“You only work 3 days a week! I don’t understand why you’re so tired all the time!” How many times have we heard that phrase? And you think to yourself, “if you only knew,” all while visualizing your last 12 hours on the floor; two codes, one ICU transfer, three admissions and an aggravated and combative dementia patient needing restraints. How is it even possible for one nurse to accomplish all that we do? The truth is, sometimes it’s not. And that’s the hardest concept we, as nurses, must accept.
Brie Gowen writes an article explaining why working “only three days a week” is so exhausting. In her article, she tells of one of her experiences as an ICU nurse. She describes perfectly the reason for nurses’ exhaustion when she states, “you work within the confines of time, pushing the limits to complete an enormous workload with minimal support staff available, all while carrying a small library of knowledge within your overloaded brain, realizing that an error on your part could be detrimental.”
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Sometimes, the hardest part of our job as a nurse is knowing that perfection is essential; your patient’s life is largely dependent on your knowledge and skills.
Brie compares nurses to a factory worker and healthcare to a machine that must keep running. She states, “… if your machine stops so does someone’s heart, and if that’s not mentally draining I don’t know what is.”
Nursing is physically, emotionally and mentally draining.
So, yes, working “just” three days a week is exhausting! But, remember ladies and gentlemen, you are smart, you are strong and you are capable. You are a great nurse!
We all know how valuable and crucial nurses work is. During the hardest hours, either a family member surgery, a childbirth, car accidents… you probably had one of these amazing professionals by your side. For each of us, that is a life changing event. For them, it’s only one of the many life changing situations of their day. We don’t realize we are one of many patients that nurses are responsible for in one day. They have an enormous list of duties for different patients, attending different rooms and multiple health issues, simultaneously. And not only that, they have to remain calm and patient dealing with desperate mothers and family members. How much would you be willing to care for sick people depending on you 12h per day, non-stop? Not many of us have guts to see blood, fractured bones, wounds, urine and all those body fluids for 3 days in a row? Can we really picture how nurses tasks are vital for all of us?
Three Days a Week As a Nurse Is Utterly Exhausting
Another thing we forget is that nurses are human beings. They give their best to help everybody, they stretch their energy and patience to aid numerous patients per day, but they also have a family. Many of these professionals are mothers, fathers…they have to balance their intense hours of work with their social life. When they leave the hectic hospital scenario and go back to their private lives, it’s unimaginable how long it can take so they can truly relax. After all they’ve seen, and sometimes after rude words they still had to listen from a few patients, they have a couple of days to try to rest. They “rest” while taking care of their own family, this time. In case you were wondering why nurses work just 3 days a week.
Well, now we have the opportunity to go through a nurse day and see things through their perspective. Brie is a part-time nurse and a mother. She shares her heartwarming story that makes us even more thankful for the great professionals that we all encounter during our toughest situations. After reading this you’ll never ask “Why nurses work only 3 days a week?” again.
Brie: I was sitting at my computer screen, entering orders for a physician, and trying not to forget what he had said since I had neglected to write it down.
I was charting my note, mentally taking inventory of all the tasks I had accomplished and problems I had identified and reported. My eyes felt gritty and my mentation frazzled.
I glanced at the time on my computer screen and was taken aback that seven hours had flown by so quickly. Then I realized with dread that I hadn’t documented a single thing on my other patient. I was so behind!
And as my sand-filled eyes started to water in the frigid air of my surgical ICU I realized I was beat. I was exhausted. Yet I had not been working all week.