Shackles and chains the new normal

by Angela Brooks

I no longer see the shackles and chains that hung underneath his coat that was draped over his shoulders he was waiting to be discharged with the sheriff and deputy. He had to carry his own bags that he held tightly with his fingers. Waiting patiently for the paper work to be complete.

I stood waiting to clock out to go home.

Big difference in how we walked out the same door. Both of us had our own sign of relief as we crossed through the door frame.

I was off for the next 6 days to spend the holidays with family in the comfort of my own home. He had two more days in jail before he would be released sometime on Monday.

The conversation was far from normal for most people.

I smiled and said “Headen out are ya?”. With a smile he glanced up and yes I am. Two more days in jail and I am headed home.” I wished him the best and a trouble free weekend. He thanked me as if I said Merry Christmas. I watched as he made his way down the steps with his ankles chained to his wrist. The long chains made a noise as it hit the steps in between steps. No one was rushing – it was normal to see someone leaving in chains and shackles.

I climbed into my truck getting ready to head out of the parking lot when the constable car drove past. The was patient – now prisoner nodded his head my way as in to say “See ya”.

I paused to think how often we all live in shackles and chains even though we don’t hear them when we walk the steps clanging with each steps but we wear them. It is usually chained to a time card, a clock that says yes you can be paid starting now, or a schedule that tells you when and if you can join your family.

The chains we wear are silent but they are there.

For 25 years I have walked the same steps the prisoner walked today without an escort or papers leading me to the bars that held him for two more days but the same prison of punching a clock for only a certain dollar amount no matter how hard or how little I worked, it came out the same.

No added incentive. Where people work in fear. A license that says I can, a policy that holds me inside a circle of rules. Patients who are sick enough to need help, but well enough that can cause my license to be in jeopardy, if the wrong words are said, or make the wrong move when being attacked.

Nurse-burnout happens from stress – from Nurses dogged by stress reach a breaking point that causes them to “detach” from work. Nurse burnout rate of about 30 percent is fueled by negative attitudes and tiredness traced back to “bad management.”

Nurses begin looking for other options and how they can still give the patient care the love to give without the stress to the breaking point.

As a master nursepreneur I am showing other nurses who still want to see people taken care of and good health care being a priority to the care they give. Working from home with essential oils and now coaching them to the next step.

Cut the chains and shackles from the same routine that is causing you to feel exhausted and stressed. If you have ever cried going to work or leaving work I am talking to you. If you have ever dreaded going to the job that you worked so hard to have in school and now resent, I am talking to you.

You don’t have to quit your day job – I didn’t. Hit reply and ask me… you have more skills than you give yourself credit for. ( Sneak a peek here )

Live #fearless #DreamBig Share this on Twitter

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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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Carter January 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

You are so right about how much we shackle ourselves Angela, and without even realizing it! I was so stressed, overworked and miserable in my corporate job. I’m so glad I made the leap to being my own boss. It’s hard work and brings it’s own stresses, but they are MY stresses and the rewards are so worth it 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences.

2 Sadie Foster, MA January 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

What an incredibly accurate parallel. Shackles and chains are everywhere- great reminder to look for and break them.

3 Sandra Gilreath Wallace January 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm

This really gives one a chance to pause and think about exactly what our particular shackles are! Quilt? Doubt? I guess it’s time to take inventory! Thanks!

4 Angela Brooks January 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Yes it does make you think – everytime I see someone in chains

5 Angela Brooks January 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm

and you have bloomed since you changed the way you live your life

6 Elizabeth Scala January 10, 2014 at 8:52 am

What an interesting metaphor, and one that is reality. Thank you for writing such a descriptive post. I can understand what you’re speaking of. I used to work on a psych floor and walking out for me was very different (or the same?) as when a patient who didn’t want to be there was able to walk free. I’m so glad you do the work that you do, Angela. You are making such a significant difference in this world. Thank you for continuously teaching us to be better nurses, better people each and every day. Great post!

7 Angela Brooks January 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Thank you Elizabeth – it is something not everyone understands that is for sure

8 OnlinePhDUK January 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

very very interesting article, love the writing….Thanks for sharing !!!

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