Survival mode time!

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I had a rough shift the other night—you know, the one where you start off with a BIG assignment, run behind on everything the minute you take report, and end up spending an additional 2 hours charting after 12 crazy hours. That shift found me slammed all night and wishing I could just walk away. But as nurses, we can’t just leave our patients—so I came up with some nurse-survival-mode coping measures instead:

1.) I took a bathroom break, even though I really shouldn’t have. Yes, that moment with the staff toilet was the best moment of my night, next to…

2.) Ok, I’ll admit this. I multi-tasked on the toilet and called my husband. He gave me a pep talk and made me remember why I do all this stuff in the 1st place.

3.) Sometime after that, I found myself eating some chocolate an angel dumped at the nurse’s station. Chocolate increases serotonin or endorphins or some other such happy chemical in the brain, right? Ahem. The floor wasn’t fun, but my mouth sure was partying!

4.) A while later, I managed to shove a protein bar and some water down my throat while attempting to chart. Protein bars are life-savers on nights we nurses can’t find time to eat! I couldn’t scrounge up an energy drink, though—but I swear by those in times of emergency.

5.) When things got really hairy, I found a moment to vent to my colleagues. In other words, I lost it for a minute, and they in turn decided to help me out. They were all drowning as well, so it didn’t do much good, but it was very encouraging to feel not so alone in the storm.

6.) And when 7AM rolled around, and I realized I’d be there for a couple more hours to chart, I repeated this mantra, “I could always go work at Starbucks. I could always go work at Starbucks.” Having an out (and yes, I know Starbucks can get nuts) and remembering I chose this profession made things doable.

And can you believe I always go back for more?!

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Amy Bozeman

Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.

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One Response to Survival mode time!

  1. I can’t imagine how hectic your job must be. I remember the one good nurse I had during my labor. I wish I was in a better state of mind afterwards to thank her. It does mean a lot when nurses give all they have to their patients! :) Maybe with my next delivery, I can find a way to thank my good nurses better.

    I can imagine how important protein bars are to nurses! I need one every now and then as a mom. :) I don’t know what energy drink you normally turn to, but a brand new one just came out with no caffeine and no sugar that addresses the actual fatigue cycle. Might wanna check it out? Look it up on youtube (I can’t attach a link via cell phone). It’s called 24K. The video “Science Behind 24K” is very informative!

    Hope you enjoy some time off and are able to relax before going back to work again. Thanks for serving as a nurse! You are appreciated!