The nursing shortage and travel nursing have undoubtedly affected staffing in emergency departments. How is that affecting the staff emergency room nurses trying to fill in the gaps? This episode of the Hope4Med podcast features RN Kayla Mather, an ER nurse from Orlando, Florida. RN Mather tells her story of experiencing burnout while working in the emergency department during the COVID pandemic. She shares how she recovered from burnout through prioritizing herself and the self-care activities she enjoys. We discuss the importance of taking “me time” to improve our mental wellness and combat stress and burnout.
Hope4Med with RN Kayla Mather
[00:00:00] Dr. JB: Welcome to Hope4Med.
[00:00:04] Welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast. I’m Dr. JB and today’s featured guest is nurse Kayla Mather, she is a nurse working in Orlando, Florida. Welcome!
[00:00:16] RN Kayla Mather: Thank you for having me.
[00:00:17] Dr. JB: So let’s start from the beginning, I’m always so interested to know people’s stories as to what made you decide to become a nurse.
[00:00:27] RN Kayla Mather: Okay. So I kind of have a, I feel like a little bit of a different background as far as jumping into nursing. So for me going through high school and starting college, I really loved computers and design. So I actually was going to school for graphic design and I went to a few different schools within the area to find where I really liked. And so for me I started in the graphic design world early on in, in my schooling and realized that I was not, I didn’t really want to do this long-term, it was more of a hobby that I was trying to do. And so I was at a standstill as far as what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life.
[00:01:07] And my boyfriend, who’s now my husband he, his mom was a nurse, his sister was in nursing school, and, we sat down one day and decided to look through different nursing programs in the area. And he told me flat out, “I see you as a nurse.” And I was really taken aback because I didn’t really know exactly all what nursing involved and so, did a little bit more research together and decided on a local school and I just went ahead and applied. I got accepted and had to start doing prerequisite programs, and ever since I started nursing school, I absolutely loved it. The people that I was around, the teachers that I met were absolutely amazing, the school that I was at was very positive, spiritual-oriented, just really wanted you to succeed in the program. So I felt that was very heartwarming and really had a great experience through nursing school, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
[00:02:04] So as a nurse– growing up, I always really loved helping people and I really enjoyed making people feel better, so I guess I didn’t really think of that as a career at any point in time in my life, kind of the light bulb went off when someone else told me, ” hey, I see you as a nurse,” so I dug a little bit deeper and saw what it was all, what it was about and kind of went forward from there and loved it ever since.
[00:02:30] Dr. JB: And so after completing nursing school, what did you do after that?
[00:02:34] RN Kayla Mather: So after I graduated nursing school, when I was in my last semester, I was able to do my preceptorship or my practicum in the emergency department. When I originally started nursing school, I thought I wanted to do either pediatrics, mother/baby, labor and delivery, just because I enjoyed those clinical experiences first and foremost, but once I went towards the end of my schooling, I really loved the critical care aspect. I had shadowed in the ICU and I liked that to a certain extent, but when I shadowed in the emergency department, that’s kind of when my eyes just lit up. I loved the craziness, the high adrenaline, the hospital that I did my clinical hours at, which I ended up doing my internship there too, they just welcomed me with open arms as a student. They brought me to so many different things that I got to see and help and learn, and so just being part of a, an environment that was really fostering and welcoming of new people that wanted to learn and grow really resonated with me. So I decided that I wanted to apply to this emergency department that I did my practicum at and I was able to be hired as a new graduate nurse, which can be quite challenging, especially in a critical care area, so I was very thankful to have had that opportunity. And I’ve never worked on the floor before as a nurse, I always feel like my heart lies in the emergency department. So I’m kind of in a new role in responsibility in the emergency department, I recently left the hospital emergency department and now am at a free-standing emergency department, so there’s quite a bit of differences but my heart always lies in the emergency room and I don’t think I’ll be anywhere else but there.
[00:04:24] Dr. JB: Nice. I’m definitely partial, as an emergency room physician, it’s definitely a challenging environment to work in but lots of critical care and you never know what’s going to walk through those doors.
[00:04:36] RN Kayla Mather: You’re absolutely right.
[00:04:38] Dr. JB: And so, as an emergency medicine nurse, have you experienced any symptoms of burnout?
[00:04:44] RN Kayla Mather: So I recently have. I had been part of a study from a local hospital in the area, back in 20, I think 2018, 2019. I had decided to participate in a study and at the time, the study was all about burnout and recognizing that. And for me, I just took all of this information and just kind of filed it in my brain to have because at that time there were a lot of other people going through burnout that were part of this study. And for me, like, I loved what I was doing. I didn’t think that that would ever happen to me just because I was so, so happy with where I was in my career and, just kind of filed things for later if I ever did experience that. And so I didn’t start to experience burnout until kind of COVID came about more so back in August to about October of last year, 2020. I had been working overtime shifts. I had, throughout my nursing career I had started as a staff nurse and kind of worked my way up through charge nurse and leadership roles. And so, that kind of stress that’s completely different from a staff nursing level. Granted, as a leader, we would still help quite frequently at the bedside, but there were other roles and responsibilities that we had to uphold. So doing overtime contracts was, the money is extremely enticing and you never think that burnout or compassion fatigue is going to happen to yourself. You see a lot of other people go through it. I had a close nursing friend that was struggling with it, she ended up leaving the emergency department altogether because she was just so burnt out and so over everything. So helping her through that process really opened my eyes. For me, I was like, I’m a strong nurse. I can do this. I can do an overtime contract it will be fine. Like this won’t happen to me. And by the third week of this four week overtime contract, I was just, I had had it.
[00:06:45] I, for me, I’m a very positive, energetic person and it takes a whole lot for me to really get annoyed aggravated. So I was waking up for work, I was negative all the time. I was already anticipating that the, every single day that I was coming to work was going to be absolutely terrible. I was going to have to pick up the pieces for so many different things. And I was just, I didn’t feel like I was acting myself. I was very short fused, short tempered, not only at work, which people may or may not have noticed, but also at my home level too. So I kind of I hit my breaking point and one morning before going to work, I absolutely just bawled my eyes out. I was crying hysterically to my husband and, we had had numerous conversations about leaving my current role and going elsewhere to be a little bit more happier. And so when I hit that breaking point that morning, bawling my eyes out just shaking from the anxiety of tackling another day, I realized then and there, I need to do what’s best for my self, I need to do what’s best for my family, and I need to look elsewhere. Again, I never thought that something like this would happen to me and didn’t really realize they anxiety aspects or the negativity that it has on you and others around you. So once I unfortunately hit my breaking point, other people that I had spoken to or helped through the burnout process, I again, I never thought that would happen to me, and just talking about it, I always kind of get pretty emotional about it. And so if I cry, I’m sorry. But overall like it, it took that breaking point for me to know that I needed to focus on myself. I needed to not please everybody else around me. I needed to please myself.
[00:08:35] Dr. JB: That’s so true and it’s unfortunate that for so many of us, it takes getting to that point to realize the importance of self-care, the importance of making our needs central.
[00:08:54] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah, that’s so true. It’s ever since that breaking point, I really realized that I need to take time for myself. I need to do more self care activities. So I have been very adamant about that. Now I, I’m sure we’ll kind of touch on this a little bit more later, but you know, I wake up every morning and do yoga. It helps me tremendously to decompress from my day, my previous day, and just take time for myself to be in the moment and to figure out my thoughts, my feelings, and journaling, and just, self care is very important.
[00:09:32] Dr. JB: That’s extremely right. And just to revisit what you had said earlier, you took on an overtime contract, so how many hours were you working?
[00:09:42] RN Kayla Mather: So it was one extra shift every week for the duration of four weeks. So I was working four 12-hour shifts with an additional bonus for each extra shift for the week and then an allotment of a bonus at the end once you did complete your contract. So the money aspect was very enticing just because, It’s always nice to have extra money, whether for vacations, paying bills, anything of that nature. So, I figured, hey, I’m, I wasn’t necessarily struggling financially, but I thought it would be a great to have additional money for myself and my husband and any sort of traveling we wanted to do. So I went ahead and took on that role. I know there was a little bit of nudging in my department as far as, hey, like you guys should pick up this extra, these extra shifts and whatnot. And I essentially, for me, I’m a people pleaser, that’s kind kinda what it boils down to. So I know our department was struggling and I wanted to be that source of hope for people. So my coworkers, my manager, and I wanted to help. But unfortunately, it put me in a dark place and brought me to my breaking point. But at the same time, I’m very thankful for it because I’m more aware about mental health and taking time for myself. And it’s brought me to a new place where I’m really happy. So it’s, it was also, it was a blessing and a curse all at the same time.
[00:11:04] Dr. JB: And so normally you work three 12-hour shifts a week?
[00:11:07] RN Kayla Mather: Yes.
[00:11:08] Dr. JB: Okay. So it was four extra shifts a month and this was in the midst of COVID?
[00:11:13] RN Kayla Mather: Yes.
[00:11:15] Dr. JB: Where the hospitals were overwhelmed– and hospitals are still overwhelmed.
[00:11:20] RN Kayla Mather: Right. Exactly.
[00:11:22] Dr. JB: So why was your hospital so short-staffed, was it because people were leaving to go travel?
[00:11:28] RN Kayla Mather: I feel like it was a combination of things, the, again, the enticement of making extra money, there were a lot of people that wanted to go up and travel, people were either getting sick themselves. So we were short-staffed in that aspect. My manager would be in charge of the schedule and sometimes call-outs were a huge thing and there were– I personally didn’t feel like there was any repercussions for calling out or any accountability to a certain extent, so that was quite frustrating for us as managers to have to call extra people in or kind of make do with what we had. But a majority of traveling assignments and the money that people were making with travel contracts was definitely a huge, huge aspect of people leaving.
[00:12:16] And trying to bridge the gap of the staff, we had a lot of staff members that were either in tech roles or paramedic roles that were graduating and becoming nurses. So we had lack of tech and paramedic roles just because they were transitioning to a newer role. And so there was extra gaps that had to be filled. So, a combination of call-outs, people leaving to travel, people going back to school, but I feel like probably traveling was definitely one of the, one of the main things.
[00:12:49] Dr. JB: It seems to me that, COVID aside, the normal day to day progression of staff in the emergency department would consist of people calling out, people transitioning out of roles of techs, nursing assistants, as they climb their way up as they get more and more education, but I can definitely see how probably the amount of sick calls increased tremendously, right? You’re, you’re on the front lines. You’re just exposed all the time. You’re surrounded by COVID. In addition to the regular reasons why people would be calling out sick, right? And then, so it seems like emergency departments are chronically understaffed prior to COVID coming on.
[00:13:36] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah. Yeah, I’d have to agree. We are exposed to so many different things and we put our lives on the line to help other people’s lives and it really is challenging. Like you said, the turnover rates in the emergency department are always high. And I don’t know if that will ever change.
[00:13:54] Dr. JB: But it’s just exponentially more so now because then you add on travel and like, and I, I’ve heard some interesting or astronomical numbers in terms of how much people are getting paid to travel. Could you talk about that a little bit more?
[00:14:08] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah, so, two of my good friends at my previous employer once left to go traveling. And so they, just talking with them and about the hourly rates or the weekly rates that they would get paid, I’m like, that’s more than I make as a leader, that’s absolutely insane. For me, I would eventually love to travel and travel with my husband, who’s a new graduate nurse and working in the ER also, so he kind of has a little bit of craziness to ensue himself, but I feel like for– it’s very enticing, especially for young single people who want to be able to travel the world and make good money. This is definitely a great opportunity. And it’s an unfortunate that it’s taken a pandemic for this to occur, but you know, a lot of people are taking advantage of it and I don’t blame them for doing so. The numbers are crazy.
[00:15:03] Dr. JB: But you didn’t take an assignment to travel?
[00:15:07] RN Kayla Mather: Correct, yeah. I would love to travel, but for me, I’m kind of a hermit when it comes to being in one place and one place only. But I, for me, later on down the road, traveling would definitely be a great thing. I don’t really want to be home from my family long periods of time, so that’s the main reason why I haven’t decided to travel, but I know there, there’s a lot of options within the area to where you can travel 50 miles outside of where you live. There is that opportunity as well.
[00:15:39] Dr. JB: So, it, it sounds like to me, part of what kind of brought you to your breaking point was the fact that the emergency department was even more understaffed than normal, and they were leaning on what few staff was left to carry this ever increasing heavy burden.
[00:16:02] RN Kayla Mather: Yes, absolutely. And just, the exhaustion of dealing with very sick and critical patients, patients that are impatient, you deal with so many different walks of life in the emergency department. Some people are extremely understanding, other people are not. You are cursed out, people just act, it’s it’s mind boggling how some people act when they don’t get their way, that instant gratification. And, you know, trying to bring people back to reality and explain to them why certain things are happening and communication is a huge thing, especially in the emergency department, about any sort of delays why certain things are happening. And people can be very selfish, they constantly want to think about themselves and not others, so that’s definitely a challenging aspect. And some people are extremely grateful for the things that you do and other people are not. Nursing is such a thankless job.
[00:16:57] Dr. JB: That’s very true. I’ll take this opportunity to say that I appreciate the work that you do.
[00:17:02] RN Kayla Mather: Thank you.
[00:17:03] Dr. JB: And working with various nurses, emergency room nurses, the work that you do is amazing. And I wouldn’t be able to do the work that I do as a physician without you guys doing your part. So I appreciate you very much.
[00:17:15] RN Kayla Mather: Thank you. And I appreciate you as well. As emergency physicians, you guys are just as stressed out as we are, dealing with so many different sick, critical patients. And we are there to help bridge that gap and work together as a team in order to make people better. So, fostering those relationships with the whole entire care team is very important and essential.
[00:17:39] Dr. JB: So going back to when you started crying before going in to do your shifts and you felt like you were getting to your breaking point, what resources were available to you?
[00:17:54] RN Kayla Mather: So I know for me, I did reach out to a lot of friends, family members. I started following a lot of social media personnel as far as like self care. I didn’t go to therapy at all, I did encourage a lot of my fellow friends to follow through with that, but that wasn’t something that I personally did myself. I did a lot of journaling. I did a lot of just talking and venting to close people. But I do know there are a lot of resources, Better Help, Ginger, certain apps that are utilized for not only mental health but just therapy in general. For me, just talking to close friends and taking time for myself really helps kind of bring me back to reality and realize what I needed to do, but I know there are a lot of resources out there either through hospitals that you work for or just of word of mouth mental health services.
[00:18:51] But I did again, reach out to a lot of friends, family members, and at the time there were a lot of like self-care activities that I was doing through Instagram posts and just directions and projects that people were putting forth to help with self care. So I did participate in a few things like that.
[00:19:09] Dr. JB: And I know in the very beginning, you mentioned that you had participated in a burnout research study. So at that point you were not experiencing symptoms of burnout, how did they recruit you for that study?
[00:19:20] RN Kayla Mather: So, I think, I’m trying to remember the specifics as far as how I got into that study. I think it was something through nursing school cause the school that I went to was affiliated with a large hospital in the area and I think they were just trying to recruit people who were already in nursing or starting nursing, kind of a different paths in their career. And so, it was kind of neat because that study had been done. And I don’t really know what kind of happened with it, but there was a point in time where one of the people that was a part of the study actually wanted to reach out to those that had originally participated and kind of do like a follow-up. And so, that was kind of more towards the, probably the middle of COVID. And so that kind of gave me an opportunity to really hone in on the things that they had originally talked about in the study. And I definitely did take a lot of those things to heart and kind of took those files out of the back of my brain and looked at them a little bit more, and certain things as far as recognizing feelings and emotions, journaling those emotions. I used a lot of the, the tools and tactics from that study to kind of help me a little bit better and following up with those who were part of conducting the study, they were able to, I feel like, gather a lot of additional helpful information with the pandemic.
[00:20:45] Dr. JB: Wow. And so, were you able to take any time off?
[00:20:49] RN Kayla Mather: I feel like, I didn’t really. Once I hit my breaking point, I didn’t work any extra shifts. I said no to like picking up extra shifts. It’s okay to say no, and I really realized that once I hit my breaking point and then was recovering from that. So I definitely spent a lot more time with self-care activities on my off days, taking time away from my phone, utilizing massage therapy, decompressing through yoga, music, being outside. That was a huge thing for me, taking my dogs on long walks, just being outside on my patio, doing yoga outside, just being in nature was really helpful. And being close, having close contact with friends, family, spending time with them, just really decompressing and not focusing on work. And I feel like once I had stepped down from my leadership role, that was a lot of stress off of my shoulders.
[00:21:50] For me currently, I’m not in a leadership role. I’m back to a staff nursing role and that has a lot of less stress in itself. I do want to work my way back up the ladder, absolutely. I’m currently in school for my Master’s in leadership and management, so I’ve been working on that for about the past six months or so. And just taking time for me and myself has been a huge thing as far as the road to recovery.
[00:22:21] Dr. JB: Yeah. That’s so important, you have to be intentional in terms of setting aside me time, because if you’re not intentional, then there’s never going to be any me time. It’s so easy to fill up your schedule with everything else, except that time for self care.
[00:22:38] RN Kayla Mather: Absolutely. And having a really close friend who was going through burnout and, we were definitely a really good support system for one another. And any time that we had set forth plans to hang out and kind of either bailing on each other last minute, you know, just being in that same mindset as far as knowing how the other person is feeling and it’s okay to say no to certain activities, even if you had planned them. If you’re not feeling up for it, don’t stress yourself out about it. And again, it’s okay to say no.
[00:23:07] Dr. JB: Yeah, I think that’s so key because it’s so freeing to finally say those two letters, right?
[00:23:13] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah.
[00:23:14] Dr. JB: Especially when, for, for so long, you’re a people pleaser, right? You say, yes, yes, yes. You’re always happy. You’re always there. And then to realize, I need to take care of me. I’m not going to survive this experience if I don’t start prioritizing patient number one.
[00:23:30] RN Kayla Mather: Yep. So true.
[00:23:32] Dr. JB: Patient number one needs to say “no.” No, I can’t take up that extra shift. No, I can’t stay late. No, I can’t come early.
[00:23:41] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah.
[00:23:42] Dr. JB: So, the other thing that you mentioned that I did want to highlight was how for so often when we talk about burnout, we talk about it in relation to work, unmanaged stress, and how that affects our work. But symptoms of burnout go beyond our work environments and it continues outside of work. You were saying how, like you were becoming more short-tempered, even outside of work, correct?
[00:24:10] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah. Yeah, I feel like I, for me, I would always try to leave the stress of work at work and whenever coming home from a tough day, just talking with my husband about what I was feeling or what I was experiencing and I just felt like, if he wasn’t in tune with how I was feeling or kind of on the same level or page as me. He was going through nursing school and he has his own stresses and I don’t want to be a burden to a certain extent, but at the same time, you have to be comfortable with talking to your significant other and that’s one thing that I learned that’s huge. And, again, being open, being honest, I always feel like I could be myself around my husband and for him, I would apologize for being either short-fused, short-tempered. And he didn’t feel like I was, but I felt like for me personally, like I was, I was very emotional and I just would get angered inside very easily with like stupid, little silly things and I couldn’t really understand why I was feeling those ways. And I feel like a lot of work kind of came home as far as wanting to vent all the time or just being so annoyed with certain things, and really taking the time to figure out how we can change the environment that I’m in, what is the next step that I can take? And my husband has been a huge advocate as far as, he’s been a great rock for me to lean on and open my eyes to certain things. And when I hit my breaking point, he said flat out, like, you need to leave. You need to go elsewhere. And that was the hard truth that I had to face.
[00:25:46] I couldn’t keep going back to being so negative, so frustrated with work and so angry. So, we took the time to sit down, look for new jobs together. And once I hit that submit button for an application at a another facility, or even just thinking or having the thought that, hey, I am going to leave this facility. I’m going to leave this toxic environment for myself and move on, that was such a weight off of my shoulders. Just having that decision and saying it out loud was huge. And then taking that next step of, hey, this is the next place that I see myself and hitting that submit button for an application. It was just, it was, again, it was such a huge weight off my shoulders, knowing that I was leaving where I was so angry, so annoyed, and potentially going to another area that I could love and kind of start over.
[00:26:44] Dr. JB: But you left that prior environment equipped with some tools and some abilities, right? Because you made the decision to start taking care of yourself before you left, because so often you can just switch from one job to another and the same thing continues.
[00:27:02] RN Kayla Mather: Right. Yeah, that is that’s very true. And even going through the process of being hired at a new facility and interviewing, word of mouth travels fast, and just interviewing with my current manager now, I– it was, I feel like we just clicked instantaneously. I had heard nothing but great things from other people that I knew and that worked with this manager and just the reviews in general seemed like a great fit for me. So once I interviewed, I accepted the role in this new facility, this freestanding emergency department, and going through the training process and being with new individuals who are well-experienced themselves and have been through a bunch of different emergency departments and just have a lot of knowledge to lay on the table, and it’s been a great experience. I love everybody that I work with. I love our upper management.
[00:27:59] We even recently started exercising in the morning during our huddles. It’s really, really fun. One day, one of our doctors came in and said, hey, do you guys want to stretch with me? And I was like, yes, because I love doing yoga, like I’m all for physical activity. So we decided to do that for just 10 minutes during our huddle and it’s been, we’ve been doing it ever since that day. So it’s been great. It’s a great way to get the blood flow in the morning and I feel like it just kind of sets the tone for the day. Everybody’s just ready to rock and roll.
[00:28:32] Dr. JB: Oh, that’s awesome. So happy you found a better, healthier environment for you, and that you continue you to focus on your self-care and really talk about the importance of self-care. Again, I have a big emphasis on taking care of patient number one and, we tend to forget about patient number one.
[00:28:55] RN Kayla Mather: Yup.
[00:28:55] Dr. JB: The only time we see patient number one is when we look in the mirror, we see everybody else, we see everybody else’s needs. And oftentimes, patient number one’s needs are put on the back burner, patient number one, doesn’t pee, patient number one doesn’t eat, doesn’t drink water, doesn’t the sleep, all of those things.
[00:29:12] RN Kayla Mather: That’s so true. And we preach to our patients too, you have to take care of yourself first before you take care of others. And, you know, it’s kind of a slap in the face when you don’t live up to what you’re saying to your patients. And unfortunately it takes time for you to realize that, hey, you have to take care of patient number one, that’s me. Like, I need to focus on me before, I can be beneficial to others.
[00:29:32] Dr. JB: And then even having that outlet where you can talk and share about what you’ve experienced through your day. Thankfully, for you, your husband is in healthcare, and so he kind of has a sense of what it is that you’re talking about. But we experience so much stress throughout our day and it just keeps piling and piling and piling, and when do we have time to release it? As an emergency medicine nurse, tell me, when do you have time in your day in the ER to release the stress?
[00:30:07] RN Kayla Mather: So for me, one of the things that I started doing at my previous facility was I would, if and when I was able to take a lunch, I went outside. We had picnic tables that were available to sit at, granted, depending on weather conditions, that was always a great place to go. And a few months before I left my previous job, I took the time to sit outside and that was a huge thing, just being away from the call bells going off and the possibility of interruption in the break room. That was great to take 30 minutes just to be outside, just see outside of the walls of the emergency department, and that was a huge thing. I, whenever I would come back from my 30 minute break, I would just almost feel rejuvenated and that’s something that I continued to do at my new employer. We have this beautiful picnic table set up outside, overlooks a little retention pond, there’s trees, I’ll quickly scarf down my food and I will lay on the table, I will just soak up the sun. It feels great.
[00:31:17] Dr. JB: That’s awesome. And it goes again with your love of being outdoors, nature walks with your dogs and things like that, that also has to do with because you got to know who you are and what you like and what is easy stress relief for you. Being outside works well for you, works well for a lot of people, but you know, some people just listen to music, so we’ll go in the break room and they’ll just put on some headphones and just listen to music and closed her eyes and just, just try to, become one with the music. For everyone, they have their own thing that works well for them, that they can participate in the middle of their day. But it’s important for you to A- find out what that thing is, and then, intentionally do it as frequently as you can.
[00:32:02] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah, absolutely. Like I mentioned before, the stretching during huddle, some of my charge nurses say how it’s been super helpful not only one to improve their flexibility, but just to feel good about the day, and on the days that they don’t do it, they can feel and see a huge difference. So just being intentional about the things that you do and, taking the time to keep with your routine because when you kind of fall off the bandwagon, you can definitely see the differences.
[00:32:31] Dr. JB: One of the ways to keep with your routine or anything is to actually scheduled into your day. So, make an appointment with yourself to engage in your self care activity.
[00:32:43] RN Kayla Mather: Yeah, and that’s one thing that I do every morning now actually, with doing yoga and working day shift. I was working mid-shift for awhile before, and so I, I set this time aside to wake up early and do my yoga practice even before work and being consistent with that has been great because oftentimes when I come home from work, I, the last thing I want to do is more exercise. I just want to like lay, relax, not have to worry about doing any sort of physical activity.
[00:33:17] Dr. JB: Yeah, completely understandable. So labor-intensive already working in the emergency department.
[00:33:23] RN Kayla Mather: Right.
[00:33:24] Dr. JB: So, you’ve given so much wonderful advice and now that we’re nearing the end of our time together, do you have any other words of wisdom that you’d like to share with a healthcare professional who might find themselves in that same situation where you found yourself where you were really hitting your wall, what would you like to share with them?
[00:33:43] RN Kayla Mather: I would just have to say any hobbies that you have, any sort of avenue where you really enjoy the time doing something. Whether it’s yoga, whether it’s spending time with friends, be intentional about making that part of your routine because it really makes a huge difference. And for me personally, journaling has been a huge thing as far as just laying all of your emotions, thoughts, feelings on the table and taking the time for you. And it’s, it’s okay to say no to the people that you love, the people that you care about, in order to do what’s best for yourself because at the end of the day, patient one patient number one is extremely important and you need to make sure that you are doing what’s best for yourself before you can help others, because otherwise you’re, you can be in shambles. Like it’s a challenging road, especially during this time, for everybody in so many different industries and just taking that time to figure out what you enjoy most, what takes your mind off of things to decompress, to feel less anxious, to feel more in tune with yourself.
[00:34:56] Dr. JB: Yeah, who says a doc can’t rap? D O C T O R J B. The greatest doctor to ever touch the mic. The greatest podcast ever broadcasted or prerecorded. Come learn some. Each one, teach one. I’m done.