Putting a bad day in perspective

Image: Ben Edwards/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

This thought process and concept is hard to understand if you are not a nurse. You may have a vague sense of what a bad day can be for a nurse if you know or talk with us, but the reality is, you’ll never fully grasp the gravity of having a bad day until you’ve walked in our shoes.

Having a bad day might mean you woke up late…and your whole day is now behind schedule.

It could mean that you have to work in extremely uncomfortable or intolerable weather conditions (if your job requires you to be exposed to the elements)

Maybe you have to work with that “one person” you dislike and dislikes you?

Or maybe you’re not feeling well.. and you’re either getting sick, or you’re in the midst of a nasty illness.

Regardless of your ‘problem’ we’ve all had these things gnawing at our nerves. At the time they seem to consume your entire day. It seems that unless you fix this so-called problem, you will not make it through the day. You’re survival depends on eradicating this demon of a ‘hiccup’ in your day.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Yep, any of the above mentioned scenarios fit the ‘having a bad day’ description.

We nurses have a lil different take on what could be considered a ‘bad day’. It’s mostly due to our working environment. Let me re-phrase that. I’m talking mostly about nurses who work in the acute care setting. Those of us who work with direct patient care.

(Yes, contrary to popular belief, there are a myriad of nursing jobs out there that have no direct patient care – but that’s beyond the scope of this discussion)

As a nurse, at least in my humble opinion, we deal in the world of extremes. In order to be prepared, in order to do our job efficiently and effectively we have to think in worst case scenarios.

So for a nurse delivering direct patient care, there really is only one extreme? Losing your patient.

A patient dying is as extreme as it gets. Whether from natural causes, or a worsening in their condition, having a patient pass is not a good day.

So let’s revisit that bad day scenario again.

Having a bad day can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. And we all get caught up in the ‘moment’. Our bad day is the ‘worse’ bad day ANYONE could ever be having – EVER. We take it to such an extreme that we can become intolerant and short-fused with those around us.

The next time you are having a bad day take a step back… take a deep breath… and think about just how bad it really is.

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