PAID FOR INTERRUPTIONS


I use a lot of coping statements to help me lower my own anxiety from time to time. In cases where I am stressed, I use one of two methods.  First, I decide what the worst outcome could be in the situation I’m worried about.  Then, I come up with a coping statement that basically says how I would deal with the worst case scenario.   My second type of coping statement is for cases I can’t change or influence therefore I simply have to accept.  I convince myself I can handle it.  At work, my day is made up of a constant battle to get my own work done while deflecting interruptions and random assignments thrown my way.  I daresay out of an 8 hour work day I only get snatches of about 10 minutes at the time of uninterrupted ability to do my job.  Sometimes an hour or more passes before I can get back to what I was doing before an interruption or random task.  Keep in mind, these random task are often from leadership so I can’t actually say “no”. The interruptions are of equal significance with no ability to say “no” either (distress calls transferred to me by telephone that, although very important, are not related to my scope of assignment).  I, regardless, have to give the calls my full attention because it’s a patient, a distressed family member, or even a co-worker who needs consultation and guidance in managing a patient situation.  Finally, I realized last week that, although my official duties are important and eventually have to be completed, my main role at work is to simply be available for interruptions and random assignments!  Using this particular coping statement, my stress lowers and I can reduce the constant feeling of panic that I endure most days of the work week.  Again, if I can’t avoid or influence it, then I, somehow have to accept it and make the best of it.  Hey, we do what we have to do, right?

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