Sleep has been evading me after a stretch of two or three shifts in a row. I find myself tossing and turning, worrying about this or that detail, or anxious about a patient who wasn’t doing well. I have nightmares where patients who were doing fine all of the sudden take a turn for the worse. I’ve even called after my shifts a couple of times to check on how a patient was doing, which I’m sure gave the next shift’s nurses a good chuckle.

My preceptors reassure me that this anxiety does subside over time, and it’s a signal that I care about my patients and my job. I worry that I’m taking it a little too personally sometimes, but I also would rather care too much than not care enough. It’s just becoming a struggle over how not to take it home with me.

So I have a plea to those of you who have been in this longer than me. How do you do it? How do you care enough to do your job well and still get a good night’s sleep?

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