From my journal
Federal Home Care Nurse Practitioner – April 2005
Five months have passed since I began working at the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) clinic as a home care Nurse Practitioner (NP). The VA assigned to me a car, laptop, cell phone, pager, and office. Completing the mandatory online continuing education and typing my lengthy progress notes is tedious. Sadly, I only have time to visit two patients daily. My driving visit radius is thirty minutes north, east, and south of the clinic. Jackie, the other NP, visits the veterans who live in the western half of the state. We each provide primary care for about fifty patients.
My Director appointed me to lead the Patient Education Committee and participate in the Medication and Pain Committees. The entire home care team from four campuses meets quarterly for half a day. Each committee presents its statistics and gives us educational updates. My Director asked me to do a presentation on warfarin (Coumadin), a common blood thinner that many veterans need to take daily to prevent blood clots. This medication requires a regular check of their bleeding time. If their level goes too high or low, the veteran could die.
I still desperately miss my mid-week day off at my previous job at the nursing home. I’m totally exhausted when I get home from work. To decrease my stress and chore time, I started ordering my groceries online and having them delivered. I take my laundry to the local wash and fold business, and hired a lady to clean my house. My endocrinologist is adjusting my thyroid medication. Low thyroid adds to my exhaustion along with the stress of learning a new job.
God comforted and encouraged me this morning in my Bible reading.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7 KJV).
Help me to redeem the time and keep a quiet heart as I wait for Your soon coming in the air. Thank You that I’m a citizen of heaven right now. Keep me looking down from my heavenly position. Thank You that I am not under the circumstances, but above them. Thank You for the stress at work that presses me into You. I know You control this old world are working out Your perfect plan for Your glory and honor. Please keep me mindful of this today. In Christ’s name, I pray, Amen.
I always tell new nurses to allow themselves at least six to twelve months to adjust to a job. I built more fun and laughter into my life and made sure I had seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. In my morning quiet time, before I went to work, I asked God to give me a Bible verse to meditate upon and memorize during the day. As I drove my car from patient to patient, I enjoyed listening to Bible messages and uplifting audiobooks, singing, and praying (with my eyes open!). Please share in the comments section your favorite ways to relieve your job stress.
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