Everyone has bad days at work. But for nurses who sometimes literally hold life and death in their hands, those bad days can be especially tough. If you’ve had a tough shift at your nursing job, it can be hard to rebound. But your patients are counting on you — it’s important that you don’t let a bad shift get the best of you.
Here’s what to keep in mind after a particularly tough shift:
It’s only one shift.
Just because today was bad doesn’t mean tomorrow will be. It was only one shift, and you’ve left it behind. Try to remind yourself that one bad day doesn’t mean you’re a bad nurse, or that you’re the weakest link in the team. Everyone has bad shifts — it simply comes with the territory. It’s how you respond to it and what you take out of it that matters. If you can look back on the bad shift and learn something from it, you’ve made the most of it.
You’re not alone.
You’re only one link in the chain. You work as a part of a nursing team. If you’ve had a bad day, it’s safe to assume that some of your coworkers have, too. And remember: every nurse has their tough shifts. Even the best, most experienced nurses on the planet have bad days. It might be helpful to remind yourself that your situation, however tough it is, isn’t necessarily unique. Every nurse has or will go through what you’re going through right now. It’s simply part of the job.
After a tough shift, try talking to your coworkers. You’ll probably find that one or more of your coworkers has also had a bad shift, or can at least relate to how you’re feeling. Share with one another the tips and tricks you use to bounce back from those hard shifts.
You are making a difference.
Keep in mind why you became a nurse in the first place. It was to make a positive impact on the world around you, in the lives of other people. And that’s what you’re doing, whether or not it feels like it after a tough shift. You’re using your skills, education, and talents to better the lives of others, often when they need help the most. There will be ups and downs in your nursing career, but ultimately all of your hard work goes toward bettering the lives of other people.
Time for a New Position?
Ready to grow and advance in your career? The professionals at Health Advocates Network can help. Visit our Jobs page and get in touch with the staffing professionals.