The “Super” Nurse: Can this be harmful to your Health?
Posted On 12/17/2018
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The Strong Independent Woman
I saw a post the other day on social media that caught my attention. The post was talking about the role of a “strong independent woman”. It was basically saying that the strong woman is a portrayal of strength, independence, and courage in the face of adversities. The strong independent woman shows no weakness. She gets the job done (whatever that job may be) with or without help from anyone. It was a very interesting read, but there was one part of the article that caught my eye. It was about some of the disadvantages of being that strong woman. Apparently, per the article, some women were potentially putting themselves at harm in order to maintain this role. Apparently, the stress and pressure involved can lead to potential health hazards, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Not to mention the mental effects of depression and anxiety disorders.
I was like WOW. And then I thought about how this might be true in my own life, or the life of other women I knew.
It got me thinking about the role of the “super” nurse. Yes, the super nurse. You know that nurse who does everything spot-on. She goes to work smiling all the time. She volunteers to precept the new nurses and any nursing students when the other staff members shy away from the task. She takes on the responsibility of charge nurse when no one else will. The super nurse will come in and cover extra shifts when staffing is short, or the unit is busy, just so she can help out her fellow co-workers. She’s the nurse that, when her co-workers see her name on the schedule, they know they will have a good day. No matter how crazy it might be. (To be clear, I refer to the nurse as “she” just for reference when writing, I am quite aware that male nurses can be “super” too)
So everyone loves this nurse. Everyone knows they can go to her for advice and resource help. Everyone thinks she is awesome.
Then one day this nurse, this “super” nurse snaps. It seems to happen out of nowhere, or maybe it was some kind of small conflict. But regardless of the cause, “super” nurse had had enough and has a total meltdown or even worse she just gets up and quits. Everyone is now scratching their head in a state of bewilderment, wondering what the hell just happened.
The nurse had simply had enough. Click here to read Burn Out: Are You Burnt Out? It’s hard to be pleasant all the time. It’s hard work to appear calm, happy, accommodating, and controlled in a stressful environment. Especially when taking on extra work to help out the unit. All this can take a real hard toll on the body and the mind.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every nurse is just working up to a boiling point when they will just snap. No. Nurses work in stressful environments and are usually the face of calm in a sea of chaos.
Finding an Outlet
Everyone needs an outlet to let go of the stress in their life. If nurses don’t have an outlet, then all that stress gets internalized and manifests itself in different ways. It could turn into the nurse that just snaps and quits. Or the nurse that has a stroke or develops a chronic disease.
Wendy "Sekkori" is an aspiring writer and blogger, all while holding down a day job as a registered nurse and being a wife and mother.
"Sekkori’s Stories is my little place on the web where I can talk about some of the issues that are passionate to me and are important things that others can learn from. These are my nursing career, my writing project, and healthy habits to live a less stressful life".