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What boundaries do you set?

Nurses   (5,094 Views 20 Comments)
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I want to know:

What boundaries do you set with your patients, coworkers, and/or bosses to ensure you don't get taken advantage and burned out?

As a nursing student who graduates this upcoming December, I want to be proactive in avoiding the martyr complex some nurses fall victim to.

Thanks for your insight! :)

Edited by noyesno

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"As a nursing student who graduates this upcoming December, I want to be proactive in avoiding the martyr complex some nurses fall victim to. "

Just curious....what martyr complex have you observed?

And as a follow-up question, what constitutes martydom vs reality?

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I've been asked out many times by my patients. It always amazes me to because I'm not thin or pretty. I figure it's because they think I'd take good care of them or something. Anyways I always deflect that one lightheartedly like "well the management might not like that" or something. I've also used the "thanks but I'm marrried" line.

As far as the martyr syndrome. I think nursing still has this sink or swim mentality and it's wrong. As a new grad you have plenty of stress on your plate so don't volunteer for things right away. I've seen nurse managers prey on the new grads because the new grads are eager to prove themselves. Focus on learning the job first and then add things to your plate. Set the tone from day one, be consistent and you will be fine.

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My advice to you is to not get too personal right away. You will eventually through many hours with your co-workers learn who to trust with your personal life and who NOT to. It is not worth starting a big huge gab fest because you had a big fight with your boyfriend last night and someone at work didn't think you handled it appropriately, and they know, because you told them all about it. Even if you need support, work is not the place to get it -- at least not initially. Definitely do not discuss that sort of thing with your patient. It is unnecessary and is not therapeutic to dump all your problems on a patient (I am sure you knew that already though.)

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I've been asked out many times by my patients. It always amazes me to because I'm not thin or pretty.

Oh, good Lord...well, obviously these gentlemen, after reading all they can of your 'menu'...have come to the conclusion that you have quite a bit to offer. ;)

The overall package is what makes a person attractive / unattractive in the eye of the beholder. How many times have you heard it said of a conventionally gorgeous/handsome person, "ah, he/she ain't all that" when people can't stand their personality.

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That depends, with my country's current situation, we cannot really set some clear boundaries, nurses had to be the linen staff, nursing aides got ditched and the nurse-patient ratio in hard times had gone as bad as 15:1 and nurses had to stay extra 3 hours finishing up without over time pay.

My advise is, know how far you can walk the extra mile smiling and say "no" from thereon.

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I want to know:

What boundaries do you set with your patients, coworkers, and/or bosses to ensure you don't get taken advantage and burned out?

As a nursing student who graduates this upcoming December, I want to be proactive in avoiding the martyr complex some nurses fall victim to.

Thanks for your insight! :)

I dont share too much personal information at work..I have been at my job for 3 weeks and no one knows whether I'm married,have kids,work somewhere else yada,yada..Sure I dont mind them asking me but also I dont throw my personal information out there..I also dont ask people I work with about their personal business.Sometimes I might ask something like what are their plans for the weekend or what nationality are they,very innocent stuff.

With my patients well a lot of them asks me if I'm married and I do tell them that no I'm not,I dont mind telling them that stuff about me,cause they ask me politely with a genuine interest not to be nosy or anything like that.I like privacy but not the point where I'm obsessed with it..I'm also careful when it comes to asking people personal questions cause I know that they might be bothered by it.

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"As a nursing student who graduates this upcoming December, I want to be proactive in avoiding the martyr complex some nurses fall victim to. "

Just curious....what martyr complex have you observed?

And as a follow-up question, what constitutes martydom vs reality?

I've noticed a few inklings of the martyr complex with nurses during my clinicals. It usually has to do with eating:

Example: "I haven't eaten anything in 10 hours because I have so much to do for my patients." This is not a direct quote.

Example: "I've lost 10 pounds since I started working as a nurse because I never get to eat." This is not a direct quote.

I'm not sure what constitutes martyrdom vs reality... I'm not sure I understand the follow-up question.

Edited by noyesno

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I'm not sure, it depends... maybe your boyfriend's sister is trying to get into the nurse manager's favorable side, perhaps she is new or is just really dedicated to her work... and as for the 10 hours without eating, it happens...

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hmmmm. Boundries? Mostly Live and Learn. I try to keep up on my breaks, but sh!t happens and I find myself at the end of the shift going hypoglycemic because I didnt eat my lunch. I try to do better the next day. I try not to let unhealthy patterns (skipping breaks, too long work commitments, etc) become the norm.

Regarding overtime labor issues, you should consult both your board of nursing and your labor board for issues of working overtime and not getting paid for it.

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With regard to boundaries, what I lack in tact, I make up for in directness.

For example, "This conversation is unwelcome. If you would like to continue this conversation, I will have to go print off the sexual harassment forms. I'll be right back."

At a certain point, most nurses get fed up and stop bending over backwards. I do not ever answer my phone for a hospital number if I am scheduled off and I am not on call. The charge nurse doesn't care about my kids, and I have to stick up for them. The charge nurse is more likely to remember the person who answers and says no than the person who doesn't pick up.

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