How do you do it?
As an “old timer” nurse who is seasoned, there are a few things I have learned that help. There are things you can do to help you keep cool when chaos creeps in and you are now having one of those days.
It is all about setting priorities. Nursing 101 teaches us that the patient is the priority. Patient safety is always first. Finish what you start with one patient before trying to move to the next. Try not to get distracted when taking care of a patient’s priorities.
Reassess your priorities
The worst part of a bad day is that it seems to all fall apart at once. Suddenly you needed everything done yesterday. Be prepared and keep calm when your well laid plan will needs to be rearranged. Figure out what you want and replace it with what you need to get done. Learn to go with the flow to keep down the anxiety.
Finish one task to completion
After you finish one of “those” days do you go home feeling like you left things undone? Do you feel like you accomplished nothing? Pick just one task out of the chaos and follow it to completion. Problem solving takes a little time to learn. Start with what you know you can get done and ask for help to complete the rest.
Ask for help
One of the hardest things for me is to ask for help. I injured my back when I did not aske for help to lift a patient. that is a hard way to learn a lesson. Generally speaking, you are not alone in the chaos. Remember many hands make lite work. Gather the other team members to see who can help to ket the work done.
Stay cool, easy for me to say I guess. Yelling and screaming never helps. I tell people that yelling only makes the situation more tense. When I worked the OR I would tell the Dr. “you yelling at me doesn’t make me move any faster”.
Just remember we have all been there. We have all had many of those days and survived it. You will too. In nursing we literally have life and death situations to deal with. We can be thankful that not every day is one of “those”days. My moto is “this too shall pass”.