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How stressful is a career as a Nurse?

What makes the job stressful? I don't preform well under stress which I think is partly due to having anxiety (although not diagnosed).As I prepare to go back to school,I'm trying to finalize my choice of major.

What makes this job stressful? Let's see... Life and death. Constant short staffing. High acuity patients, and too many of them. Families. Doctors. Management. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. Very long hours, often without breaks. Patient satisfaction surveys. Etc.

Nursing is a very stressful career. I have only done LTC but I have friends who work in just about every specialty and we all feel stress pretty frequently.

Can it be done if you have anxiety? Absolutely!! I have suffered with anxiety for the majority of my adult life (before I went to nursing school) and have had a pretty successful career. I always try to remember that whatever happens at work I always have my family to go home to at the end of the day. Makes everything tolerable.

Good luck with your decision.

Getting up and going in for my third 12 hour shift in a row after having two craptastic shifts. Finding out that oh by the way, 3 nurses have called out and we only have 3 techs today, so one for triage, two for main and if your in fast track, it's no tech for you guys, sorry. Awesome. It was a bad night so there are people in the waiting room who have been there 6+ hours waiting to be seen. Walking into an assignment that consists of a psych hold that is a detox, a (luckily stable) chest pain work up, an abd pain and an empty room. Then EMS encodes with a stemi and since I have the lone empty room, ding ding, winner winner chicken dinner. While that goes down, the abd pain goes to CT and turns out to be a ruptured appendix. Get the stemi to cath lab, get the appy to the OR, meanwhile keeping tabs on my detoxing patient and my chest pain patient. That's just hour one of one shift.

Granted that's an ER environment which is more high stress than other areas but in general, nursing is going to be a high stress job. You are responsible for people's lives. When new grads talk about being worried going into work, it's for good reason. There are mistakes that can and will harm people. Beyond that, like unico said, management, staffing, dealing with doctors, etc. Even things like bathroom and lunch breaks are sources of stress.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

How stressful is nursing? Very

People can, and do die when nurses make innocent mistakes. If you do not do well under pressure, you should not consider nursing as a career.


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