Job Stress- Your Strategies

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in Pediatrics.

So, I've been working in the same job for over five years now. Most of the time, it's not too bad and I have a lot of wonderful coworkers. However, recently I have been getting more and more stressed about work.

-The last time I worked, was a horrible shift and left me feeling pulled in fifty different directions and not doing anything right, and being questioned about things that had nothing to do with me. This kind of shift seems to be becoming more frequent for me.

-We have an ever-increasing number of things to keep up with outside of caring for patients, like check-offs on equipment which seems to be every couple of weeks something new, inservices at least every month, policy quizzes every month, a certain number besides all this of time spent on continuing education (which always seems to be held during the day so it is difficult for night shift workers to go to). The amount of this type of stuff to keep up with just seems to keep growing and growing and it is so hard to keep up.

-We keep being told to try to cut back on having to stay late for charting or other issues and recently was posted (by randomly assigned number, not by name) in the break room which employees have stayed late the most. Originally when keeping up with this, we were told it was to figure out what was happening that was causing people to stay late and try to fix those issues, but with this latest posting up of numbers, it seems to be more of a punitive thing.

I know a lot of the stress of this has to do with me not having a real vacation this year and also dealing with some other outside stressors, but it just seems to get more and more difficult to want to go to work. I love the patient population and my coworkers, and don't really want to seek another job. But would love your suggestions for cutting back on the stress I feel in these situations. I have to leave to get ready for work now, but will come back tomorrow and read and respond to any replies. I really, really appreciate any help you can offer.

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

if your facility has an employee assistance plan, or maybe your health insurance, take advantage of that and talk to a professional. You might gain insight in how to cope. If there is an employee satisfaction survey express yourself!

Specializes in Developmental Disabilites,.

For me going to the gym really helps alot. Somedays I need to lift weights or run to get the aggression out other day it's pilates to show myself some love. When I am feeling extra stressed out I get a massage.

Specializes in ER, ICU.

First off I feel your pain. I just went part time at my job for exactly the same reasons. It is poor management that just ratchets up your responsibilities with nothing to offset it. I have the same problem about education being held during the day. My solution- I don't go, and so far (2 years) have been getting away with it. I've been a stellar employee at other jobs, but here, I don't let their poor management cut into family time or other priorities for me.

It sounds like you need some sort of a change. Because, if everything stays the same, then everything stays the same. My suggestion is to carefully prioritize everything in your life and see where some adjustment might be made. How is your paid time off bank? Put in for a single vacation day here and there. If you have the time, take it. If you feel better, you can handle stress better. If you have stress all day every day, then on-the-job stress is harder to deal with. Best of luck!

Specializes in Cardiac Stepdown and CVSICU.

I truly understand. We have the same thing where I work, where we are expected to have high patient satisfaction score, work with high acuity patients (cardiac stepdown), education, Magnet committees, patient and family teaching, etc, etc, and we do primary care nursing, so there are no CNAs to help with baths, toileting, VS, answering lights, etc. To add to all this, our annual raises are based on patient satisfaction scores as a unit whole, not individually. I am thinking of looking for another job...

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Thank you all for your sympathy and suggestions! I will take them to heart, think them all over, and figure out what will work best for me. It helps most of all knowing I'm not alone. Take care.

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,.

From what I've read into your post, and I maybe very wrong, so forgive me if so.... you have home stressors and you're not taking care of yourself. First of all, I don't know your issues, but you need to take care of you to be whole to do what we do.

I've burnt out, sought guidance here and got great advice that my patients were at risk because of it. It was very hard to hear, but I heard it loud and clear. My issues aside, I had to learn how to box my home away from work, focus on it and then I had to sit in the car and mentally practice BEFORE I turned the key... I would deep breathe, work out every conversation I wish I'd have, talk out loud and complain and work it out... and then I'd LEAVE IT ALL THERE once the key was turned. On a bad day it would take an hour, but when I drove home, I listened to music, my CNN and FOX on SIRIUS and left it there. My home is my haven from work, my work is my haven from home.

BUT, you still need to fix home. You are more than a paycheck, you are a whole person with likes and deserves time with family, time alone and time to grow yourself with hobbies. This I found to be the hard part, still working on it. But seperating the two is getting me there. It doesn't happen overnight, it's taken you 5 years to get in this rut and will take a few to work out of it.

I'd love to say I'm whole, I'm not, but I'm to the point where I'm now at home working at me and my family, and when I get that straight again... or a new beginning, I"ll be whole. It's taking many a hard and insightful talks with husband... it's hard, but it's working and we're getting close again.

You're at the 5 year burn out time. Please consider what I've said before you loose either a good profession or a good relationship. I'm relearning I can have both. I wish you the best.

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Thanks. You have given me a lot more to think about, and I believe you are partially right. I am not THAT stressed outside of work, most of the situations that had been majorly stressing me this year have resolved; but I let the stress from work bleed over into the rest of my life and make the smaller stresses outside work feel worse.

Anyway, thank you again. I appreciate your very thoughtful response.

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Zookeper, I just re-read your post to me again after a couple of weeks perspective, I find you to be very, very right and I appreciate your insight and concern so much. I'm not good at expressing that, but I do. And I am starting to work on the problems I described.

And to all of you wish i could "thank" you a bunch of times for what you have said. I was too close to the problem a couple weeks ago to thoroughly "hear" what you were all saying and now, I do and I appreciate so much what you wrote me.

Specializes in drug seekers and the incurably insane..

Well, I'm a raging alcoholic on my days off!!! How's that for stress relief?? I'm just jesting.....I handle stress by venting to friends because most of them are nurses, read a lot of good books, and when the weather is nice I go camping with my husband and dog*wine

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