Imagine a friend of yours had a setback that was ruining her day. A setback that would really only take 5 minutes of work to resolve. Would you help her?
Would you jump in and give 5 minutes of your time and energy to prevent this person you care about from feeling angry or defeated? If you knew this small amount of effort would stop her from totally stressing out, I bet you would be happy to do it.
Now, think about all the times that you ran into an annoyance that would take 5 minutes to fix but you let make you angry. You allowed it to put you in a funk and feel frustration or even resentment towards the people around you.
I suspect you don’t have to think too hard.
Maybe it was when you had to re-take radiographs that should have gone right the first time, re-enter data into your PIMS, or restart the printer. It could have been re-wrapping a catheter that got chewed or making a phone call that someone else should have made before they went home but didn’t. Whatever it was, it only took a few minutes to correct but someone you care about got really bent out of shape over it. (That person was YOU)
Frustrating things are always going to happen. Discomfort is a baked-in part of medicine and life. If you work with human beings, including yourself, you are going to have messes to clean up. You can’t escape that fact.
What you can escape is a negative reaction to minor irritations. If you are willing to take 5 minutes to jump in and fix a problem so that your friend doesn’t stress, get angry or feel defeated, then you should be willing to do the same thing for yourself.
Remember that you will run into situations that make your blood boil. And when you do, you have a choice you can make. Before you bubble over with frustration, ask yourself “how long will this actually take to fix?” and then “if someone I care about was facing this, would I help them and keep it from ruining their day?” If the answer is “yes,” then tell yourself to take a deep breath and do what needs to be done.
We all react strongly sometimes to things that don’t have to be a big deal. If the work required isn’t that great, and you would happily do it to prevent someone else from having their afternoon go up in flames of frustration, then maybe you can step up and save yourself the frustration.