Help....I Can't Take it Anymore!!! - Nurses Coping with Stress

Published

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Do you have those days when the stress of your job just makes you want to scream?? Maybe you do scream....but hopefully not at your co-workers....and certainly not at your patients. But what do you do. You are reading page 6 of Help....I Can't Take it Anymore!!! - Nurses Coping with Stress. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

sevensonnets

975 Posts

I think the worst thing that ever happened to nurses was 12-hour shifts. There was a time when you worked your 8 hours and then you walked out the door and left it all behind. You did not let it stress you out. You younger nurses will just have to trust me on that. I've been a nurse for almost 37 years.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,940 Posts

I hated 12-hour shifts. It meant absolutely NO other business could be conducted during that 72-hour stretch when all I did was work, eat, and sleep. And the last two hours of a shift were downright dangerous for me, because I was too tired to care much by that time and I sometimes missed little details, like clearing IV pumps and fetching fresh ice water for the patients (we didn't have CNAs on nights). I did much better when I went to 8 hours, even though I worked four days per week instead of three. But that's just me...most of my co-workers loved 12-hour shifts.

caffeinatednurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-surg, telemetry, oncology, rehab, LTC, ALF. Has 6 years experience. 308 Posts

I try to disconnect from my job on the way home.

It was difficult, if not impossible, to do at my last job. The acuity was so high, and there were many things that I could miss. I used to call the unit during my drive home after I realized I had forgotten something important. Those kind of moments can increase your stress and make you doubt your competency as a nurse. Thankfully, I don't do that anymore.

Come to think of it, the acuity hasn't changed, even though I'm in LTC now. I work in a busy rehab unit with 6 swing beds. Daily admissions and medical emergencies are par for the course. It's med surg w/o all of the resources. I've learned who I can trust at work though: who to go to for a certain problem (there's a nurse who's great w/technology, a nurse who is great w/emergencies or admissions, etc.) I've also learned who to avoid - either because they're in the process of burning out or they're not the type of nurse I can depend on when the shift takes a turn for worse. I fall somewhere in the area of, I don't know everything but I will work my tail off while I'm here. My coworkers know that I will do my best to help them when I can.

There's some stress you can't avoid. Like when work calls you on your day off because you really did forget something important, or they can't find paperwork that you filled out during your shift. That doesn't happen all the time, though. Most of the time I can walk out the door and trust that the next two shifts will take care of whatever I couldn't get to.

At the end of the night, I can usually go home knowing that I did my very best at my job that I possibly could. That is what allows me to pop my melatonin and get some quality sleep before I get up and do it all over again.

Some people say that not talking about work helps w/their stress. I fall somewhere in between. If something is really bothering me, I'll talk about it w/my family for a little while, and then I shut it off and focus on something else. I watch my favorite show or listen to stress relieving music. I love candles and aromatherapy, and sometimes I get creative w/crafts. Mostly I make sure I get plenty of sleep and try to keep a regular routine (minus the nights when I have to stay later to finish things up).

caffeinatednurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-surg, telemetry, oncology, rehab, LTC, ALF. Has 6 years experience. 308 Posts

VivaLasViejas said:
I hated 12-hour shifts. It meant absolutely NO other business could be conducted during that 72-hour stretch when all I did was work, eat, and sleep. And the last two hours of a shift were downright dangerous for me, because I was too tired to care much by that time and I sometimes missed little details, like clearing IV pumps and fetching fresh ice water for the patients (we didn't have CNAs on nights). I did much better when I went to 8 hours, even though I worked four days per week instead of three. But that's just me...most of my co-workers loved 12-hour shifts.

Me, too. Although now that I work 8 hour shifts 5 days a week, I kind of miss that 4 day stretch of doing nothing. I keep reminding myself of how dead tired I was after one 12 hour shift, much less 3 in a row.

nurse_dg

2 Posts

My shifts at my job (old and new) whether it was 8 or 12 hours have been physically and mentally draining. Sometimes, however much I want to try to disconnect from it, I still take all the worries at home. It's tough but it does get better at times.My go-to stress reliever is getting massages or doing it at home.

Edited by dianah
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