Nurses Burnout

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    There is so much stress that nurses deal with everyday: Sick people, administrators, family issues, getting angry, etc. This article talks about the reason why nurses get burnout. It deals with the stress related to the nursing profession.

    Nurses Burnout

    Nursing is a highly stressful profession. Yet still, there are millions of people who opted to be in this path. Some are lured by high job compensation while other individuals have no choice but to become nurses just because it is in their blood line.

    Real nurses bear the passion of caring. They are the people who stick with their job because they wanted to save other people's lives and to care for the sick ones.

    It is sad to say that there is quick turnover of nurses these days. Some nurses try their luck in different industries. There are nurses who shifted careers and became entrepreneurs, nurse educators and even company nurses too. Based on research findings, stress is the main factor why many nurses quit their hospital jobs.

    There are many sources of stress in nursing.

    It is a profession that deals with people's lives.

    Everyday nurses see how various illnesses make humans suffer. Nurses see patients' pain; hear them scream; see them cry and feel their agonies. Nurses sense the fear that every family member feels seeing their loved one sick. Above all, nurses defy death by shedding all their strength doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to save someone's family member, friend, spouse, child or a stranger from death.

    Moreover, nurses are like shock absorbers. They absorb the entire negative aura from the environment and from the people in the work place. They listen to patients' sentiments. Sometimes, they are treated ruthlessly by family members and even patients themselves. They get most of the blame when something unpleasant comes up involving patient care.

    But, nurses wave their rights to complain.

    They hold their temper.

    They keep their anger and hide their emotions.

    At the end of the day, nurses stay with their patients no matter what happens.

    Aside from emotional aspect, physical exhaustion is another source of stress. Heavy workload is common among health care institutions due to shortage of nurses. Apart from this, the number of duty hours is often lengthened to cover up shifts. The ratio of nurse-to-patient is also impractical. There are more patients handled by nurses compared to the standard ratio, which is one nurse is to four patients (1:4). Hence, time and energy limitation are the mortal enemy of nurses when it comes to completion of their daily tasks.

    Sometimes, stress from work becomes a baggage for nurses. Their unresolved emotions and exhaustion from work even reach their homes. This often becomes a source of chaos and misunderstanding between nurses and their family members.

    Indeed, the nursing profession is packed with stress.

    It is survival of the fittest.

    The nurses who have higher stress tolerance remain in the mainstream of this noble profession. Those nurses, whose passion for nursing overflow, are said to have greater endurance. However, those who cannot take more stress have all the freedom to take a flight to another field of interest.

    This article does not discourage the young generation to become full pledge nurses. Instead, the purpose of this discussion is to let the world know that nurses are living heroes. They deserve to be treated well. Likewise, this is a plea to the community to make nurses feel their sacrifices are worth it and well appreciated.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 12, '15
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  3. by   mclennan
    I wish this article would not just single out "hospital nurses." Public Health, clinic, outpatient, ambulatory, home health, case manager, occupational health, surgery center, school & telephone triage nurses who bust their butts 9-5, M-F make up a huge part of the profession, yet all the attention is always geared towards hospital unit nurses who work shifts. EVERYONE is prone to burnout, not just those who tend to sick people in beds.
  4. by   sunnyskies9
    Thank you for this. I'm already feeling the burn, and I've only been at my job 10 months!
  5. by   luvanurse41903
  6. by   superiornursing
    Very true.All areas of nursing does carry their own stressors,however,having had 18yrs experience in most areas I must admit that the nursess who are in chronic and acute clinical settings(patient contact) do have a higher level of stress.

    Nurses also grieve for their patients.

  7. by   LindaBright
    One of the most important things I've learned as a nurse is that we always put ourselves last. Patients are a priority, and it does tax the mind, body, and sometimes the soul. Because we're called to care for others, it's hard to have strong boundaries and limitations, especially when it seems like doing just a little more could help the patient (family, staff, etc.), but constantly pushing those limits takes a toll.

    It may be hard to find the time or motivation, but nurses that take the time to give themselves the same care they do others seem to have a lower level of stress and burnout overall. Treating others as we'd like to be treated is marvelous... treating ourselves like we treat others is just as important.
  8. by   Mas Catoer
    Definitely true, nurses prone to burnout. Sadly, if we are already engaged in the (burnout) situation, then we start to lose 8 to 9 hour-work enjoyment, not to mention if it multiplied by weeks or months. We will feel like residing in the most bottom of the hell. I keep telling myself, my junior, and even student that we will never be any of rich persons for being nurses. But, we have all right to be happy, if we don't have it from others, then we need make one of our own.

    I did have a thought leaving the nursing world. I learned English formally so that I now teach English in private lesson, I learned about computer and programming so now I have side job repairing PC and included as hospital IT staff. I learned engine mechanical so I can help other fixing their car and engine, I learned about fixing phone gadget, I learned about carpentry, I even learned about dress designing and tailoring, and get order from the hospital for making nurses uniform every year.
    Then I finally learned many things from all my effort I made to leave nursing. It didn't even allow me to go as all those thing becoming my life enhancement in dealing with nursing, and my life.

    In this my 31st year working I already have my assignment in nursing committee office for the last 3 years. I'm happy for not too much getting engaged with burnout by creatively doing other things. I'm not speaking about getting promoted, but start thinking creatively won't allow us to get caught in burnout situation as it will negate all good things we have in ourselves. I won't advise to everyone to be more altruistic in nursing, but once we can, it does help a lot as starting point.

    Again, I'm not suggesting any of you to follow what I did. But every nurse and I have a right to be happy in our work, and not to engage in burnout situation. If they don't give, then we make one. That's all I can share from my own experience.

    Mas Catoer
  9. by   grelikpim
    God bless all Nurses for their good works!
  10. by   Aongroup1990
    I appreciate the nurse burn out why because if a nurse care's that much and its their life profession to care for people and their health then working so many hours shouldn't matter. We are all made to give, and help someone in life. I appreciate the burnout somewhat in a sense that at least nurses are employed, and they have the opportunity to help people in this life time. All nurses, work hard no matter what! Being thankful for the number of hours at the job is what's important.
    That's my opinion !!!
  11. by   rajirajendran
    yes...very true...nurses are real heroes...i can feel this burn as im goin through the same situation...i value my 4yrs of hardwork in education...we r been taught about everythng...psychiatry,med surg .physio therapy. dietetics...comprehensive care....all etc etc superspecialities .we knw to handle start CRRT etc..we r so multi tasking....but physiotherapist r called so called doctor...dieticians r paid more than nurses..respi techs r paid more than proud of feel satisfied whn i cm bk frm wrk th day i have taken good care of my i gt really demotivatd nd low nd start hating th professiin whn ppl dnt value nurses....whn nurses r been treatd as thr servants...or planning to change my professin.....i gt really angry whn nurses are advertised in perfumes with so seductive or vulgar clothng.....y r nurses seen n wrong way....y nursing heads r not takng strict action against this....shift duty is anothr trouble whixh alters our circadian rhytm thus incresng our chances to gt sick..less time for family life...majority of nurses if u see hve pcod...endocrine problems..disc slips etc..this i have writtn not to demotivate is anothr side of coin..
  12. by   foggnm
    Nursing was a second career for me. Not for money, but by choice to do something meaningful. However, now 5 years in to the profession, I really understand that inpatient nursing is not a very good work environment. I think the most convincing evidence of this is that most of the people where I work (in a Level I trauma/surgical ICU) are under 35. The fact that so few people choose to stay in this profession is not surprising. The hours are awkward. The policies restrictive (with regard to leave, etc.). And the union literally has to fight for no raises. Once a positive healthy working environment is established in nursing, you can expect people to stay and enjoy their jobs. Stop treating nurses like factory workers!
  13. by   saminaross
    I took close a year off because of burning out due to nursing administration and the sociopaths that hospitals seem to hire to be directors. I'm sick and tired of dealing with manipulative, lying sick people who can get hired into administrative positions because of the degrees they possess or the people they are able to successfully use. Every place I go, there's at least one if not more. God help you when they possess the title of CNO or Director. I am perfectly happy caring for patients and their families or loved ones. I am not happy with what is working in the hospital above me. I have been a nurse for a very long time and all I see is that nursing administration is getting worse. I feel more of a low level employee than I ever did before. I strongly discourage females from going into nursing for this very reason. I ACTIVELY discourage anyone from going into nursing. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities cannot function without nurses-this is why the bad treatment of nurses continue. If a facility can intimidate, threaten, bully, etc. the most valuable member of the healthcare team that they have, then they can pay substandard wages, force ridiculous working hours, not allow staff to take consecutive vacation time, the list goes on.
  14. by   sharpeimom
    Before my disability made working impossible, I worked in a state psych hospital, where they had a unique way of dealing with burnout.

    After you notified the nurse manager that you were beginning to feel burned out, a match (for lack of a better way to express it) was found and you swapped with another nurse or aide.

    You were in another building, on a new floor, working with new people, etc. Sometimes you filled in for someone on maternity leave.
    Usually the swaps lasted from six weeks to three months and by then, the swapper was usually glad to return to the old assignment.