Nursing nightmares

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We’ve all had those sleepless nights before clinical, tossing and turning. You’re really only half asleep at any given point, with diagnoses and potential disasters running through your head. It’s always the worst at the first part of the term, and slowly, if you’re lucky and you like your clinical, you may get to catch a few Zzzzs toward the end.

But what about those times when you do drift into dreamland, and you’re greeted by something not so lovely? I’m in the middle of spring break but had a dream last night about work. I was on my unit, the day was just starting, and instead of taking vitals I was giving a very long bath to a baby, and before I knew it the shift was up, I had 30 minutes left, and realized I hadn’t seen any of my other patients, and while I did rounds, they were all doing horribly!  Throwing up, nauseous, and definitely lacking some TLC in the hygiene category.  It was a disaster. And what’s worse is that at that moment, I realized that I hadn’t charted ANYTHING, all day! So it was a mad dash to get everyone everything they needed, cleaned up, and charted, and before I knew it it was too late. I looked up from the computer and all of the day shift had left, night shift was there (of course, in my dream, these people weren’t really my co-workers!), and I hadn’t clocked out – a half hour after I was supposed to!

What a mess! Not something I want to wake up too at all – especially on spring break! The first thoughts through my head when I realized it was just a dream was, “that didn’t really happen, right?” and then reality kicks in with, “DUH! Of course not! You wouldn’t let that happen!” There have been other dreams, but not many, and they’ve all been similar to this one.  I guess I have been lucky on that front.  What kind of dreams, or should I say nursing nightmares, have you had? Care to share?

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.

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4 Responses to Nursing nightmares

  1. Rhonda

    I have that dream too often. I dream that I must have fallen asleep at work and when I wake up in a panic, the day is over, no one has been seen or has taken 1 medicine. I’m so nervous and don’t know what to do. Needless to say that would never happen (at least the sleeping part) so why do I keep dreaming this?

  2. Tory

    When I first started my new job I had the worst time sleeping ever. Partially because I was working night shift, partially because I was a brand new nurse but mostly because my mind couldn’t let ANYTHING go!

    I was passing meds i my sleep all night but kept getting stuff 3 or four rooms in and having to start over. But perhaps the worst was when I stayed 2hours later to finish changeover then went home and did it in my sleep for the next four hours… Didn’t feel rested at all!

  3. Erin BSN RN

    I have been nursing for 11months and I talk in my sleep, “are you having any pain, did you take your medication, sir I have to start an IV” My boyfriend has learned to just say “yes, nurse, I feel fine, thank you” and I will go back to sleep. I hope it stops soon!

  4. Gingernwrk

    I was working nights as an STNA in a nursing home and taking pharmacology in nursing school. I went home to grab a nap after class one day and dreamed of giant pills chasing me around. In the dream I was terrified. One of the strangest dreams I’ve ever had.