I recently wrote an article about my #1 biggest nursing career fear.
It was a hard post to write, to say the least. It brought up a lot of emotions for me, but also helped clarify new career goals that I needed to set for myself.
At first glance it may seem to some that I did that to torture myself. But there was a method to my madness.
I recently began a comprehensive writing and website development course that will take me at least 12 months to complete. And one of my first assignments was to write about a major fear that I have that pertains to my current writing niche.
As a nurse mom blogger who writes about finding ways to help nurses take better care of themselves, I really put a lot of thought into this. And I have come to the conclusion that one of the ways I want to take better care of myself is to NOT work as a floor nurse for my entire career.
Unfortunately, the wear-and-tear is starting to break me down. I am afraid that what was once a cerebral challenge is starting to turn into full-fledged irreparable nurse burnout.
Never let your fear decide your future: my 2021 nursing career fear mantra
As a nurse blogger who frequently blogs specifically about the topic of nurse burnout, I have worked very hard to find solutions for my own exhaustion.
In fact, my #1 reason for starting a website was to create an outlet for my own overwhelm and fatigue as a nurse and new mom.
Over the last two years I have spent nearly every minute of my free time researching and exploring possible solutions for these struggles. Then I write it all out clearly as I can with the hope that I am able to help myself and (hopefully) other nurse moms in my position.
And voila, it works! For a while anyway.
But, sadly, I eventually find myself feeling burned out again.
So, in the spirit of continuing the blogging assignment I mentioned earlier, I am going to dive in and open up about all of my fears about my nursing career.
It saddens me to think that I may not be a direct patient care nurse for much longer. The healthcare system needs great nurses. But I will always be a nurse, and as I like to say, a nursing practice can take many forms.
My biggest fears as a bedside nurse:
#1. I fear physical injuries from years of nursing.
Nursing career fear #1: physical injuries on the job
There is alarming evidence now that even proper lifting techniques expose nurses’s spines to dangerous forces.
In addition, chronic back pain in the nursing population is a common ailment. An evidenced based review at the Texas Women’s University reported that estimates of chronic low back pain among nurses range from 50%-80%.
Many non-nursing professionals may be alarmed to hear that after only 7 years as a bedside nurse I am already feeling the wear-and-tear of being on my feet all day. I already have chronic back pain. My legs and feet ache for days after a 12 hour shift.
I do a lot of yoga as a preventative measure and it helps tremendously. But as soon as I have another busy shift with a heavy patient load, the pain returns. Especially, when I work with total-care patients.
#2. I fear a life of burnout and constant exhaustion.
Nursing career fear #2: years of chronic exhaustion
I have written many times about my own exhaustion as a nurse and have even come up with several solutions to beat my own nurse burnout (at least temporarily). But if I’m being honest, the only way I really even recover from burnout is to just not work at all. It is amazing how much better l feel after stepping away from bedside nursing for a week.
Admittedly, I have created a few of my own unhealthy habits to cope with my nursing career. Which is why one of my goals this year is to start taking simple steps to help keep my stress in check so that I don’t end up becoming a patient myself.
I realize now more than ever that, in order to care for others, I must to take care of myself first. And the only proven way I have been able to do that thus far is to step away from the bedside and practice nursing in a different realm.
#3. I fear verbal abuse and violence.
Nursing career fear #3: violence against nurses in the workplace
Abuse against nurses is very common. In fact, nurses are expected to put up with levels of abuse that would NEVER be acceptable in any other professional setting. I have been cussed at more times than I can count, in just about every colorful way you could imagine, for just doing my job. And guess what? Not one single abusive patient or family member as EVER been asked to leave the hospital. Sadly, it appears that nurse abuse is acceptable and that nurses must deal with it as a part of the job.
Here is a recent example: I had a patient verbally assault me in the most vile way possible when I brought them their scheduled life-saving anti-rejection medicines. I explained that I was there to help them and calmly asked the patient several times to stop using vulgar language at me. Finally, I told them I would find them a different nurse and left the room.
Tearfully, I told my charge nurse, who supported me and assigned the patient a different RN. I found out later that the patient was so offended that I refused to be their nurse that they filed a complaint against me. I also found out later that their were several other nurses in the days prior who had been putting up with the same exact verbal abuse.
Even worse, violence against nurses is prevalent (especially emergency room nurses) and it usually isn’t even routinely tracked. I have been lucky not to find myself the victim of direct physical violence as a nurse as of yet. Many nurses have not been so not lucky.
#4. I fear not having more earning potential.
Nursing career fear #4: not reaching a higher earning potential
Working for an hourly wage kind of sucks. I am very driven and I have a great work ethic. But no matter how hard I work as a nurse, I’m just not going to make any higher (or lower) than my hourly wage. I could work more hours, but I am already experiencing a lot of nurse burnout and I have a family to take care of as well.
I often think how nice it would be to get paid more for working harder. And I really want the opportunity to earn a better living. Especially because we live in one of the most expensive cities in the US, and it’s only getting more expensive.
#5. I fear having a terminal position with no growth opportunity.
Nursing career fear #5: not growing professionally in my career
There are opportunities for nurses who want to move into administrative roles or become nurse practitioners if you are willing to go back to graduate school for a masters degree or PhD in nursing. (When you work in the UC system in California, you MUST have have Masters Degree In Nursing to move into administration. No exceptions).
However, my bachelors degree in nursing was already my second college degree as I am a second career nurse (I have a prior BA in journalism). Not only was going to nursing school in my early 30’s the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life, it was also extraordinarily expensive. In fact I know nurses graduating with over $100,000 in nursing school loan debt (I don’t have it in me to tell them they will likely never pay it off on a nurse’s salary- at least not in California).
In addition, I have a family now with two toddlers who need me – and I’m already a working mom. So, I could spend a ton of money going back to school, spend almost no time with my family, have a whole bunch of brand new student loan debt, and have a terrible quality of life for the next 3+ years.
And quite honestly, the idea of being a hospital administrator doesn’t even sound very appealing to me. Not to mention, many nurse practitioners are making less then bedside nurses. Thus, I have a hard time seeing the benefit in more school at the moment.
#6. I fear not putting my own needs first.
Nursing career fear #6: putting my own needs last
In my first career I was a medical device sales person because I wanted the opportunity to make a significant amount of money. A decade later, I became a nurse because I genuinely wanted to help people and save lives. I wanted to do something that was so much bigger than myself.
I was proud to become a nurse, and I still am. However, this profession revolves around constantly putting other peoples’s need first. And it must, because our patients’s lives often depend on it.
But I have a family to care for too. And as a mom of young children I often feel that I am in constant “survival mode.” This leaves very little time for self care.
Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself
Thinking about the things I fear most is probably my least favorite thing to do. In reality, I am a non-confrontational person and it feels unnatural for me to do a deep-dive into the things I am most afraid of. Especially listing them one-by-one and publishing them on my website!
But, if I can’t be honest with myself about what I feel in my gut when it comes to my nursing career, then how am I supposed to grow and create a better future for myself and my family?
As a busy working mom, I hardly have time to think about myself as it is. It would be a lot easier to pretend my fears didn’t exist and stay super busy until my kids turn 18 and go off to college. But making big life changes is hard, even when they are the best thing for you.
Plus, I would be well into my 50’s by then!
And I don’t have time to waste on being afraid!
Do you have any fears as a bedside nurse? Please leave a comment below!
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*This post about nurse coffee mugs contains affiliate links. For more information please see our disclosure page.
Coffee, anyone? Yes, please.
Since becoming a nurse and the mother of two amazing little humans, my caffeine consumption has reached and all-time high.
In fact, I’ve been so tired for so long that I don’t even remember what my life was before I became a daily coffee consumer. (Parenthood will do that to ya!).
But being a tired nurse and mom is where life is for me at the moment. Coffee for me, quite literally, is my life blood. Not to mention, it bring me joy.
After all, they say that its the little things in life that make us the happiest, and for most of my mom and nurse friends, drinking a great cup of joe fits that statement perfectly!
Great coffee needs a great coffee mug
I appreciate having a great mug or travel container to drink coffee now that I am constantly on the go. Mainly because nurses and moms knows there is no time to sit and rest – there are just too many people to take care of!
I’m not even a little ashamed to say I have even become a bit of a coffee snob. (Although I have recently switched it up a but by adding matcha green tea into my caffeine regimen for a little extra antioxidant power.)
But developing my coffee habit isn’t the worst thing that could have ever happened. After all, there is scientific evidence that drinking coffee is may be beneficial to overall health in many ways:
Coffee benefit #1. Drinking coffee may undo liver damage caused by booze.
Even though my college party days are long behind me, this was still great news to hear. Researchers analyzed data from nine previously published studies with a total of more than 430,000 participants and found that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was linked to a 44% lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis!
Coffee benefit #2: Coffee may help you live longer.
A Stanford University study that tracked 100 people over several years, and found that coffee drinkers tended to live longer than non-coffee drinkers. The authors theorized that increased caffeine consumption might counteract the “fundamental inflammatory mechanism associated with human aging.”
Coffee benefit #3: Regular coffee consumption may be good for your heart and brain.
The American Heart Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that risk of heart failure or stroke went down 8 percent for each additional cup of coffee per day.
The top 25 best nurse coffee mugs:
Now that we know that coffee is not only essential for our daily function as nurses and also may benefit our brains and body, there is only one more thing left to do. And that is to find the best nurse coffee mugs to enjoy our delicious brew…
With no further ado and is no particular order, here are the top 25 best nurse coffee mugs!
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B0073J9K0W” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Yellow background with raised message Im a Nurse, Whats your super power?~~~Hand painted ceramic decal message mug in exquisite deisgn~~~Interior of Mug is green! Measures: 4 1/2 H x 3 Opening. Holds 12 oz.~~~Dishwasher safe/FDA approved/Microwave safe.~~~Comes in beautiful coordinating gift box” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Nurse 12 Oz Coffee Mug/cup with”I’m A Nurse” What’s Your Super Power?” Great Gift For Nurses[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B07FXM9DPL” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Awesome gift for nursing students~~~Arrives ready to be gifted: packaged perfectly and ready to wrap as a gift~~~Proudly produced and printed in the USA” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Nursing School Survival Mug [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B01FV18OO6″ associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Made with high quality ceramic~~~Microwave and dishwasher safe, high quality ceramic~~~Printed on both sides~~~Personalized for you favorite nurse!~~~Created in the USA” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”0″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Personalized!! Stethoscope coffee mug for nurses[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B07B4CH59Y” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”White 11 ounce coffee mug with easy grip high quality ceramic. Dishwasher & microwave safe.~~~Makes the perfect nurse gift!~~~These are ORIGINAL LICENSED Designs Made By Estis Baby Couture. Made in the USA~~~IMAGE PRINTED ON BOTH SIDES” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Cute Enough To Stop Your Heart Skilled Enough To Restart It Nurse Mug[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B00R6PQD12″ associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Design: Light blue mug with cream trim on the rim and on the top of the handle. ~~~Size: 4 3/4H X 3 Opening and holds 18oz~~~Material: Porcelain~~~Dishwasher/Microwave safe, FDA approved” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]I’m a Nurse Superpower Light Blue 18 Oz Mug[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B0798RVQZW” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”11oz coffee and tea cup~~~Makes a great nurse gift!~~~Satisfaction guaranteed~~~Made in the USA” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]I Love Caffeine PO Q4H PRN[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B07DRD3N9N” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Nurse Uniform mug from Our Name is Mud~~~Message reads: Nurses Call the Shots~~~Shipped in decorative gift box~~~High-quality stoneware is dishwasher and microwave safe~~~16 oz. capacity” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Nurses Call The [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B00MI3P8KY” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”16 oz. bistro style wide body Coffee Mug~~~Smooth molded ceramic composite~~~Two toned glossy vibrant color exterior bright white interior~~~High curved grip for easy grab-n-go handling” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]16 oz Purple Large Bistro Stethascope w/ Heart Mug[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B01EA3EZSK” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Great Present Idea for Mothers Day, Nurses Week / Christmas.~~~The ideal gift thats personal, always useful and never fails to please.~~~HIGH QUALITY CERAMIC MUG – This perfect sized Coffee mug is available in 11oz or 15oz sizes.~~~MICROWAVE AND DISHWASHER SAFE – guaranteed to last – HIGH QUALITY CERAMIC MUG.” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]I Am A Mom And A Nurse – Nothing Scares Me Funny Coffee Mug [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B07R61V2SZ” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Wonderful gift for a nursing student or recent graduate!~~~Dishwasher / Microwave Safe~~~3.75 tall by 3.25 wide~~~Image on one side of the mug. Opposite side is blank.~~~Holds 11 ounces” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Feeling Cute Might Play Some Cards Later IDK Funny Nurse Coffee Mug [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B0051I7590″ associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Nicest Nurse Our Name is Mud Cuppa Doodle Mug~~~Features heartfelt rim, front, and back messaging~~~Makes the perfect thank you gift for nurses~~~High-quality porcelain mug is microwave and dishwasher safe~~~16 oz. capacity” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Our Name is Mud “Nicest Nurse” Porcelain Mug, 16 oz.[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B075HCJM2B” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Phrase: nurse life~~~Makes a fantastic gift, comes with gift box ready for giving!~~~Holds 18 oz. of your favorite Beverage~~~Hand wash only, not microwave safe~~~Made from stoneware” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Nurse Life Matte Ceramic Coffee Mug 18 oz, Mint Green[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B01M4NVRVN” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”INCLUDES: One 11-Ounce White Ceramic Coffee Mug~~~HIGH QUALITY: Printed using only the highest quality HD ink to prevent fading; printed on very durable bright white mugs~~~SPECIFICATIONS: Mug holds 11 ounces and measures 4x4x4 inches~~~CARE: Microwave and dishwasher safe~~~SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you are not completely satisfied with the product for some reason, a full refund will be issued. Your satisfaction is the #1 priority!” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Keep Calm and Wait… Not That Calm – 11 OZ Coffee Mug[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B0756P4YVV” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”If Youre Happy And You Know It Its Your Meds This Coffee Mug Is A Great Item For Office Party White Elephant Gag Gifts For Boss employee or Coworkers.~~~This Funny Coffee Mug Would Make a Great Gift For Any Occasion, Mothers Day, Christmas, Wedding Retirement, Bridal and Baby Shower Valentines Day Birthday Anniversary Graduation XMAS Party Secret Santa Gifts.~~~Our Hilarious Coffee Cups Make a Great Gift For Anybody, Men Women Mom Dad Grandma Grandpa Brother Sister Son Daughter Husband Wife Boyfriend Girlfriend Best Friend In Laws , Coworkers Employees Boss Friend Second Cousin Aunts And Uncles Him and Her Or Just Anybody Who Enjoys A Nice Cup Of Coffee In The Morning.~~~Made With The Highest Quality Guaranteed To Last, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe. Our Mugs Are Printed On Both Sides Which IS Great for Both The Right Hand And The Left.~~~This 11oz White Ceramic Mug Is Great For Coffee, Tea , Hot Chocolate, Or any Hot or Cold Beverage Rogue River Exclusive Item Comes with the Rogue River Warranty” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]”If You’re Happy And You Know It Its Your Meds” Nurse Mug[/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B07KXVRFSL” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”INCLUDES: 1 stainless steel campfire enamel mug~~~DETAILS: 11oz. Camp Cup Mug, Stainless Steel, Sublimation Coated White Gloss. Hand wash. Lead and Cadmium Free. Conforms to Food Grade Requirements of FDA, LFGB, EEC. Shipped in white box.~~~PERFECT for campers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy hot or cold beverages on the trail with this durable, lightweight rustic stainless steel mug.~~~GREAT for friends and family as a birthday or Christmas gift, or just because.” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Nurse: Because Badass Isn’t an Official Title, 1-Pack, Stainless Steel Metal Camp Cup [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B0797NJ9G7″ associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Best Conversation Starter | Funny Mug Printed On Both Sides – Make an Impression any way you hold the Mug~~~Large Easy Grip High Quality Ceramic 11 Ounce Coffee Mug | Dish Washer Safe | Microwave Safe | Comes Bubble Wrapped in Box~~~Start Your Day off Right – Suitable for Every Occasion | Use as Pencil Holder, Desk Accessory and Special Gift for Someone | Ideal for Hot and Cold Drinks | Can be used for Home and Office~~~Printing With Pride in the United States by Mad Ink Fashions” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Best Nurse Ever – Nurse Mug [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B003LSH59W” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Saying, nursing is a work of heart, always caring for people right from the very start~~~Dishwasher and microwave safe~~~High capacity, 20-ounce mug~~~Makes a great gift to someone special. Collect for your own use as well~~~Ceramic construction elegantly designed” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Mark My Words Nurse Mug, 20-Ounce [/amalinkspro]
[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B078WXV2LJ” associate-id=”mothernurse0b-20″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ imgs=”LargeImage” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Being a Nurse IS Easy….. Yeah Right This Coffee Mug Makes the Perfect gift~~~This Funny Sarcastic Nurse Coffee Mug Would Make a Great gift For Christmas Birthday Present~~~Microwave and Dishwasher Safe~~~Standard Size 11oz Coffee Mug” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”View on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”1″ hide-image=”0″ hide-reviews=”0″ hide-price=”1″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]Being a Nurse Is Easy Coffee Mug[/amalinkspro]
Additional recommended reading:
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*This post is sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute to help parents understand how important it is to practice laundry safety, including properly storing and handling laundry packets. You can find our disclosure page here.
Children are so naturally curious
In the early baby days, I knew if I walked away for a few minutes that my babies would be in the exact spot I left them. Therefore, the urgency to child-proof every nook and cranny in our home wasn’t there…yet. After all, they were completely immobile for almost the first year of life!
But with each new, curious day comes another baby milestone (or so it seemed).
First, it’s the rollover (so exciting!). Then baby develops an army crawl. And, before you know it, they pull themselves up to a stand.
Then, boom, you have your very own baby-walking machine! A little unstable, but a baby on the move nonetheless. All the while putting anything and everything they come in contact with into their mouths.
As exciting and adorable as it is to watch, it is also the time those curious minds can do their wobbly, little Frankenstein walk and come into contact with substances that they should not touch – such as household cleaning supplies…
So, in case you didn’t already know: now is the time to make sure your house is 100% baby-proofed! No excuses!
Safety first, always
As an emergency room nurse, I have witnessed first-hand plenty of accidents involving children that could have been prevented- including the ingestion of household items. It only takes a second for those tiny, delicate hands to get into trouble when a home isn’t properly child-proofed.
But I get it, I’m a mom too – parenthood can be overwhelmingly busy and I also sometimes feel I’m being run over by a tiny human army I created myself (and I usually am!).
It is so easy to forget to child-proof your home when you have 1,000 things on your to-do list. But if you take a few simple steps and have systems in place that will prevent accidents from happening, then it will make your life so much easier in the long run. Especially if something bad happens that could have easily been prevented.
Babies and children of all ages need safe spaces to move around and learn in safe environments. Many accidents that bring our little ones to the emergency room can be prevented and avoided altogether.
So in honor of Emergency Nurses Week in October and my desire to encourage other parents to take an active stance in child-proofing their homes, my #1 safety message this year is to encourage parents to put their Packets UP!
Don’t forget to child proof the laundry room
The laundry room is one of those places in the home that is the last to be childproofed, if it even gets child-proofed at all.
That’s why I’ve partnered up with the American Cleaning Institute to help parents understand how important it is to practice laundry safety, including properly storing and handling liquid laundry packets. Accidents involving liquid laundry packets are 100% preventable!
I’m talking about taking simple steps to keep the laundry room safe at all times. By putting a few simple systems in place, you won’t have to worry about accidental poisoning and you will be proactively preventing avoidable child injuries.
Think of it like this: Playtime + child-proofed home = SAFE SPACE for baby and child growth and learning opportunities!
(The ER nurse in me geeks out about safety-proofing. You should see our home – even my husband has a hard time getting into closets and drawers. But at least I know our kids are safe!).
Keep the laundry room safe by keeping your packets up!
Simple child safety tips in the laundry room
Step #1: Keep liquid laundry packets out of reach
Keep all laundry products in a designated out of reach and in an area that children can’t get into.
If you don’t have a cabinet with doors to hide your cleaning products available, place liquid laundry packets (in the original packaging) into a larger bin with other laundry and household products and put it up high where children won’t be able to see it.
Step #2: Don’t keep laundry packets on display
While clear or glass jars can be an Instagram-worthy way to display household items, storing liquid laundry packets visibly in these jars could attract unwanted attention from young children. Always keep liquid laundry packets tightly secured in their original packaging, stored up and out of reach.
Step #3: Keep laundry packets separate from groceries
When purchasing laundry packets and other household cleaners from the store, have them bagged separately and put them away in their designated safe storage spot – out of sight and out of reach – as soon as you get home and unpack your groceries.
Step #4: Make safety checks a priority
Conduct routine safety checks in the home to prevent accidents.
Tip: Consider making a sign in the laundry room to remind yourself to check your laundry packets and make sure they are stored properly and out of children’s reach. That way use can ensure safety each time you do the laundry. If you have a housekeeper or someone else who does the laundry, have a conversation with them about how important it is that they also follow your laundry room safety rules. All adults in the house need to be on the same page.
If a liquid laundry packet is ingested:
Call the Poison Help Line immediately at 1-800-222-1212.
I hope this messaging can help parents understand how important it is to practice laundry safety, including properly storing and handling laundry packets. Safety is the number one message here, and I hope this helps to encourage and remind all parents to find simple ways to keep all laundry products up and away from little ones in the home.
Let’s have ZERO accidental laundry product accidents this and every year. Safety first!!
Remember these key laundry packet safety points:
- It is so important to store liquid laundry packets up high and out of sight and reach.
- Don’t forget to completely close and seal liquid laundry packet containers after use.
- Finally, always store liquid laundry packets in their original containers.
For more information about the Packets Up campaign:
Visit packetsup.com for more information and tools to help you prevent exposures from liquid laundry packets. You can also join the conversation: follow #PacketsUp for the latest laundry room safety tips and information.
Order a free cling and put it on your cabinet as a safe storage reminder.
(This post contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
The benefits of green tea have been touted for decades. But I recently discovered a new shade of green tea that I’m pretty obsessed with called matcha.
I initially tried matcha green tea because I was tired of the caffeine highs and lows that I got with coffee. As a nurse and new mom who works 12 hour shifts in an emergency room I need caffeine, but coffee can be intense. So as an experiment, I decided to switch out my coffee habit entirely with matcha green tea for 30 days to see if I noticed any differences. (And by the way, this was a huge step for me, as I am a coffee addict and a coffee snob!).
I put my Kuerig in the pantry and set my electric kettle in its place. I didn’t want the temptation to brew my regular coffee in a moment of weakness.
And guess what? It has been several months and I’m still drinking a cup of matcha green tea every morning. I feel better when I drink matcha than I do coffee – and I can see a noticeable improvement in my skin as well!
What is Matcha Green Tea?
All green teas, matcha included, are derived from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. As opposed to regular green tea that comes in a tea bag, matcha is 100% green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder. That is why matcha is so concentrated and why you only need 1/2 teaspoon per cup!
In addition, matcha is higher in caffeine than
regular green tea so you don’t need to add more then 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup of tea. However, you can vary the amount of caffeine based on how much powder you add.
Matcha green tea offers many health benefits compared to coffee.
4 Reasons Nurses Should Drink Matcha Green Tea Instead Of Coffee:
#1. Matcha is healthier for you
Like other green teas, Matcha contains a type of antioxidants called catechins. It is specifically high in a type of catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is known to prevent cancer in the body. Many studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits such as weight loss, preventing heart disease and preventing type 2 diabetes.
As a nurse who practices evidence-based care, I know it is important to create healthy habits to help prevent illnesses in my future. Matcha is just another way for me to take better care of myself on the job.
#2. Matcha is high in vitamins
Compared to coffee, matcha scores significantly higher in nutrition. It contains vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, protein, and potassium. In addition, the high chlorophyll content in matcha also makes it an effective detoxifier that helps the body rid itself of toxins and heavy metals.
Coffee does not even compete with the nutrition that you get from matcha. By starting the day off on the right nutritional foot with a cup of matcha tea nurses can help meet their nutritional needs. Not to mention, many break rooms are fills with sweets like donuts and cookies. Adding a cup or two of matcha can help nurses get the nutritional fuel they need to continue giving great patient care.
#3. Matcha creates a sense of calm alertness and concentration
As opposed to the highs and lows that many people get with drinking coffee, matcha provides a less jittery caffeine high. That is because Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps your body to process caffeine differently than coffee. As a result, matcha contains much less caffeine than coffee yet has a more sustained energy boost, without the crash later on.
As front line workers in the hospital, nurses need to stay calm in stressful situations. Our patients lives depend on us to make critical decisions that effect their overall health and well-being. In addition, nurses need to be able to focus clearly, often for hours on end without breaks. A slip-up , such as a medication error, could be deadly.
#4. Matcha gives you whiter teeth
And better oral hygiene as well. Matcha has antibacterial properties that provide vital protection to the teeth, prevent plaque build up and improves oral health. On the other hand, coffee stains the teeth and causes bad breath – a major turn off for patients.
Most nurses I know don’t brush their teeth after drinking coffee or eating meals at work – even if they had the time. Drinking matcha helps eliminate coffee breath and keeps nurses’ oral hygiene healthy to boot.
What you need to make your own matcha green tea at home:
Making matcha green tea at home is an easy as making a pot of coffee. Just add 1/2 teaspoon matcha to 12 ounces hot water. Add sweetener and milk if desired. Enjoy!
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As s a nurse I have been exposed to so many stressful situations. I’ve been cussed at by angry patients (more times then I can count), swung at, kicked, had a full urinal thrown at me, been exposed to, been in the middle of dozens of violent patient situations and take-downs, and been the victim of nurse bullying.
In addition, I see other nurses being treated poorly from patients, family members, doctors and even sometimes other nurses. In fact, it’s not even unusual. And, like other nurses, I am expected to continue giving compassionate patient care without regard to my own well being.
This sacrificial attitude of putting myself last on a very long spectrum of compassionate care is just not going to cut it anymore. The thought of spending an entire career with this amount of wear-and-tear is frightening. Something has to give before I completely fizzle and burn to a crisp.
Nurses need to have compassion for themselves too.
I came out of nursing school with equal parts compassion and adrenaline to save lives and make a positive difference in the world! In fact, I left a very lucrative 10 year medical equipment sales career so I could do just that. I was determined to advocate for and serve my patients to the best of my ability. Compassion was one of my greatest strengths.
As an overachiever for most of my life I have always maintained the attitude that I can do anything as long as I try hard enough. And now, after 7 years as a registered nurse, I am discovering that I am failing at the one thing that actually defines a great nurse: compassion.
The nurse burnout is real.
What I am currently experiencing is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that is more extreme than anything that I have ever experienced in my adult life. I started my nursing career with the determination to give amazing patient care and here I am, 7 years later, losing my compassion.
(And just so you know – this has been hard for me to acknowledge because I have been a “yes” person my entire life.)
There is beauty in the breakdown.
My nursing burnout amplified after the birth of my first child in 2015. Then, it got even worse after my second child in 2018. In fact, I started writing regularly again out of desperation to find an outlet for the exhaustion and overwhelming fatigue I was feeling as a nurse and new mom. My goal was to find more effective ways to take better care of myself and make my life a little easier. And it actually has helped me find a little reprieve.
But most importantly, it has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to make some huge changes in my life. Most of all, I need to find my compassion again. But this time I am unapologetically focusing my compassion on myself, first.
So, in light of this discovery I am 100% accepting and honoring these uncomfortable feelings. I am using them as a catalyst to make changes in my professional and personal life. My mental and physical pain will be an opportunity for growth and finding self-compassion.
I rarely take the time to do nothing and reflect. This is a good year for more of that.
I am on a mission for self-compassion.
You know how when you fly in an airplane, there is the safety warning before take-off? Passengers are instructed to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, then help others around them. Because if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you’re not helpful to anyone!
So, here is me putting the oxygen mask on myself first. Some of the changes I am making are professional and some are personal. But they are all things I have been wanting to do for a really long time but haven’t because I was thinking about others’ needs before my own.
Here are my new personal nurse self-care and self-compassion goals:
#1. Work two 12 hour shifts a week instead of three
This one is hard for me because it equates to a significant decrease in pay (and I really like money!). With two toddler age children, child care is our biggest expense (besides housing) and it’s not going away any time soon. But fortunately, we are in a position to afford it for the time being and I want to use the extra day off to spend more one-on-one time with my adorable babies.
In addition, since most hospital shifts are 12 to 13 hours I don’t get to see my children at all on the days that I work. I am also staying away from working back-to-back shifts, because I just don’t want to be away from my children for more than one day at a time.
#2. Work less holidays and as few weekends as possible
After I had children I really hated having to work on holidays. I have missed so many birthdays, Easters, 4th of Julys, Thanksgivings, Christmas and New Years to be working at the hospital. At some point I started to resent missing that time with my family. Working on holidays is the norm for many nurses, and I expect to work some. But since I will be working a little less anyway this will also equate to working less holidays as well. Same goes for weekends.
Self Care for nurses is more important now than ever.
#3. Continue working per diem
There are a lot of benefits and drawbacks to being a per diem nurse. For example, I love that I can schedule myself to work on the exact days I WANT to work. However, it also means that if I am not needed then I get canceled at 0400 and then I don’t make any money for that day. And since I end up paying for a nanny regardless, that’s a double whammie.
The best part of being a per diem nurse is that it offers me a much better work-life balance. When I worked as a career nurse it was almost impossible for me to secure childcare because my work schedule was always changing. Some weeks I got the schedule I needed and others I didn’t. So on the whole, being a per diem nurse is the right choice for me and my family.
#4. Continue writing and growing my website to help other nurse moms
In 2016 I became a nurse blogger. My venture was born out of my frustration with burnout as a registered nurse and my desire to create a more flexible work-life balance. Writing about nurse lifestyle topics that interest me and exploring ways that nurses can take better care of themselves helps me to take care of myself better too.
My little blog is even starting to make a small monthly income, which absolutely thrills me. I have a dream that if I keep working hard my website will make enough money that I can work one day a week instead of two.
#5. Take a comprehensive course in website management and blogging
Last week I signed up for a comprehensive blogging course that will probably take me the next 6-8 months to complete. I honestly haven’t been more excited to do something for myself like this in a really long time. In fact, I can’t wait to see my progress over the next year!
#6. Explore other medical related career options
A few weeks ago I interviewed for an aesthetic sales position. Although I didn’t end up working for the company, it did open my eyes to the fact that there are so many other great opportunities that I could be interested in and also fit my skill set as a nurse. A nursing practice can take many forms and I am giving myself permission to continue learning about other nursing career options.
#7. Focus more energy into my family and friends
One of my New Years resolutions this year was to “choose fun.” So many studies have shown that spending quality time with family and friends is incredibly helpful in decreasing stress and improving burnout symptoms. Since I will be working a little less I will have more time to focus my energy on the people who matter most to me.
#8. Enjoy my new fancy gym membership (with childcare on site!)
In the spirit of investing more in myself, I started 2019 off with a gym membership. It has been a complete game changer for me. In fact, the old me would never have never splurged on a fancy gym membership. Making regular time to work out always makes me feel great, clears my head and gives me more stamina. And my 1 year old loves the Kid’s Club, so its a win-win.
As a nurse and mom my life basically revolves around caring for everyone else, and I am SO GRATEFUL to be able to do that. But if there is one thing I have learned through my own compassion fatigue it is that I need to put the same care into myself as I do into my patients and family. So in the spirit of self-compassion, I am metaphorically putting on my oxygen mask first, before helping those around me.
#9. Practice more yoga
I have been regularly practicing yoga for 14 years. Finally, in 2o15 I completed Yoga Works’s 4 month Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program for medical professionals. I learned how to teach simple yoga, do guided meditation and perform Reiki. It was amazing!
However, in recent years I have not been practicing as much as I would like, and that is going to change. My goal is to incorporate yoga into my busy schedule every single day. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Yoga helps me stay balanced in times of great stress, gives me flexibility (both physically and mentally) and has been extremely grounding. In fact, I recently started teaching my 3 year old daughter a series of yoga poses and it is bringing us both great joy!
These two are already happy about self-care goal #1: Work two 12 hour shifts a week instead of three. Job flexibility has never been so important to me.
Nurse self care matters. If we don’t care for ourselves then how can we expect patients to listen to our health advice and education. I am taking this opportunity to give myself compassion and hopefully lead others by example.
If other nurses find themselves feeling as unappreciated and burnt out as me I encourage them to find ways to care for themselves first. Otherwise, we are perpetuating a broken system that does not acknowledge that nursing burnout is a real issue and ignoring nurse health and well being.
So nurse, what are you going to do to take care of yourself today? Leave a comment!
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I have a confession. My biggest nursing career fear is working for an hourly wage as a floor nurse forever.
Of course there are other things I fear in my nursing career as well. Such as staying burned out working 12’s hour shifts, physically being unable to work after decades of wear-and-tear, and not reaching my full career potential.
But the one thing that really keeps me up at night is the idea of not creating a future for myself that has flexibility, freedom, opportunity, and more money. I have ambition, dammit. And its about time for a big change.
In order for me to make career decisions that will help me reach my fullest nursing career potential moving forward, I thought it was wise to revisit my career history. What inspired and motivated me in the past? Where are my strengths and weaknesses? What are my biggest priorities from here moving forward and how to I reach them?
So, (deep breath) here we go…
I was once an aspiring writer in college.
Way, way back in the day, before I ever even considered becoming a registered nurse, I was a journalism major with a minor in women’s studies. I wrote for our student newspaper, The Orion, and I loved it. I enjoyed the teamwork and even though I felt way in over my head a lot of the time I absolutely loved the challenge.
But then I graduated with a little debt and decided I was tired of being a poor college student. I wanted money! After looking at a few options and going on about 50 intense interviews I finally got my first job as a medical device salesperson.
Reflective takeaway: I have experience working for an award-winning college newspaper. I enjoyed the challenge and teamwork aspect.
They say hindsight is 20/20. Can a deep dive into my career history inspire my future career as a nurse?
In my first career I sold medical devices to hospital operating rooms.
I spent the next decade working in the competitive field of surgical equipment sales for a fortune 100 company and a few medical device startups. It was intense and I did very well, but there was always a feeling that I could be doing something even more important. My soul was craving more clinical education and critical thinking. I remember thinking to myself “I don’t want to work my whole career just being a salesperson!” I needed a bigger purpose.
So after years of soul searching, I made the difficult decision to leave the field in pursuit of greater clinical medical knowledge. I went back to school and achieved a BS in Nursing.
Reflective takeaway: I have many valuable professional skills that I can apply to other careers. And I’m hyper competitive.
I became a second-career nurse.
I began my career specializing on a Neuroscience and Stroke unit and earned certifications as a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse. In 2017, I began a new phase in my nursing career as an Emergency Room RN.
I love that I help others for a living and I enjoy the mental stimulation I get at work during my 12 hour shifts. Becoming a nurse has even helped me deal with the craziness of motherhood in some ways because it helps me distinguish things that I should be concerned with from things that are not a big deal. (I have my time on a neuro science floor and as an ER nurse to thank for that!)
However, the physical wear-and-tear and caregiver fatigue has got me feeling completely spent at times. And upper-management within the hospital is not something I am interested in at all.
Reflective takeaway: I enjoy using my clinical expertise to help others. But I also need to make my own health needs a priority.
I want to be a working mom who makes my own rules. Having children changes everything.
Starting a family intensified my biggest nursing career fear: a lifetime of working 12 hour shifts at the hospital
Having children really does change everything. I am grateful for all of the amazing experiences I have had in nursing. However, I see the future through a different lens now. My husband and I are currently raising two toddlers and my priorities are forever changed. My purpose for success so completely different. Now my reason for success is my family.
And so, here I am seven years into my nursing career and I have this gnawing sensation that I need to “blow up” my career again. It is time to make room for more professional growth and development.
As a part of this process I made a list of my future career priorities:
- Cerebral stimulation
- Being a positive role model for my children
Reflective takeaway: Becoming a parent changed my career priorities and needs. Work-life balance is key.
Next (baby) steps…
In 2016 I created a nurse mom blog called MotherNurseLove.com. In the sparse amount of free time I have I am creating a website, writing blog posts and taking courses to hone in on my new craft. My venture is being crafted out of my love for writing, my business management experience, my clinical knowledge as a nurse and life experience as a mother. I am creating my own opportunity that is more in line with my current career priorities (as mentioned above).
For clarity, my niche (or at least the niche I am striving to create) is: “nurse mom lifestyle blogger with an emphasis on nurse self care” My goal is to write about nurse mom lifestyle topics that interest me and finding helpful ways for nurses to take better care of themselves.
Turning my nursing career fear into a catalyst for growth is a process. As I grow older (and hopefully wiser!) I am discovering that their are so many paths that nurses can take. The sky is the limit as long as I work hard and continually open myself to learning new skills.
My ultimate goal: To create a career for myself were I can combine my journalism degree with my nursing knowledge and motherly experience. This is the first “career” I have ever had where I didn’t have to fill out an extensive application and interview for the position. For the very first time, I am warming to the idea of being my OWN boss. And I’m really looking forward to what the future will hold.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are a nurse who is looking for alternative career options or want to find ways to take better care of yourself as a working mom and RN please join my email list below!
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