I am on vacation this week, and already, I am regretting that this week will be over and I'll be back to the grind on Monday. I sit here shaking sometimes, sad the next and ready to cry. There is a fine line between trying to take care of the needs of the patients, complying to stupid rules and making serious attempts to keep our sanity.We deal with a high volume of illegal immigrants and poor people who literally have no clue about health care. It is so crowded in the waiting area. Each morning I walk in, I see LINES and LINES of people...some in walkers, wheelchairs, elderly, people bringing in their pre-school aged children to interpet for them, many are argumentative, many are really sick. By the time I get behind the door, nurses are running like insane rabbits trying to see them. By the time the patient gets to us, they are tired, disillusioned, angry, argumentative, placing blame on us. Cognitively, I know that they are unaware of what really goes on behind the scenes of the hospital. But, it doesn't make it easier to deal with them cursing us out. I cannot control the lines, or all of the mess, but I do have to try and practice safely. In fact, the more rushed I feel, the more I HAVE to slow down, before I make a mistake that I cannot take back. It is hard to try and explain to a person that they are hypertensive or diabetic when they literally do not know that they have blood flowing through their veins (no exaggeration, folks). Sometimes, giving even the simplest explanation confuses them even more. Plenty of times, when I use the language hotline, the phone interpeters have told us that there is nothing they can do for us because this person has no concept of what they are talking about. Many of them do not know their birthdates (some of their countries don't consider this to be important), not even their addresses. Many will tell the interpeters that they do not want to have a phone translator, they want someone in person(...yeah, right...like this will happen quickly). A simple thing like a flu shot that should take ten minutes tops can be a situation that draws out for over one hour. Then, after all of that, to experience this AGAIN with about 10 more people. It can drain your energy to the toilet in two hours. I try to remember that these are someone's mother, father, sister, parent, brother, friend, clergyman, etc...but it is hard. Sometimes, I just want to run for the hills. Sometimes, it looks like a third world country walking in there, and many times, I have had to walk away from people in mid sentence before I say something that I can't take back. And management says to give it your ALL. If I did that, I would have nothing left. When work is over, I don't want to socialize very often...I want to go straight home to bed. Read about something other than illness and nursing. Read romance, street novels, look at reality TV... I take a cab home each night to avoid more personalities and interactions with people because they are so draining. I have small rituals of pacing the floor each morning to stomp out my plantar faciitis and say to myself "You can do this". I walk out, feel the air, and from then, it is an adrenaline rush to make it back home to safety. Thanks for listening to me vent guys. And, you all have helped by just existing and reading that I am not the only nurse that feels this way. Thank you.