How to Leave a Difficult Day Behind .pdf
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How to Leave a Difficult Day Behind
Perhaps you had a very stressful day. An uncooperative patient, a patient
that hits the nurse call button with every breath they take, and 1000 people
wanting something from you all at once. You cannot wait to end your shift
and walk out those doors, but how do you not take the frustrations of the
day with you?
It really is essential to allow a certain amount of time to process the shift
you just experienced if it was difficult. Trying to drop it at the door of the
hospital is like trying to shake freckles off your face, it's not happening.
Give yourself an allotted amount of time to think the day over in your mind.
Squeeze a stress ball, question why, and shed a tear, it's all part of getting
closure on an emotionally draining day. Just make sure you put things into
perspective. This is your job, so it has to be handled, dealt with, and then
put aside. Otherwise, you will burn out for sure.
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Having a bad day might mean you woke up late and your whole day are now
It could mean that you have to work in extremely uncomfortable or
intolerable weather conditions (if your job requires you to be exposed to the
elements). Maybe you have to work with that “one person” you dislike and
dislike you. Or maybe you’re not feeling well and you’re either getting sick,
or you’re in the midst of a nasty illness. All too often when a day starts off
bad, it continues on as if a black cloud is floating just above your head. You
can't turn back time, but you can rewind your brain. Take some deep
breaths, and let those negative thoughts float out with each breath you
exhale. Repeat in your mind, things will get better.
Nursing is a difficult job. It is physically demanding, and emotionally
draining, so you must have an outlet. Yoga, an exercise class, a quilting
hobby, just finds something that is enjoyable to you that are not related to
caring for another person. If you don't take care of yourself, it is impossible
to properly care for others.
Nursing Support Groups
Many medical centers now have support groups for nurses. It is beneficial
for most nurses to talk with others that can relate to them. No matter how
supportive your friends and family members are it's difficult to understand
unless you have been there. Talking with other nurses can make you feel
better, you know that you are not alone, and your thoughts and feelings are
all natural emotions.
As nurses, we deal in the world of extremes. In order to be prepared, in
order to do our job efficiently and effectively, we have to think in a worst
case scenario. Putting your mind into a negative state, and then having to
just drop it because your shift ended, is just not realistic. Each person has
their own means of escaping the day, just be sure you utilize your personal
way of letting the day go, so you can actually “leave work”.
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Keeping a Journal
You find find it beneficial to keep a daily journal. You can follow your
moods, and relate them to the day, what happened, what bothered you
most. Doing this may provide insight into what area of nursing you prefer to
work in, if your moods improve when you work with elderly patients, you
may want to consider working with geriatric patients.
Tips for putting your Shift Behind you
•Consider an exercise class, it will help reduce tension and reduce stress
•Check into a yoga or meditation class, they put emphasis on concentration,
which will divert your mind from the day.
•Keep a journal, and at the end of each entry, put a period, literally.
•Network with other nurses, or attend a support group. Share thoughts,
concerns and stories, remember, you are not alone.
•Allow time to process your day, but have a cut off time of no longer than 20
Learning to let a terrible day go takes some work, but it can be done, just
determine what works for you. If at some point you begin to realize that
your work is bothering you excessively, to the point you can't seem to let it
go before another day is facing you, it may be time to make a change.
There are different areas of nursing, and nurses are in demand, so you have
many options. A good nurse is a nurse that recognizes their own limitations,
and knows when they are in danger of facing a burnout. If you ever get to
the point that your job is consuming your entire life, it's time for a change.
Learning to “let it go” is just as important and learning to keep up with your
hectic schedule. Take care of you.
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