The Tao of Nursing Survival

Sunday, December 14, 2014 0 Comments A + a -

What is it like to be a nurse?  Do you have to have a bladder the size on a toilet tank to

handle—no-urinating-for-12-hours because nurses have no time to go to the bathroom?  Are nurses all martyrs (or careless about themselves) not taking care of themselves to take care of patients?  Do you have what it takes to survive as a nurse?

Oh, by the way, did you know that Florence Nightingale, the most famous nurse in modern times, worked  as a nurse for only three years?




Many nurses get burn out after a few years of nursing.  Why is that so?  Is it because of exhaustion?  Stress?  Discouragement? Sadness?  Powerlessnes?  Fright?

According to an article in Nursing World, negative emotions causes burnout to nurses, especially the younger ones below the age of thirty. Stresses at work translate into nurse turnover and burnout. In the study, survey data was collected from 843 direct care hospital nurses.  It is surprising to see that nurses under 30 years old are more likely to experience feelings of agitation and less likely to seek ways  to manage these kind of feelings.  They also have much higher rates of burnout.

This study worries me.  I have read many posts from Facebook nurse friends and bloggers dramatizing and sensationalizing the extreme stress at work.

“It was so busy; I did not pee for twelve hours.”

“I managed to hold it together taking care of my dying patients in the unit and cried in the car when the shift is over.”

This is the kind of posts that gets so much attention.  Several people share it and mark it [inappropriately] “like.”  Blogs like this go viral as many nurses can relate.  Some lay people comment and mark the nurses as heroes.  *rolling eyes*

Do not get me wrong, I am a nurse, and I am not devaluing my job.  However, our job as a nurse is to take care of our patients.  We do not do a better job if we ignore our needs.

Tips for Nursing Survival


  1. For goodness sakes, go to the bathroom, fellow nurses.
  2. I disagree sensationalizing this kind of  I-am-a-martyr-feel-sorry-for-me posts.  We should be encouraging young nurses to take care of themselves, seek help, and talk to someone instead of crying alone in your car. There has to be resources at work you can go to. Ask.
  3. Get support.  We need nurses who take care of themselves and we need nurses for many years. 
  4. Do not get burnout so soon.  
  5. Do not quit.  
  6. Instead,  laugh, pee (not at the same time though), and do whatever it takes (positive only, please) to survive in this job.
  7. Be reminded that there is life after (and during) nurse work.
If you want to survive as a nurse, take care of yourself first. You cannot forget that Maslow pyramid we learned in nursing school (hint #1 physiological need--excretion is one of them).


This quote explains it better:

I think one great tip is that you should always love yourself. If you don't love yourself, take care of yourself, cater to yourself and that little inner voice, you will really not be very worthy of being with someone else, because you won't be the best version of you. --Kimora Lee Simmons Tweet: I think one great tip is that you should always love yourself. If you don't love yourself, take care of yourself, cater to yourself and that little inner voice, you will really not be very worthy of being with someone else, because you won't be the best v

 Other Tips: Stress Relievers

Eat at least one good meal a day (in addition to 2 regular meals).
Ok, I'm trying to show off my Eggs Benedict from this morning.




Grab a date or a cowoker who can listen to your complaints even though
he/she may still be sleeping or bored about what you say. 




Look for a nice view, even if it's a different way on the way home.
The Denver City County Building looks bright and beautiful this holiday season. 
You will forget the drama at work from scenes like this even just for a moment.


What do you do to survive the stress from work?

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Nurses rock jackets for sale.
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