Stress Kills

There is going to come a time, probably multiple times, where being a nurse gets to you. While it’s a great thing we do taking care of those that are sick and in need, it can be challenging, physically demanding, emotionally taxing and downright exhausting. Nursing burnout is a real thing so it’s important to take care of yourself both of the body, mind and spirit (whatever that means to you). It can be hardest to do after those really rough days especially if something traumatic has occurred or a patient has passed. So what can you do to help destress/detox after those days?

First, you need to already be taking care of yourself. If you’re already overly stressed out, it makes handling tough situations even harder. Think of yourself like a balloon. The more you fill yourself up with stress, the more likely you are to pop. You become overwhelmed quickly, easily emotional and are stretched to the limit. The more you pile on, the more stressed you feel because you haven’t released some of that building pressure. Then BAM, you can’t take anymore. This is how burnout happens. This is why it’s so important to start taking care of yourself immediately.

Second, start thinking about things that calm you. I love crafting and if it involves banging nails into a board or using a staple gun or ripping something up even better. It helps get out built up stress and aggression and brings me back to a zen like state. I also like working out. I hate it (and myself) while doing it but afterwards I always feel accomplished, proud and even, happy. My favorite thing to do to destress though is to treat myself. I treat myself to a fancy mask, light some candles, through on some music and soak in the tub at least once a week. I get pedicures and manicures when I have the time or do them myself. I love a good massage and treat myself often. I usually get groupon or living social deals to make it more affordable because let’s be serious, I’m a nurse and definitely not made of money. Whatever it takes to make you feel all woozah with the world, do that and do that often. Make an appointment with yourself at least once a week and keep it. You deserve it.

Third, cry. I’m serious. I know we have this tendency to want to be strong and tough even on the exterior but it’s ok to cry, just save it for home. The work place is not the place to break down. If I have had an especially hard day I come home, pour a bottle of wine into my Olivia Pope glass, bust out the good chocolate and throw on a chick flick and bawl my eyes out. Sure I might look like a hot mess but who cares? I do some dang hard work and I deserve to let it out sometimes. When I lose a patient and have finally left work, I get in my car, pick up some French Fries from McD’s (my ultimate comfort food), call my mama and bawl my eyes out to her. She doesn’t say much, she just listens and at the end she always says, “Baby, you are giving a piece of yourself to each of your patients. It’s ok to grieve them.” So, I do but then I wash my face, go to bed and get ready to go back the next day because that’s what we do. I can’t say it gets easier because it doesn’t but you’ll learn how to handle it better with each passing day and it starts with taking care of yourself.

So tell me, how do you like to destress? Are you feeling the nursing burn out? Leave a comment below!

Nursing Love And Mine,

Scrubsandpearls

(Please pardon any errors. I wrote this on my iPhone and have fat thumbs.)

Top Ten Things You Need To Survive Nursing School

There are so many things I wish I had known before I started nursing school that would have made life so much easier. At the beginning, I studied every little detail and focused on memorizing rather than understanding. I had always crammed for tests and then seemed to forget everything the moment the test was over but in nursing school you can’t do that. You have to focus on the big picture and understanding the concepts. This is going to be your career, it’s not just another general education class which, let’s be serious, are just a waste of valuable study time. So below are my top 10 things you need to survive nursing school.

1) A comprehensive review book… If you stopped here and didn’t look any further, you would be fine. I’m serious! This is the hands down best investment you can make in nursing school. It really highlights what the need to know and even some of the nice to know things are so you can truly grasp what you’re studying without getting bogged down by all the extra fluff.

My favorite: Saunder’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN examination

You can find it here…
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1455727555?pc_redir=1407684546&robot_redir=1

2) A class specific review book that has nclex style questions. While the comprehensive review book is great to study with, it doesn’t go into all the details that a class specific review book does. Bonus: It’s a great way to learn what an NCLEX question is like and how to answer them. There are usually 2 or more right answers in each question but there is always one that is the priority (hint, hint: pick the most right answer). If you can learn to prioritize early on, you’re set for the rest of your nursing school career!
Favorites:
The Davis Success Series
Pearson’s Reviews and Rationales Series
Prentice Hall’s Reviews and Rationales

All of these are great! I started with the Davis Success Series but later switched to Pearson’s and Prentice Hall

3) If you’re a visual learner, The Memory Notebook of Nursing is amazing! If you want to save some money, go in on the CD version with some classmates and print them out as you need them.

I’m also a huge fan of Mosby’s Memory Notecards especially pharmacology
and Fluids and Electrolytes These are little spiral bound books the size of flash cards so they’re great for throwing into your purse or book bag.

4) You definitely need a nursing diagnosis book! I don’t have a specific favorite but this is a huge lifesaver when it comes to care plans!

5) Another great care plan resource is an actual care plan book. It doesn’t include every disease ever but it includes the most common and will help you start thinking about priorities when it comes to your care plans.

6) A great planner. Personally, I’m a fan of the Lilly Pulitzer agenda or Erin Condren life planners but this is one of those things you can totally make your own! Just pick what works for you. I personally like to color code my planners. Big events in red, social in pink, meetings in blue, etc. that way I can take one look at my calendar and know exactly what I need to be focusing on.

7) Study Tools… I personally like blank sheets of printer paper so I can condense my notes down as much as possible. By the end of nursing school, I was able to condense my notes to 3-4 pages per exam which usually meant only 20 pages to study for the final. Notecards are great for memorizing but they also can be used to help piece things together. I love being able to have study tools I can just throw into my bag and pull out whenever I have down time. It’s not about studying harder, just smarter so figure out what works for you.

8) A digital recorder… Always check with your teacher before recording a lecture but this is a great way to figure out what you missed BONUS: plug it into your car and you can study on the go

9) A great drug book! You’re school will have one they want you to use but you can always get one that suits you better if that doesn’t work for you

10) Lastly, but int opinion most importantly, An Amazing Study Group
I cannot begin to even describe how much I loved my study group because not only were they there for those late nights and to remind you about big due dates but they become such an amazing group of friends who can support you through nursing school like no one else can. They get your freak outs and need to stress eat and are there to celebrate with you after each test with yummy margaritas or pick you up if you have a really awful clinical day. You teach each other, grow together and succeed together. Nothing bonds you together like nursing school.

11) So you know all of the text books they make you get, spend time to actually read them and do it before you go to lecture. Why? Because instead of seeing a subject for the first time in lecture, you’ll only have to fill in the holes that you missed and can focus on what the teacher is trying to point out is important.

Don’t feel pressured to spend a ton on study aids. LOTS of people survive without them but they definitely make life easier. Again, if you were to get only one, I would suggest a comprehensive review book. Remember to share your resources with your classmates!

I hope this helps! If y’all have any questions or want to add to this, post a comment below or email me at scrubsandpearlsofficial@gmail.com