I am just a nurse…

by Angela Brooks

social media nurse.jpg

The alarm goes off.  You drag yourself out of bed to face another stressful day at work.  You haven’t slept well the night before.  Actually, come to think of it – you haven’t been sleeping well at all lately.

Nursing Burn out: You feel anxious, irritable, depressed and have trouble concentrating at work.  You feel tired all the time and you no longer look forward to chatting with your colleagues at the coffee machine.

Most likely this is the first sign of stress and burn out…it is time for a change.

Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

We all know the food choices, good sleep and exercise is one of the better ways to deal with stress.  Worry and dread can cause insomnia which leads to more worry and can lead to your emotional state to be off balance.

I hear people say well just change jobs!

I am pretty sure that is not the answer. Finding a good job is very important but also knowing that bouncing from one place to another is also stressful.

Nursing is a high stress job – taking care of people is stressful. The key is finding the outlets that work for you. I work in an environment that I have to lock all doors behind me, be aware of the people who are walking close to me and the ones that could be hiding. The state of unknown itself is stressful as to what is going to happen next.

Among new nurses the stress usually causes them to leave the field all together within three years. Seasoned nurses hang on because they do not feel like they have the experience to do anything else but to be a nurse. Lateral violence among co-workers, long work hours, not enough staff, dealing with their own family issues, high demands on the job keep them on their feet, documentation plus being aware of legal issues in charting and last but not least little time away from the job.

Diverse skills

Nurses possess many innate skills including teaching, counseling, and managing complex projects. These activities are second nature to us. We do them every day without thinking about them. They’re so much a part of who we are, we’re often unable to isolate them to transfer into other areas of work. For example, I recently talked to a nurse who had worked in an oncology unit for 15 years. She told me she wanted to apply for a counseling position but that she didn’t have any experience. In reality, she had 15 years of counseling experience. She just didn’t see it.

Nurses possess excellent communication skills, too. Stop and think about the many cultures diverse group of people and family units that a nurse talks too in the course of her work experience. Her communication skills have to be ready to change from one group to another and even at times find someone to translate the conversation for the best care. Not only is she speaking to families she is talking to doctors who are not always the easiest people to work with and advocate for her patients when she knows he is missing something in their care.

Want to talk business? We’re totally customer service oriented, always looking out for the needs and concerns of our patients. Nurses are even natural salespeople. Every time you have to convince a patient to adhere to a regimen, or follow up on a test, you’re selling a concept or idea. We work well under pressure, are team players, and have never had a “That’s not my job” attitude. Even a nurse right out of nursing school or college possesses a body of knowledge that is valuable in many arenas.

Very few nurses want to leave the profession 100%, they still want to serve and give to their patients and no matter how bad it is some days there is something that makes them go back day after day. What I hear most would like to do is work part time but they don’t know what else they can do.

Nurses are business team players who can serve a bigger group of people than they give themselves credit for. Are you delaying starting your nurse business because you don’t know where to begin? If that is you, click here… not only do we provide the what but the how. See ya there.

Nov 2012 Angela A Nurses rambling thoughts ...who are they really?

Angela Brooks is a mental health nurse educator who spent the last 22 years working in a state funded mental hospital. She is the author of “The Nurses Voice” who exposes raw truth as a nurse. She is transitioning from nursing to one of the top positions in a health company changing life’s one oil at a time.

Angela Brooks is a retired nurse after 25 years in mental health. She used her lunch breaks to build her business part time on the night shift. Her car became a mobile university as she listened to business training, coaching calls on CD and phone webinars. She blogged while she was at her sons' baseball practices.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 disqus_yEjh4qezhT May 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Thank you Angela. This is a reminder for how trully gifted I am as a nurse. I was a floor nurse for 5 years before leaving due to distress / disillusionment. I am now healing and sharing the way I Be in the world.

2 Angela Brooks May 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

You are most welcome – sometimes we forget just what all we do…

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