Already burned out...

  1. 1
    I just recently finished my CNA class, but facilities around here will hire students, so I've been working at a nursing home since February. However, I'm already showing signs of burnout.

    I think my facility strives to be a "good" nursing home, but the common perils of LTCs are still there: the toxic work environment, some "bad" CNAs, the mindless repetition of nothing but ADLs, the low pay, the back problems, etc. I dread going to work every day. I really should have known-- the DON told me when I was hired that she's never seen a place where CNAs left so fast. Most new CNAs leave after about six months, and I'll probably find myself leaving before then!

    I've really found myself disagreeing with what nursing homes do in general. I feel like offspring dump their parents there to die, and we only prolong the process. So many residents wish they were gone, and yet we only sustain their misery. If it were up to me, all the residents would be receiving home health care, not stuck in an institution.

    The only reason I took the job was because it was within walking distance, and at the time we could not afford a car. I have a wife, a stepson, and a baby on the way that I need to support, but I need to get out of the nursing home.

    I had a job interview at the hospital (VERY hard to get hired there), and there are some mental health agencies around here I could apply for, assuming transportation works out (we only have one car). But until I find out how things go with the hospital, how can I avoid burnout? I don't want my residents to suffer from poor car due to my stress.
    tokidoki7 likes this.
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  3. 40 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    You've been there less than 2 months...

    I don't "like" nursing homes either. I also think that everyone should receive home health care. But they don't, and all I can do about it is show up to work and do my best while I'm there. Just because you're stressed doesn't mean you have to give the residents poor care- I don't even know what to say about that. I doubt working at the hospital is going to be easy-peasy either.

    Take care of yourself. ie eat well, drink plenty of water (especially at work), exercise, and get enough sleep. You can't completely eliminate stress at work- it's a stressful job- but try to leave it at the door. Have a ritual... maybe use your walk home to go over things in your head as much as you want, but then once you get home, don't let yourself think about work. When you catch yourself stressing out about it, stop.

    If you don't get something done at work, let it go. I have trouble with this because I want everything I do to be perfect and I beat myself up if I miss something. But you can't do everything all the time and it's not your fault.
    Dream Girl, Poi Dog, eveningsky339, and 1 other like this.
  5. 2
    Quote from fuzzywuzzy
    If you don't get something done at work, let it go. I have trouble with this because I want everything I do to be perfect and I beat myself up if I miss something. But you can't do everything all the time and it's not your fault.
    AMEN! I have been a CNA for 2 years and I still struggle with this.

    eveningsky339, even though the facility you are working at my not be ideal, give yourself some more time to get adjusted to being a CNA. The first 3-4 months are the hardest. There is an INCREDIBLE amount of information that they can't teach you in school, and you just have to pick it up by gaining experience on the job. I can't tell you how many lessons I have learned the hard way. You WILL get more confident, and you WILL get better at your job. Just give it time.

    To relieve stress, it really helps to have a hobby you can do. After I started working in LTC, I realized I get enough "drama" at work so all I watch on TV now are comedies. Jammin' to the music on the way home also does wonders. It's hard, but try to keep a sense of humor while you are working. Don't let the little things get to you. And attempt not to get caught up in coworker gossip and drama. Just do your job the best you can and know that it is good enough.

    Good luck with your hospital interview. Hang in there!
    Dream Girl and eveningsky339 like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from fuzzywuzzy
    You've been there less than 2 months...
    I know, and I never expected to be burned out in such a short amount of time! But alas, here I am.

    Quote from fuzzywuzzy
    I don't "like" nursing homes either. I also think that everyone should receive home health care. But they don't, and all I can do about it is show up to work and do my best while I'm there. Just because you're stressed doesn't mean you have to give the residents poor care- I don't even know what to say about that. I doubt working at the hospital is going to be easy-peasy either.
    Obviously, being a CNA is tough no matter where you work. But, during my clinicals at the hospital, I found that I enjoyed the environment much more, and in terms of physical labor the workload was a good deal lighter. I also got to use my brain-- I had to know the patients' medical and nursing diagnoses and how to address them as a CNA.

    I don't feel like I "have" to give residents poor care when I'm stressed. It's just that I become more focused on getting the work done so I can go home. I've caught myself rushing through things lately, and I feel like such a jerk. I genuinely care about my residents and I don't want to give them anything less than the best! But it looks like stress-reduction techniques are the key to "slowing down".

    Thanks for your advice. I really have nothing against geriatrics, and some CNAs are wonderful fits for LTCs, I think I'm just more of an "acute care" kinda guy.
    Happy2bLPN likes this.
  7. 2
    I'm sorry to hear you're burned out but as a daughter of a woman that I had to place in a nursing home let me tell you not everyone dumps thier parents off my mom had a stroke and for safety reasons cannot be left alone.

    You said everyone should have home health well do you think you could pay $20+ /hr 24 hours a day 7 days a week to support your mom? Its very expensive and most nursing homes get paid by medicaid, thats why thier there. I agree the system should be better but it isn't and yes it sucks to have my mom there but I cannot be there for her 24/7 and my house has too many steps I have three kids, Im in school for my masters and cannot afford the kind of care in her home should she would need. I bring her home with us 2-3 days aweek for fun and dinner and I wish others did that too but caring for older ppl is harder in a home environment its just not as safe as nursing centers, ie tile floors tables to walk around small bathrooms slippery chairs small walk paths.

    SO I guess my point is that you shouldn't judge ppl you should just care for the patients the best you can and get out if you don't like it bc your bad attitude is just as offensive and toxic to the families, patients and staff as the others you were complaining about.
    jojo78 and Dream Girl like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from mom2twinsplus1
    I'm sorry to hear you're burned out but as a daughter of a woman that I had to place in a nursing home let me tell you not everyone dumps thier parents off my mom had a stroke and for safety reasons cannot be left alone.

    You said everyone should have home health well do you think you could pay $20+ /hr 24 hours a day 7 days a week to support your mom? Its very expensive and most nursing homes get paid by medicaid, thats why thier there. I agree the system should be better but it isn't and yes it sucks to have my mom there but I cannot be there for her 24/7 and my house has too many steps I have three kids, Im in school for my masters and cannot afford the kind of care in her home should she would need. I bring her home with us 2-3 days aweek for fun and dinner and I wish others did that too but caring for older ppl is harder in a home environment its just not as safe as nursing centers, ie tile floors tables to walk around small bathrooms slippery chairs small walk paths.

    SO I guess my point is that you shouldn't judge ppl you should just care for the patients the best you can and get out if you don't like it bc your bad attitude is just as offensive and toxic to the families, patients and staff as the others you were complaining about.
    I definitely don't think that all nursing home residents are just abandoned parents. I know that some people just have no choice. But at the same time, I've seen so many residents who haven't seen their offspring for years and years, and yet their offspring are the ones who decided to put them in the nursing home. It's just a sad situation.

    I care about the people that I take care of, and it looks like all I can do is do the best I can while seeking work in another health care environment.
  9. 0
    I can understand you getting burned out after two months. I was the same way. I was working for a private home though and the people that ran it made it 10 times harder. They wanted everything perfect. Anyway i got burned out. Bout ruined my marriage. And for me now, it is how do i stay certified when i am not even working in the nursing field. I am more of a people person. I am an assistant manager at a convienence store and i love it. I just don't want to loose my certification. I worked to hard to get it and i know if i have it i can always get a job back doing that if i have to. Anyway good luck on whatever you decide.
  10. 0
    Quote from adorblepuppy
    And for me now, it is how do i stay certified when i am not even working in the nursing field.
    Check with your BON, but most states only require you to work a paid 8-hour shift once every 2 years in order to retain your certification.
  11. 1
    Try working part time until you get at least 6 months of experience so you can apply to rehab places and hospitals.
    tokidoki7 likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from eveningsky339
    I've really found myself disagreeing with what nursing homes do in general. I feel like offspring dump their parents there to die, and we only prolong the process. So many residents wish they were gone, and yet we only sustain their misery. If it were up to me, all the residents would be receiving home health care, not stuck in an institution.

    The only reason I took the job was because it was within walking distance, and at the time we could not afford a car. I have a wife, a stepson, and a baby on the way that I need to support, but I need to get out of the nursing home.

    I had a job interview at the hospital (VERY hard to get hired there), and there are some mental health agencies around here I could apply for, assuming transportation works out (we only have one car). But until I find out how things go with the hospital, how can I avoid burnout? I don't want my residents to suffer from poor car due to my stress.

    Hello Evening Sky,
    Your quote is somewhat troubling to me as I have had the great pleasure to have worked as a Activity Director for over twenty years in SNF's and now starting CNA class in a few weeks.As an Activity Director I have found that we have the opportunity everyday to bring joy and happiness to the residents in Nursing homes in what ever role we play there.I have found that you either like working in Skilled Nursing facilities or you don't.Not every family can afford Home health care for their loved ones and thats why we are there.I really believe that everyone that works with these residents can make their lives more enjoyable.From CNAs to the Nurses to maintenance to dietary and laundry,EVERYONE!I think maybe its your attitude towards your job.Can you maybe try to get to know your residents a little better,take the time to listen to them and maybe this will help.I know CNAs have lots of duties and little time but I think if everyone has a sunny outlook about having an opportunity to touch these people lives in a positive way you will enjoy your job a little more.I hope you dont take offense to any of my post as I truly mean well.Good luck to you and I hope you can enjoy working with your residents
    http://theactivitydirectorsoffice.co...Work_Home.html
    Dream Girl likes this.


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