Your top three coping strategies - page 2

I left nursing 10 years ago due to the extreme stress I was experiencing. I just never could get to a place of comfort in the position after two years on the floor (med-surg). I remember telling... Read More

  1. by   Keshet
    Dear Medic2ERNurse2B,

    Thanks for your post. I was a paramedic before I became an RN too. Paramedics often feel underappreciated, I know, not necessarily from the patients, but from other medical staff in the ER. To them, you are the one who brings them in, and then leaves. To some extent you have to develope a thick skin. While some ER staff will thank you and respect you for what you do, unfortunately many are too busy with the serious patient you just brought in to express it all the time. They may really respect you, but you never hear it.

    On the other hand, some have never been in your position, and they generally don't know that you are the highest level of care in the street, and the kinds of decisions that are made as a team, primarily with an MD in the room, in the ER, are the same decisions you often have to make alone on scene. Tubing a blue premie born out in the snow, sticking a 14g in someone's chest, all kinds of these like this that take a lot of assessment skills and then boldness to do what needs to be done - immediately! I even had to cric somebody once, on a rollover off a mountain road outside of radio range to the hospital. Not fun, but you do what you have to do, and just hope the doc agrees when you do get back to town.

    As a nurse, you will be part of that ER team, and while it is still possible to make mistakes, you have others around you to help. It may not be less stressful, but just a different kind of stress. If anything, you will at first be frustrated that you no longer are the one calling the shots, sinking the tube, etc. But what you will be doing is just as rewarding in a different way.

    I can tell from your post that you will be a great RN! You have compassion, skills, and already know how to manage stress. You'll do great. Most of the nurses I know who were good paramedics first, like you, are some of the best nurses I know. If you really like what you do as a paramedic, think about keeping your paramedic license and work toward a place on a helicopter crew. There, an experienced dual RN/paramedic, is highly valued!

    More advice than you probably need! Good luck with your studies!
  2. by   traumamomtx
    1. Remember, it is a 24 hr job and there are nurses around the clock. So if you don't get something done that wasn't STAT then someone else will be able to pick up the slack.

    2. We can't save the world. We are there only for 8-12 hrs depending on your shift and the world was build in 6 days so you sure can't fix everything in your shift.

    3. Try to find somthing positive that you have done in each day. Did you catch something no one else missed? Did you please a pt when no one else could manage it? Did you get an issue resolved even if it was a tiny thing?

    That is how I cope in the crazy institution of nursing.