I agree with both the posts above. ASK FOR HELP! and offer help when you have a little down time! I don’t like asking either and don’t unless I really need it, but I justify everything (one of my many faults) so I justify asking for help by saying to myself, well I help when I can so it won’t hurt to get help when I need it. This makes me feel better about asking. And I can promise you that your co-workers will not have empathy for you if you are obviously drowning and will not ask or take offers of help. They would rather you ask, and offer your assistance when you can as well. Leaving work at work helps and spending time outside, or relaxing while off does as well. Also, I have found that participating in forums such as this helps because I know better than anyone that we do not have many who understand our pain as well a fellow nurses! My family has no clue what it feels like to lose a patient, get yelled out for a mistake made on a horrendous shift, or have a patient hit or make you feel like crap for a simple thing they have blown out of proportion. They listen, and try to understand, but only those who have been in our shoes truly know and understand our pain. Try and analyze exactly what causes you stress, and come up with an action plan to fix it, or at least make it better. I hum under my breath when I am on the verge of crying or yelling at a patient or co-worker. I tell myself I can do anything for 12 hours, and this too will pass. More than anything we can’t let stress get so bad it causes burn out and causes us to become cold and cynical in our job. This is dangerous to our patients foremost, but to us as well. We have worked hard to get where we are in our professions, and we have to find a way to control our stress levels before it causes health issues or God forbid issues for a patient. Laughter is a good de-stressor as well. I laugh to keep from crying at times. Also, if you leave the shift and everyone is alive and you feel you have done your very best, know this has been a good shift. Also, think of just one patient compliment, or one good patient outcome you have help provide and focus on that instead of the bad. Good luck, and keep the faith!