The S**t Show

I walk into work at 7 in the morning and it is a s**t show! The lobby is packed, the overhead paging system is already announcing the arrival of multiple ambulances, the night shift staff is anxious to give report, and morning staff meeting has been cancelled, because there is no time to waste. Welcome to work! Sigh!

I sit down with the night shift nurse to take report on my 5 rooms, and we keep getting interrupted by the call lights: “My mom needs…..”, “How much longer?”, “We’ve been here ALL night”, “I pulled my IV out”, “Dad had an ‘accident’.” Sheesh! But wait…it gets better! The psych unit downstairs also has six patients, and we have no extra nurse to help us care for them. I guess I’ll be taking report on those ones too.

The Shift

I have been at work for exactly 15 minutes at this point. Already my shoulders are getting tense, I can feel the irritation already creeping in, and I have subconsciously made the decision that this day is going to SUCK! HMMMMM! I still have a 12 hour shift ahead of me, and I have already made the decision that my day is going to suck. Then a brief moment of clarity emerges. “Wait a minute,” I think to myself. “I don’t have to let today suck. I can change my attitude right now.”

If I had stuck with that initial reaction, my day absolutely would have sucked. Instead, I closed my eyes, took a big deep breath, coaxed my shoulders to relax down out of my ears and changed my attitude! “This day is NOT going to suck. This day is going to be busy and go by quickly. This day will be full with opportunities to make a difference for my patients. Today I am going to make an extra effort to keep my mood relaxed and cheerful so that my co-workers will enjoy working with me.”

Sweet Moments

Because of my decision to change my “TUDE, my day didn’t suck! My day was insanely busy, but it was filled with sweet patient care moments, laughs shared between co-workers, and a general sense of a crazy day well-handled.

Every single moment, no matter the circumstances, we all have the ability to choose our attitude and to change our perspective. Do you want to spend a 12 hour shift irritated, cranky, and short-tempered?

The New ‘Tude

Do you want to spend any precious time in your life responding to the automatic responses that create unhappiness? I think not! I encourage you to simply take a deep breath and, no matter what the situation, actively make a choice to change your attitude. Go ahead and say to yourself, “Choose your ‘tude dude!” Just that statement should make you smile, and now you are on your way to a brighter day.