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Why is nursing so stressful?

Nurses have two-somewhat conflicting-roles. Nurses are the caregivers for the patients and at the same time they follow the doctors orders. From a doctors point of view, all medical orders they say should be carried out. From the patients point of view, they should be cared for. This is where it gets stressful.

For example: a patient wants pain medication and the doctor doesn’t want to prescribe it-so who is the patient mad at-the nurse. The patient wouldn’t stop screaming for pain medication and the nurse can’t do anything more but comply by the doctors order. As another example, the patient is drunk and is at risk for failing. The nurses puts a bed alarm and has a tech watch them to make sure they don’t fall. The patient falls off the bed despite these interventions, who gets blamed-the nurse. As another example, the doctor makes the patient NPO (nothing by mouth). All the patient wants is a drink, the call bell keeps going on. The nurse manager gets on top of the nurse because the nurse can’t keep going into the patients room to shut the call bell. The doctor says no drink for the patient even after you tell him the patient keeps screaming for one. And the patient just keeps screaming at you and your nursing ability because their throat and mouth is dry. The nurse is in the middle.

In life that’s a difficult position to be. It is like trying to care for your aging parents and your young kids at the same time. Though it may be hard, just realize it’s not you. Hospitals are a stressful place to work at. Just think about if a loved one was sick and not knowing what will happen. Understand where your patients are coming from, and then you won’t be upset at them. Would you be upset at a 4 year old for screaming when getting a shot. No, you would feel bad and not take anything personal. So too, when a patient is ill and not doing well, think of them as that. Not only will it help you understand where they are coming from, it will help you be the best nurse you can be.


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