Darcy, I feel where you are coming from. I was where you are so many times that it finally came to a head and the pressure was just too great.
I was having a particularly stressful day last week and my chest began hurting and felt like someone sitting on me. My first thought after asking staff to check my BP was “I’m only 40, I can’t be doing this.”. Unfortunately, my BP was all over the place, my pulse was elevated. I was so upset. The MD who was rounding at the facility sent me out 911. I bargained with the RN to let me finish my noon med pass, and they refused to let me.
There I was, on the OTHER side of the bed….NOT where I wanted to be, but where I needed to be. I was stress tested and Holter monitored and placed in telemetry. I upset my staff, my family and MYSELF. I learned that in spite of finding nothing wrong on my tests, I asked the doctor if I could return to work the next day and he gave me the ok. I returned, but after not finding what I needed to get my job done and therefore making my med pass MUCH LONGER than it needed to be, the pain started up again. I went home after four hours. This is not the nurse I want to be, I do not leave my job.
I am finding that I have to say “No”, “Stop” and “I can’t right now”. I don’t want to be the nurse that is on antianxietals or antidepressants, but sometimes if that is what is necessary to save me then I am going to have to do so.
Good luck, Darcy. We do make terrible patients…. 🙂