    I know a lot of people feel that being in a state like this is a normal part of nursing. Maybe to a limited extent people can tolerate sever emotional stress. However, I think there is far to much stress and it contributes to burnout and turnover. If managment wants to do anything about retention they need to make sure that people get the correct amount and types of support. It is every bit as important as wages and benefits. I was reading a report from BBC that showed PTSD was higher in ICU nurses than in war vets.