Thank you to the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia for permission to adapt their case study.
Her shift hasn’t even started and already Doris has snapped at a colleague. She knows she’s become increasingly short-tempered as winter sets in.
She thought getting through the holiday season would improve her irritability but it hasn’t. Each year Doris finds it harder to manage this time of the year. She is often grumpy with friends and co-workers — she has to force herself to be pleasant. She’s started taking breaks alone to avoid conversations with others. Her shifts seem to drag and she has to work to stay focused.
At work, Doris believes she is keeping everything well hidden. She’s caught off guard when her colleague, Rachel, asks, “Are you alright? You’re not yourself — you seem really distant and distracted. I’m worried about you.” At the same time as Doris quickly responds, “I’m fine, just fine,” she begins to understand she is not.
Doris is responsible for maintaining her physical, psychological and emotional fitness to practise. She’s accountable for her decisions, actions and professional conduct. This could include assessing her practice and undertaking self-care activities to meet identified learning goals and improve her fitness to practise. By reflecting on and addressing her fitness to practise, Doris would be taking steps towards meeting Indicator 5.9 of the Self-Regulation Standard in the Practice Standards for Regulated Members.
When you assess your practice, how do you think about maintaining your physical, psychological and emotional fitness to practise? What does it lead you to do?
Doris chose to seek help. After counselling and treatment, she’s more aware of her triggers and can better manage her negative thoughts and emotions. She reflects that she has more energy and she doesn’t have to work so hard at being pleasant. She feels good when Rachel tells her that she‘s happy to have the “old Doris” back.
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