Almost nothing can deteriorate your body as quick as stress. I know sometimes we can’t help but feel immense stress with the pressure of our jobs and family responsibilities. But please take a moment the next time you get some free time to do what you need to do to de stress.
At work I had 5 patients and I didn’t think it was that much because typically we are short staffed and some days I’ll have 6 patients. Not dangerous at all right?
Imagine this. Typical day for me as a nurse. Imagined scenario but very accurate of what our days are like. One patient has multiple wound vacs with high high opioid tolerance. Screaming out of his room he needs his nurse every 30 mins- an hour for pain meds and for his wound vac drainage to be replaced. He also had tons of antibiotics needed to run but his IV kept going bad. 2nd patient high high fall risk and confused after being intubated from covid. Patient keeps trying to get out of bed the moment you leave the room although they have absolutely no strength in their extremities and can instantly get a concussion. Patient also has a feeding tube needing med to be crushed and constantly flushed to prevent clogged tubing. Patient 3!!! The anxious one requiring high amounts of oxygen to prevent them from brain damage and death! Patient however is threatening to leave the hospital because they “don’t need to be there” and is demanding you to call the doctor to add new anxiety meds or he will leave. 4th patient is ready for discharge and using there call light trying to figure out why you are taking so damn long with the discharge paperwork. Also you are waiting for pharmacist to call back about their meds being ready and sent up. It’s not like you have a 5th patient coming up from the EMERGENCY department that is completely unstable needing the room to be stocked with everything that particular patient needs to be stable once you get on the floor. Must I say you need to document maybe 10 pages of paperwork for each patient. You’re also in charge of monitoring their heart rhythms and in charge of the CNAs who sometimes document incorrect information that could come back on you. One CNA documented a patient was on no oxygen and if I didn’t catch that the person could have left the facility without it so I told the CNA to correct in because that patient needs to be discharged with oxygen and it was accurate and the CNA got super defensive with me. I appreciate CNAs theyre the biggest blessings to us nurses but they also can be very rude with me and tell me they work harder than I do like it’s a comparison? Maybe because I’m the quietest and kindest nurse. It’s not right.
All this while you have therapist, dietician, wound care, and different doctors and interns constantly calling you with questions about your different patients.
Every shift I get home so extremely exhausted and stressed and it’s unbelievable how much I do for my patients. I feel immense love and the need to protect them all but I’m just one person. I could never make every single person happy and I can’t be there for them every single second. Nurses get paid decent but my off days I’m too tired to do anything.
Im choosing to de stress today because I don’t want to end up stuck in the hospital as a patient. Stress can be managed. You can do it. We can do it together.
Sorry for the vent. I love nursing. I truly do. I also take pride in how much I do to advocate for my patient to the doctors about every need they have. But I’m human. And the stress we have is not normal. It’s important to prioritize your health and find ways to reduce your stress. I promise you spending this much time is a hospital has opened my eyes.