Through the eyes and Voices of Nurses

by Angela Brooks

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Last week was very challenging as a nurse with a keen eye for observation. I rarely try to judge someone the first time I meet them because I have learned that very moment may not be their best. There are situations with outside influences that make a difference on how someone will respond to situations that may not be appropriate. I watched it happen for 24 years in mental health clients and I now see it in nurses who work with the public.

People are human it doesn’t matter what level of education they have they still respond to pain, stress and anxiety the same. Some may respond more wisely however stress can change the rational thinking in a split moment.

I could very well not be talking to you – you may be one of the rare individuals who have no stress in their life and have no idea what I am talking about in order to relate. I applaud you, no actually a little jealous.

Working within the walls of mental health, it is expected to see someone out of control, toss a chair, slam a door, and curse others around them. However on the professional side of things when it is the staff and not the client it makes my left eye brow go up and I shake my head.

I share with my new employees in training to take off their personal junk and put it in the trunk of their car before they walk in the building. If they choose to pick it back up after hours it will be quietly waiting for them when they leave.

 

Is that hard for people to do? Yes.

 

Why?

Because we are all human and our life affects us in a way that sometimes we allow those around us to touch that last nerve, that last test of control and we snap without thinking past that moment. The consequence that follow could have been avoided had there been one more band aid to apply over the pain that many people carry on the inside.

 

The results… more stress.

 

I have seen it happen more than once, and it happens to good people that allow the stress to roll to the outside and they snap at a fellow co-worker by screaming foul names, striking out over a radio, punching someone for their opinion, running the key down someone’s car door, slicing car tires, or setting them up to fail in a job situation.

 

Why do professionals respond in unethical behavior?

They are human and stress is powerful.

Last week on twitter.com I was attached by a follower when I used the word “dislike”. Yes I know that is not a strong word and neither was the statement I had posted. She went on to tell me that she could read the anger in the words that I posted…

Really…anger in the word dislike? It is my opinion. I was not angry at all.

I had not blasted anyone, and I had not called any one any type of name just a statement of something as a person I disliked.

Her comment followed that she was going to have to stop following me because she was so disappointed in me and that I was not showing empathy as a nurse.

I had to smile to myself.

Nurses are placed above many pedestals because people trust them and they should. However, nurses are still human, they still hurt, they still cry, they suffer stress; they deal with your family and their own.  
For them to have a bad day is very possible because they have people they care about and people who are demanding from them 15 hours a day.

In mental health a nurse can handle a situation with someone who is very depressed and needs to take a shower after 3 days of refusing. Her tone is understanding and firm with encouragement. In a blink of any eye someone is screaming and hostile. She changes her tone, she changes her posture she stands in front of a out of control person making split second decisions to calm them down to a reality based conversation. In another blink begin assessing someone for chest pain….are nurses human…yes I am afraid so… do they deal with stress yes better than most professions out there.

Before you judge or point fingers at someone either a nurse or someone around you. Remember we do not know what that person was dealing with before your paths crossed. Take a deep breath.

 

Life is tough sometimes. We all need a bit of inspiration to become our best and highest selves!

Learn more about the nurses voice click here

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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