Only recently, as I have begun my journey into marriage, and "I" has steadily become a "we" in all aspects of life, have I truly realized how stressful the profession of nursing can be. What I mean is that working on a surgical/medical oncology floor, as anyone can imagine, can be stressful both physically and emotionally. It can be stressful because you physically never stop moving for twelve hours or because your forty year old patient just received news that she now has bone mets. I think the transition of our unit and the new population of oncology patients certainly enhances the emotional stress.
However, the important part about that is how to manage it. The job is always going to be stressful. Somehow after almost two years I think I lost site of some of my stress management skills, as I have become a bit more senior on my floor and taken over more responsibility. I suppose it seems counter intuitive, but I find myself more overwhelmed at times.
Although I recognize the importance of not letting your personal life overlap into your professional life, I also do not want the reverse effect. Sometimes it's very difficult to unwind after a stressful day on the floor especially knowing the following day is more of the same. I'm sure many experienced nurses out there can relate exactly to this and as I enjoy my time being engaged and planning a wedding, I'm allowing that to be my beacon on stressful days. My fiance is always what I look forward to on a stressful day and I am so thankful for that.
It's almost as if I need to go back to the basics and my original motto of as soon as I walk out of the door, I need to leave work at work. And when it's overwhelming at work, a deep breath always provides some relief.