1. De Haan, Julie
  2. Friesen, Pamela K.
  3. Droogsma, Marlynda

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The Ultimate Tums(R)

By Marlynda Droogsma, BSN, RN, works in a postpartum unit at a large metropolitan hospital in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, area.


For 4 months, I took a Tums(R) daily before settling into my car and heading to work. I have a sensitive stomach, but this had nothing to do with what I ate. I was incredibly nervous to go to a job that I absolutely loved. Seems strange, doesn't it?

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I was a new RN, who landed my dream job as a postpartum nurse. With no personal experience of being a mother, I felt loads of pressure to talk, do, and act a certain way around these new parents and their precious bundles. Never mind that I was seeing serious problems like preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelet count). I was practicing nursing in real time and providing appropriate care, according to presenting manifestations and professional standards. Did I mention I also needed to learn the essentials of breastfeeding so I could teach struggling, tearful mothers how to feed their offspring? Someone, please, hand me a Tums(R) as I'm writing!


Most novice RNs begin their careers with similar stories. Many new nurses encounter more serious and critically ill patients than I first did. If you are feeling overwhelmed, scared, nervous, and/or sick to your stomach, you are not alone! Whether you are a student (nursing school is hard), a practicing RN, or a nurse educator, being a nurse is difficult. Daily, nurses are faced with challenging circumstances. The pressure to perform skills and procedures perfectly is an unrealistic expectation-a self-imposed standard we think we must meet. As nursing colleagues, we are in this together, but above that, we are loved and cared for by one bigger than any situation we face. God promises he will never leave us nor fail us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).


One of my favorite Bible passages is Psalm 139. I take comfort in knowing how well God knows me. He knows my thoughts, my comings and goings, and my words. Our finite minds cannot grasp that we are known by God. He knits each of us together while in our mother's womb we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God goes before and follows us; he places his hand of blessing on our heads. He knows our anxious thoughts and asks us to let our requests be prayerfully known to him (Philippians 4:6). God can, and should, be a far greater help in times of crisis than a favorite preceptor, coworker, or charge nurse (Matthew 6:33). Nurses can easily forget this truth when distracted or caught up in a complex assignment. However, we can remind ourselves to take a moment in the med room, break room, or a quiet place, to calm our minds and remember that God is with us. Close your eyes and focus on this promise, this truth: You can give all your worries and fears to God, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).


Words, Not Worry

Jesus instructed, "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26, ESV).


The prophet Jeremiah noted, "Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart" (Jeremiah 15:16, ESV).


The psalmist wrote, "By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path" (Psalm 119:105, MSG).


May we feed on the Word of God and not worry or stress.


Worry Not Quotes

Alfred Nobel (2017) noted, "Worry is the stomach's worst poison."


"That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent." Chinese Proverb (Hendrick, 2014).


"Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere." Erma Bombeck (Hendrick, 2014).


Hendrick E. (2014). 25 empowering worry quotes. Retrieved from [Context Link]


Nobel A. (2017). Stomach quotes. Retrieved from [Context Link]