Burned Out and Breaking Down

  1. i am struggling. i am a weekend warrior. i work doubles every weekend. 7am-11pm every single sat and sun. i also float from unit to unit.

    i know i am only there for 2 days out of the week but i am suffering! the phrase from that movie constantine "one minute in hell feels like an eternity," comes to mind. i am working short constantly. i have read some outrageous cna to patient ratios on here before so i hope i don't sound like a punk. our units typically have around 33 residents. we usually work with 4 aides...at least we are supposed to.

    last weekend i worked short 3 out of the 4 shifts that i was there. i worked short on 3-11 and then came in the next morning only to be short again! that morning i had a horrible meltdown. i just kept crying and crying and crying. i feel so overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. we do patient care, ambulations, sometimes housekeeping duties and dietary stuff.

    working short has become a regular thing. yet, every time i turn around we are being chastised for something new. i don't feel like my facility is doing everything it can to keep us fully staffed. i hate being so whiny and negative.

    i am taking two sciences this summer to so i am a little overwhelmed with school so that could be adding to my stress level. i am taking microbiology and a&p ii right now.

    i love nursing but i hate the conditions i work in. *sigh*

    i can't stand having to get 10 people up in the morning or putting 10 people back to bed. its draining me. i don't know how much more i can take.

    i need some encouragement please.

  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   bluebird123
    awww sweetheart I am so sorry. You must be an incredibly strong individual to be working doubles and taking classes. So props to you!! I actually work LTC and work with a girl who does doubles on weekends so you remind me of her. For a minute I was like wait IS this her?? but who knows I'll pray for strength for you sweetie. I know school and this is SO hard. I am an RN student (who failed pharm last fall) so I am doing CNA work this summer until I re-take the class. Getting people up IS so hard! I feel terrible trying to get someone up "fast" bc I have so many other people to get up. I mean I love my sleep too!!! I can only say that in life there are peaks and valleys. YOU WILL get through this. THEY (patients) ARE thankful. And YOU ARE a strong, beautiful, loving caregiver. Please hang in there girl. Keep the faith!!

    Much Love,

  4. by   classykaren
    Maybe you should call in off just for one weekend or one double shift and rest
  5. by   mncna08
    woah! i think we work the same place or something! i work every weekend as well, i know the feeling of frustration, where you just want to cry and get angry. and of course working the weekend their isnt a nurse there either ha?

    one of my jobs is a nut house to say the least. it is consedered "asisted living" but we have some very heavy cares. imagine 61 apt... you have to at least 5 room cleans 2 showers a shift. make, serve, clean up, after meals (yes serve restraunt style) mop kitchen etc clean all the bathrooms and do cares. mind you this is a 8 hour shift, and keep tabs on everyone. lol and on a good day there are 2 med passers and 3 aids, so really 3 aids do everything. and we hear things like "if "we" "have to hire a part time cook and housekeeper someone is going to lose their job" ***!

    mm i am pretty much everything there, housekeeper, janitor,cook, dishwasher, aid, soon to be med passer. i am truely underpaid lol

    so trust me i know the pain! and i am by no means putting your situation down, i feel awful that you were so upset, esp with the stress of school. since i only work weekends i know how 3 days can feel like a week when everything is going wrong and i work 3-11's. i would keep bringing up the fact to you mngr's that you also need more coverage. you know what they say. "the squeeky wheel gets the oil" . i hope everything gets better, and when you get there just tell yourself, this is only for 2 days and this isnt forever. best wishes - lissa
  6. by   casi
    It might be time for a change of scenery or a nice break.
  7. by   abbyann
    Stop working doubles, please. I was a CNA years ago, and I did the same thing. The money you make is NOT worth the toll is takes on your body and mind.
  8. by   greeniebean
    Wow did i post that in my sleep using a differant user name?? LOL! I to work weekend option and go to school full time and have another part time job. People are always saying I'm silly to be so stressed out at work "since I'm only there 2 days and How bad can that be". Well when you're understaffed both days AND you're working doubles every weekend AND no matter how fast or well you do your job the bosses will pick out the one thing you didnt do, it can be just AWFUL!!! I totally feel you. Not to mention that as soon as I get off work Saturady night I go to my home health job until 5:30 in the morning and have to be back at the LTC at 6:00 to work another double! So i basically don't get to see my kids or husband for 2 days. Then during the week I go to school full time, so I don't get the whole week to relax like some people think I do.

    We are also supposed to have 4 aides for 37 people but it rarley happens(we usually have 3).

    I know you're frustrated and worn out. Maybe ask for a weekend off. I recently took a weekend off using PTO time and I felt so much better going back the next week. Many weekend workers feel like they shouldn't ask for time off because they are off through the week but I think as long as you give them the time to get someone to cover you, you have as much right as the people who work throught the week to have a mini vaction!

    I'll pray for you this weekend while we're both at work.
  9. by   abbyann
    Don't feel that you shouldn't take time off. Nursing facilities are desperate for CNA's (not that I have to tell you). I used to think I would "look bad" to the management if I turned down an extra shift or refused to come in on my day off. But they need you. They're not going to fire you just because you took an day off when you were entitled to do so. And I think they would rather have healthy (somewhat) rested CNA's working than burned out, exhausted ones. Who knows, maybe if they're not able to count on you to work 60 or 70 hours in a week they might actually try to hire more CNA's and PAY them better.
    Funny, the last time I worked as a CNA was 12 years ago, but I still get mad when I hear about all the understaffing and low pay.
    Take care of yourself. You won't be any good to anybody if you don't.
  10. by   Button2006
    Thank you all so so so very much for your caring replies. You really helped me out tremendously. I mean that. Its so nice to know that someone really understands. I have worked short so many times I honestly don't know how it hit me so hard like that this past Sunday. I am trying to keep it together and maintain. I will be back to respond to individual posts later on.
  11. by   sunflower777
    oh no!..i will pray for you honey ))))hugs((((( i'm not in the field yet, i'm a new certified cna but my cousin is one and boy oh boy..my hats are off to the veterans cna's...i have a long ways to go...you hang in there..try to take a vacation and get some rest!
  12. by   tishirajan
    Bless your heart! It can really take a toll and you can get burned out easily when you're pulling doubles. I used to work doubles and after a year I couldn't do it anymore.

    You need to take some time off and rest up. I know how draining it can be and when you're crying more often than not and dreading going to work something has to give...just don't let it be you. If you're emotionally drained it doesn't do anyone any good.

    Take some time for yourself. You deserve it. I would call in "sick" if I had to.
    Hang in there :kiss
  13. by   Button2006
    Quote from mimib
    not to mention that as soon as i get off work saturady night i go to my home health job until 5:30 in the morning and have to be back at the ltc at 6:00 to work another double! so i basically don't get to see my kids or husband for 2 days. then during the week i go to school full time, so i don't get the whole week to relax like some people think i do.

    we are also supposed to have 4 aides for 37 people but it rarley happens(we usually have 3).
    i don't know how in the world you do that...

    no sleep at all saturday night? that's crazy. i would really love it. i don't know how it got to this emotional breakdown point. hopefully this weekend will be better. i guess i am just on edge overall. i have to get through this. i guess one thing i have been trying to keep in mind is that this situation won't last forever. and more importantly, if i have can handle this...i can handle just about anything. at least i think so. i will never forget what cnas go through when i finally move up the ladder.
  14. by   Girl Scout
    Button, it sounds like you're needing a change of scenery. I don't know what your personal situation is, if you're working doubles because you're raising kids or taking care of parents or just need the money for school or are socking cash away for the recession... but if you can shed one of those doubles, do it pronto. You are going to go off the deep end and end up hating yourself and everyone you work with, and resenting the whole situation with every fiber of your being, if you continue to burn the candle at both ends like this. And trust me, waking up with a furrowed brow and a heavy heart is not the way to live. You are knocking years off your life like this.

    And it is YOUR life. Don't you forget that. They do not "own" you and you are not their servant who must obey or get the whip. You are providing a professional service in exchange for pay, but part of you providing that service depends on you having certain working conditions. If those conditions aren't met, you can't provide your best service. And the business relationship goes off-kilter. They're not holding up their end of the bargain. Why should you hold yours up, AND theirs? Take a weekend off. Don't you think you deserve to rest? Tell them you can only work 1 double a week now. Or that you can work 4 shifts, but they need to be to where you can go to school. Or something else different. If they let you go, they're asshats. But they pretty much sound like they're asshats anyway.

    Even in a recession, you will find a way to pay your bills, even if you have to stop working as a CNA and take a shift at McDonald's, or be a Walmart cashier, or work in a stock room, or deliver newspapers in the morning and do data entry at night. You can tell yourself you're going to be diligent about changing this situation, starting right now.

    Good luck - check back in sometime and let us know how it goes.