How the word "no" can stop you going crazy

29 Aug 2016 11:12 AMDPT DPT
How the word "no" can stop you going crazy

When you are a new assistant nurse you want to say yes to every shift you are offered. Right? Of course, you would but should you?

To say Yes or No?

But what happens when you want to say no. The shift clashes with an important event or meeting of you need some me or family time. As a new staff member, there will come a time when you will want to say no.

But should you? Will you lose shifts if you knock them back?

Other real-life scenarios are:

Your workplace is short staffed and you feel guilty for not helping out.

You’ve been offered a weekend shift or public holiday shift.

Your workplace or other staff subtly make you feel guilty for not saying yes.

You’ve already said no a few times so how often is too often?

These may be questions or scenes running through your mind.


There are nurses who don’t have kids or other responsibilities and can say yes anytime. You  should not be penalised because you don’t want on be on-call.



~ Don’t answer your phone from work on your days off. Just don’t. Even if you can drop everything and you may get brownie points – just don’t.


~Plan your days off. Even if the plan is to do nothing. That is a plan. Don’t let anybody get past that plan. it is set in concrete. You need down time to recover from your shifts.


~If you are a tiny bit run down or exhausted or not feeling well on your days off – say no or don’t answer the phone.


Mandatory staff ratios would make everybody’s life easier for rostering staff, management  and the all other staff but until that happens it may be best to say no but also go with the flow and be flexible.