burnout in ER

  1. 1
    It might be me, but i am getting fed up with all the drug seekers and stupid patients with all their compliants about warm blankets and ice chips. ******** about waiting 2 hours on a friday night for their knee pain x 2 months. I routinely catch myself asking myself "what are we doing here?" . Who cares about medicine, it is all about getting your dilaudid and rx for norco to go home with. We now call it PTI, promoting the ignorance. I have been in EMS as a Paramedic/Firefighter for over 20 years and an RN in ER for 5 years now but the recent increase has me hitting my head into the wall. It is all about the survey and the way managers cater to them is nauseating and downright disrespectfull to the staff. Every compliant no matter how ******** is investigated and you must write down your version in response. I got a compliant last week from a "migraine" twice a week ER patient while i was in the other room with a head injury we were flying out. It is everywhere and not just at my hospital. I am afraid this is going to make me change dept. I don't see this changing anytime soon. Any help would be great or I just give up and transfer departments. thanks.
    canoehead likes this.
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    Don't be too quick to rule out changing departments.
    I work in the SICU. Patients can't fake there way into our unit.
    What I hear in your post is years of built up frustration about abuse of what an ED should be.
    In my unit, I have no problem giving the narcotics. I don't care what your past drug history is, if you have been run over by a truck, I believe your pain score.
  4. 3
    I believe pain scores too. If nothing else it shows a need for care - even psych care. As for changing depts -where do you think those people go when they are admitted? Would you like them 12 hours at a stretch?

    Agree that ER depts are abused, and staff is too no doubt
  5. 1
    I do not miss that about the ER. It's actually one of the reason's why I like the ICU. While you do get your occasional BS admission, 99% the patient has a ligitamate illness or complaint.
    rgroyer1RNBSN likes this.
  6. 2
    I worked in the ER for over 8 years. It is impossible not to get burned out working in a department such as this. What I did find is that when I had your attitude I was definitely burned out and changed to another position. I love my position now and it isn't even one that I thought I would ever want to do. I know now that when I felt that same way as you it meant burn out but I didn't know that then. I urge you to look at doing something else because you not going to be as effective as you could be. Don't rush into another job but sit back and look at your options and even try to contact these departments to see if you can shadow. There are school nurses, IT nurses, unit, floor, surgery, navigators and don't forget many insurance companies are hiring nurses- there is so many different places to go. I never thought I would leave the ER- I loved it, I love the adrenaline rush- even now- but if I can't be compassionate to my patients then I am doing them a disservice and it was time to change.
    sabrn2006 and rgroyer1RNBSN like this.
  7. 1
    I work both ed and sicu and I am a supervisor one that will work the floor with you and believe me I have felt this way to about 97 percent of the time it is bs, but I am there for the other 3 percent that isnt and I carry that with me all the time and yes I am very spiritual as I am also a minister and I know this is what god as called of me to do. Maybe see about floating to icu for a shift and see how it goes then decide I know alot of my sicu nurses are vetran er nurses they just needed a change and I am sure 100 percent sure the sicu pt actually needs there meds.
    VICEDRN likes this.
  8. 1
    The ER is not the business of caring or compassion; it is strictly business. This being said, that doesn't mean you are not compassionate or caring, but how can you be when this is not the environment you are in. Switching positions in the hospital is a safe bet as you maintain your clinical skills; take an office position or a clinic position and your viability for hospital units decreases. I think it's time for measurable outcomes for you; what I mean by this is where can you see your patients get better by measurable outcomes. The patients whom you have stabilized in the past and sent to other units, hoping they got better and went home, now you receive them stabilized; watch them get better and they say "thank you" when they get to go home. I'm sorry you are in this fix hope it all works out for you.
    rgroyer1RNBSN likes this.
  9. 2
    great comments, thank you, contacted cath lab and surgery today.
    ~*Stargazer*~ and rgroyer1RNBSN like this.
  10. 1
    Hang in there.
    I understand your frustrations. As far as the drug seekers and "Friday night specials" Focus on the leagitment cases remind yourself of all the ones you saved. The baby who was in distress that your quick thinking saved The husband having a heart attack who has been married to the same lady for 50 years and all they have is each other. I know words are easy but there is so much positive you do. As far as the complaints...speaking as part of administration who investigates complaints WE HATE THEM TOO but you have to do it. If by investigating a complaint and getting rid of an incompetent nurse and saving a life it out weighs the pain that it truely is. Hang in there you would not be frustrated if you were not a kind caring and good nurse.
    rgroyer1RNBSN likes this.
  11. 6
    Yeah, I feel your pain. Can't tell you how many times I have ran out a room during a code and a patient is standing outside their door "I need my antibiotics, my cold won't get better on it's own."

    Or the 4 year old that had to be flown out due to ingesting ~40 clonidine tablets, with the seeker having a fit because "the doctor only gave me nubain."

    But when I save lives, that is what keeps me in the ED. I have a great poker face, and I can ignore and tune out those patients, you know the type I am talking about. I take your complaint seriously. But I also know how people present in severe pain, don't tell me you have 10/10 pain in your head whilst you watch TV and are on your laptop.

    Like a post said above, 95% is BS, but that 5% makes it all worth while. When I work a successful code, it makes my day. When I shove that NG tube down the overdose's nose and put charcoal down, that also makes my day. And giving that patient the AMA form, that really makes my day
    corky1272RN, sabrn2006, Bobmo88, and 3 others like this.


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