And laziness (sits at the desk and does nothing) walks.
I’m holding off writing another post for… reasons, but something else is on my mind anyway. A little self reflection after being home for a bit.
In case you didn’t know it, I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. I’d not go so far as to call myself type A, but I’m definitely an overachiever. Perfectionism, for me, has a tendency to devolve into personal nitpicking and self-criticism. Anxiety and depression are also symptoms.
I say this because I’m really really sensitive to other’s talk and behavior. Which includes talk of other people. Who’s lazy or doesn’t pitch in or not a good clinician. I pay attention, wince, and force myself to work harder.
The desire to get it right every time can make me overextend myself. I never ever want to be spoken about by others as the lazy/unsafe nurse. They’re always talked about at work because they do more talking than actual work.
I fear being seen that way, but know I’m not a perfect nurse.
Every shift ends with me remembering something I forgot to do that I promised I would, me rehashing events and seeing ways I should’ve done better, or me feeling inadequate because I failed to measure up to my personal standards of care in even the smallest thing. That can be crippling and it’s something I struggle against daily.
I always say I’m open to gentle correction. If you think I’m lazy or missing critical thinking steps, please tell me as nicely as you can. I don’t want to continue on in a way that puts myself or my patient at risk. But while I’m open to it, I also fear it for the same reasons. My mind can’t help thinking I shouldn’t have missed the mistakes anyway. How critical we are to ourselves at times, right?
I’m sure I’m not alone in the struggle. It’s a double edge sword in that it makes us strive to be better nurses/people but it also traps us in a cycle of anxiety at work.
In case no one has told you (or has told you many times and you refuse to believe it), hear me right now when I say this to you…
You are a good nurse.
Let go of that attitude that says you have to kill yourself mentally in order to be successful. Do everything you can to make your shift safe and a good experience for your patient, but don’t take every little mistake home with you. You are valuable, important, and offer things that make the floor better. See your potential and personhood for what it is, a way to be light to others. And in case you missed it, here it is one more time: You are a good nurse.
Read that again to remind yourself, okay? I’ll try doing it as well. No one’s perfect, bottom line, and we all have missteps in our career. Own it, but don’t let it unravel you.
Travel on, road warrior.