Dear Abby: I have been a nurse for 10 years and love taking care of my patients. I have worked at a mid-size hospital for 2½years.
Since I started working here, we have been assigned six or seven patients at a time, although I was told when I was hired they were going to hire enough nurses to have a 4-to-1 ratio. It not only hasn’t happened, but the administration keeps piling on paperwork for the nurses to complete.
I have anxiety, and this is about to cause me to break. I love my job, and I don’t want to leave. I just wish they would be more considerate of their nurses instead of making them feel like I do right now, which is wanting to find something else.
Should I say something to my charge nurse about how I’m feeling? I’m afraid if I do, I’ll be pushed out of this job. Adding to my anxiety is that my daughter now works at the same facility, and I’m afraid if I say anything they will punish her. Please offer me your advice. – Anxious R.N. in Alabama
Dear Anxious R.N.: Because you feel the stress is becoming too much, I do think you should address it with your charge nurse. It’s the truth. Because the pandemic has increased the workload on all medical caregivers, you are far from alone in feeling overwhelmed.
When you speak up, do not couch it in terms of the fact that your employers haven’t followed through on their promises. Do it strictly in terms of the effect it is having on you. I doubt you will be fired because experienced nurses are in such high demand right now. However, if you are let go and your daughter is questioned about it, all she should say is that the workload and the stress became too much for you. Speaking your truth should be no reflection on her.
Dear Abby: New neighbors moved into my apartment building about a month ago. I don’t mind that sometimes I hear their kids. I don’t mind that sometimes I hear the adults. But! Their alarm clock wakes me up every morning at 6 a.m. It’s loud and I’m guessing it’s up against the adjoining wall.
Normally, I sleep until 8. I work from home, and I’m usually up until 1 a.m. or so. I’m a night owl, and I simply can’t go to sleep any earlier.
It’s impossible to sleep through their alarm. It has been weeks. I am afraid if I complain they will call me a racist because I am white, and they are Black. But it’s not a race thing; it’s a sleep thing. What should I do? – Sleepless in Baltimore
Dear Sleepless: Write a polite note to the new neighbors and introduce yourself. Explain the problem you are experiencing and ask if they can help you by either moving their alarm clock to a different part of their bedroom or adjusting the ring to make it softer. (It could be as simple as placing their clock on a soft surface like a towel.) If they are unwilling to cooperate, as a last resort try earplugs and talk to the building manager about the noise problem.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.