Newly qualified nurse speaks of ‘overwhelming stress and exhaustion’ with every shift

The newly qualified nurse has spoken of “overwhelming stress” and “exhaustion” with every shift.

In a post shared on social media, a newly qualified A&E nurse has spoken of the “overwhelming stress” that comes with the role.

She said: “I’m 7 months post qualification and you have broken me.

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I arrive on duty to shift (after being called in due to low staffing levels) to there being 2 of us on the main A&E floor. There’s meant to be six nurses in this area.

“Treatments are piled up, chest pain, sepsis, confusion, intoxication – the list goes on. I took over 7 cubicles, each of them needed all of the initial assessments, 3 needed morphine, all needed a new set of observations.

The clearly over-worked nurse then talks about the difficulty of balancing a cardiac arrest and several emergencies admissions with her other pre-existing workload; “Our already huge workload was piling up every minute, I have not had a spare split second today, none of us have. How can it be that 13hrs is not enough time?

“I’ve trained so hard for this, really hard, we all have. How can it be that now I’m finally where I want to be, [but] I cry with exhaustion and overwhelming stress with every shift? I do not want to feel like this anymore.

Adding; “It’s the people that keep me going. Our fantastic team who work like Trojan horses day in day out.”

“Our patients, who mostly are having the very worst day of their lives. In amongst all the chaos, I can see how much they need me. So I keep going. Like we all do.

“My worry is how long I can keep this up?”, she adds.

Signing off the post with “What’s even sadder, is that I’ve had to work extra agency shifts to be able to afford a 4 day UK caravan holiday for my family. Nothing posh or fancy, just time away for the holidays. What was leftover from my wages wasn’t enough to cover it.”

Earlier this month it was announced that applications to undergraduate nursing degrees had dropped by a further 12% and a major survey by Nursing Standard and the Sunday Mirror, two-thirds of nurses say that patient care has deteriorated significantly in the past five years.

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