Nursing Voices

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Working Hard, Even When You're Not There

Vivid dreams of a terrible shift... working, working. So busy, patients everywhere, bad heart tones in every room. I must have been in charge... I found myself running from one room to the next, putting out fires, starting IV's, calling docs. Remember struggling for a while with IV lines that were hopelessly tangled, and not compatible with our pumps, so I must have dug up an ancient pump from somewhere and figured out how to get the IV running and attached to a pole. Ran to another room to help with an IV, and a newer nurse was poking her with a 20 gauge... thinking, "What are you doing?! We need an 18 gauge!"

In the midst of it all, my kids were there with me, except it was my friend's kids, but they were mine, and the baby was so small, and I had to hold him while he slept. It really pulled at my heartstrings as the chaos swarmed around us.

So strange.

And I haven't even worked my first night this week.


Cinder said...

Been there,done that,you're working too hard and bringing too much of your work home. Try to leave it there by the time clock when you clock out. I've been told to do this,haven't managed to do it well so far. But you're headed for burn out or you'll get physically ill. Your family and your Pt's need for you to be well.
Do you exercise outside of work? Have hobbies? Anything to get your mind off work and I've found physical exercise to be the best for distracting me and providing those wonderful endorphins that help me cope and help me sleep.
Whatever you do, take care of yourself girl we need to KEEP our good nurses.

JustCallMeJo said...

I hate those dreams.


Nurse M said...

ughhhhhhhh... I HATE THOSE DREAMS!!!!!!

I feel like I get them a lot when I am working a few days in a row. I work all day and "work" all night... sometimes I just can't clear my head of work.

I do try to exercise although it is difficult to get the gym sometimes because my legs are so darn tired from walking around 12 hr days. Once I invested in DVR I have realized that I love tv. I didn't used to watch much but now that I can record and rewatch I find watching a bit of tv can help me just space out and get away... leaving work at work.
Interesting though.. at work I hear a lot of people talking about that "glass of wine" they can't wait to get to. Hey... no judgement here... but I do wonder how many people are using substances to cope. In nursing school I did a report on "problem employees and the chemically impaired." Healthcare professionals are one of the most likely to use/abuse substances due to stress/burnout. What are we doing to take care of ourselves?

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A. said...

I had a dream about work the other night, too! LOL

Mine was wacky, though - for some reason, the monitors at the nurses station had all these elaborate big keyboards - like it was NASA central command. Conversely, we had a bunch of antique wooden file cabinets and furniture on the otherside of the nurses station! LOLOL

Believe it or not, I had more "stress" dreams related to my former work as a teacher than I do now as a nurse.

Hope yours was a one time thing!

apgaRN said...

Thanks, everyone. Except bethany. Go spam someone else. :)

cinder, I do exercise, and knit, and read, and try to keep up with everything else in my life. Thanks for the tips, though! I'm hoping they do the trick for me, too.

/jo... uh-huh. bleah!

nurse m, I hear you. I'm glad I haven't resorted to those kind of stress-reducers. But I can imagine it's an easy enough habit to fall into... "Oh, just one more. It was a rough day..."

a. Don't you just love the crazy little details that stick out from work dreams??? I usually forget most of them, but it's funny that the "work" we dream about usually bears little resemblance to reality.