Hello, this is Kitt. I was out of town when you posted on the 20th and missed your post. I apologize. :)
I am a RN with 26 years of experience in ICU and ER. I spent the last part of my career managing the ER and Respiratory Care. I am a lot like you and I managed to get through some pretty wobbly times. I also am sensitive and always work better on praise then criticism. Throughout my carreer I drove home in tears many times.
Most of the time it was stress driven and I did not feel like I was as good as the other nurses who just did the job when I was so anxious inside and my hands shook. Starting an IV with shaky hands was not easy. I ended up on Inderal for the hand tremor. It helped. :( But I hated that I needed it.
I have read a lot about burn out and being a bit OCD I always offered to do more, pick up shifts and work doubles...........then into management with no training so I had to learn by the seat of my pants. That is where it started to get really tough for me, I had a hard time reprimanding people, I have a soft heart and I did not want people to hate me or think I was mean.
I hid the stress at work but would cry at home until finely I started to break at work. That is when I gave myself permission to retire.
I was like you, I was afraid and I would repeat my mantra to help me get through a code or whatever the emergency, I would say "I AM A Professional, I Can Do This" You see I loved taking care of the patients, it was the short staffing and high census and dealing with difficult peers that wore me down. If I made an error I was so hard on myself I would cry for days thinking how stupid I was.
So my friend, do not beat yourself up, do not be afraid to change your mind if O R is not where it is at for you. Give yourself permission to be human. You wear many hats in a 24 hour period, try to leave the nursing cap at work. Don't dwell on just work. It doesn't help.
Nursing is your chosen profession not who you are. You are a wonderful and caring person with a life to live.
Laugh often. Dream big. Reach for the Stars.
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
*Wife of a Crohnie*