Friday, July 8, 2011

Coping Skills

I think I offended someone yesterday with a generalized obesity in society comment and then I deleted my post. Then, I got mad at myself. This blog is one of my coping mechanisms, so screw them. They can go read someone else’s blog justifying how their life is unfair. So to vent and be a little sarcastic here goes:

People who work in healthcare in any capacity, have tough jobs. It may not always be physically tough, but it is always mentally challenging. We are not working with inanimate objects on an assembly line. We work with people’s physical and mental health problems, and the wide range of emotions that go along with them.

Death is a regular part of our jobs, but so is life and hope. When a patient dies, we understand and feel the families’ pain. We can be sympathetic, but we are not allowed to grieve. We have no time and have to move on and take care of other sick patients. Not tomorrow, but during that same shift, and maybe only ten minutes after your loved one has died, we are in the room next door providing treatment to a new admission.

We also have coping mechanisms that usually come in two forms, we laugh and we vent.
Yes, we laugh at patients during and after work, but we also laugh with patients and their families. Why would it be a surprise to you that we vent our frustrations about your pain in the ass family members, so get over it. Like any job we like working with the nice people, and avoid the a**holes.

Besides prostitutes, how many people do you know who go to work and expect to be abused by the same people they are trying to take care of?
For the next 8-12 hour shift I will be your maid and your waitress, while also pushing drugs in your veins that can kill you if administered wrong. So complaining because your food tray is five minutes late is a bad idea.

If you are sensitive, do not read my blog. I will be complaining about hypothetical patients and their families, and if you think it is mean or unjust, then move along. There is probably a cute little poetic or wedding cake blog by hitting the next blog button. This is one way I cope with the people I work with daily. They are alive, opinionated and have emotions, and many times those emotions are taken out on my co-workers and me. Nevertheless, I still love 90% of my patients and choose to work with them.

I did not even touch on the overall other form of abuse from administration and managers.


Thatgirl said...

Venting keeps people sane! If writing a snarky comment gets you through a rough shift then that's what it takes.

NP Odyssey said...

Thatgirl, by snarky do you mean the original English definition or the American teenager definition?

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I totally agree. I really get steamed about patients bitching about wait times to see me when people in third world countries have to wait insane amounts of times and travel insane distances to get health care! I am sorry if I kept you from your nail appointment. Pshaw!

Nighthawke said...

Great post. Blogs are all about personal candor for me. I really appreciate reading blogs by people that don't pull any punches.

Thatgirl said...

Whichever one is a milder version of snide.

Solitary Diner said...

I think it's sometimes hard for people outside of health care to appreciate how essential venting is to our sanity, because it can seem disrespectful to the very patients we're caring for. But the stress and demands of the job would just be too much if we couldn't occasionally let things out (sometimes in a snarky or irreverent way). I couldn't do my job as a resident if I couldn't come home to friends (or my blog) and blow off some steam.

Speaking of which, time to go drink with friends...

NP Odyssey said...

NPSL, the ones complaining the most seem to be the Frequent Fliers. I need to write about them.

Nighthawke, nursing is a good profession, but I do not want students or those not in the profession to think it is Greys Anatomy or some crap like that.

Solitary Diner, we need to blow off steam in some way, but I do not want to start drinking again.

Cartoon Characters said...

It's your blog. You can say what you like. No one is going to agree with everything you say, but if they don't - you are correct...they can just run along now.

You are right about nurses often being on the receiving end of abuse in our jobs...and we do need an outlet for expressing our frustrations sometimes.

I would rather see you vent than drink....good choice! And good for you for recognizing that and saying to heck with those that disagree.

I did see that posting come up in my reader and wondered why it was linked to nothing. Now I know!

I love your blog just the way it is. :) Be as raw as you wish. I will still love it!

Solitary Diner said...

NP Odyssey....I hope I didn't offend with my comment about drinking. It's clearly a "coping skill" that one needs to use with caution (or avoid altogether).

Kendra said...

My personal POV is that a blog is owned by the blogger...if people don't like said blog and/or blogger and/or content, they can choose to not read. No one is forcing anyone to read any blog out there.

Your blog, your content. You know best what you need to write and when. :-)

NP Odyssey said...

CC, yes that was the post I deleted. You Canadians and your nice blog comments. :)

Solitary Diner, no offense taken. Drinking was a part of my past. Never a problem, but never helped me accomplish anything in life besides days of recovering.

Kendra, thanks. I just need to be careful and not use real names and places.

Miss Sassy Pants said...

My mom works as a nurse delivering babies and dealing complicated pregnancies.

Though I don't worry in healthcare and never will, I completely understand your perspective and I think it is very difficult people outside of the system to understand what kind of jobs you guys have.

Zazzy Episodes said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, NPO that was some funny stuff you wrote about when you said "Besides prostitutes, how many people do you know who go to work and expect to be abused by the same people they are trying to take care of?" I know it’s not that funny, but it is so true.

Also, the job of nursing IS BOTH physical and mentally draining AND at the same time. There’s no need to down play either of those areas.

Also you forgot the other form of coping – eating! Usually eating sweets helps me out tremendously, the sugars give me that false sense of being able to conquer anything thrown at me.

Ultimately you write about anything your heart desires and to hell with the rest of them. I personally didn’t read the other post, but caught the picture and chuckled to myself. Now I wish I would’ve read it. :-)

A Doc 2 Be said...

Vent away. When I thought to abandon my blog a few years ago because someone got a little "hurt" because I offended their country... I decided, there are a bazillion different blogs out there to read.


Read elsewhere :)

Keep venting!

BLASTULA said...

I thought your comment on American obesity was appropriate and funny. People get their panties in a bunch too easily.

Student Nurse said...

Have to work in health care to understand I think!