er burnout

  1. Hi, I'm just an EMT intermediate. As part of our training we had to spend 40 hours in the emergency room. Maybe the one I was at was just bad, but I don't see how you guys avoid burnout. It was so understaffed, the poor nurses were running, putting out fires all day. They were so nice to me, and seemed truly grateful to have an extra hand changing beds, ect. From just my short time there, it was my observation that people really overuse the ER. Demanding care right now for things that really could have waited. A child that got soap in his eyes. I mean wouldn't most of us have just rinsed them out really well? And there seemed to be a few that were just lonely, needed a social outing. I just know after being there, I am not cut out for it. I really admire you guys that can do this every day.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Monica RN,BSN
    ER nursing is one of the most exciting areas one can work. I too felt the stress at times when I worked in the ER not to long ago I have left there for a management job, as I needed the day shift, could no longer be on 12 hour shifts. That had to end after a recent divorce due to not having dependable babysitting, ect. Anyways, enough about all that, I think that the stress level does run high in the ER, butit is stressful most everywhere I think. Its a diff kinda stress, and yes its true that so many use the ER as a walk in clinic. It's like.... " Ok, it's 4 am, what is your emergency?"
    Reply: A cough I have had for like 6 weeks now. (Geesh..this couldn't wait till ya could see a doctor in the AM?) (No fever no cough present in triage...) Problem is that most have no doctors, and unfortunately we are it.

    I found it peculiar that the waiting room was much like a bus station. And unbelievable how THEY ALL KNOW EACH OTHER! Incredible... As I went to the soda machine, ya hear one say, " So Milllie how is your daughter doing, did she have that baby yet?"
    And they all talk as if it is like a family reunion out there. On a first name basis as they frequent the joint so much!! Nursing shortages I think are here to stay awhile. (IMO) But I would also suggest that it may be factual that ER nursing is surely not for everyone, give it a fair chance as a 40 hour rotation may not be enough to see the big picture of the rewards that can be found in this exciting area of nursing......
  4. by   SteelTownRN
    I worked pediatric ER when I first graduated, and looking back on it, burned out in a year. Not that I was overworked, but not oriented well, let on my own way too early and no one wanted to answer questions, and burned out on clients who overused/abused the ER.

    We did have a neat system worked out with the Health Department. If they didn't ahve insurance, and it wasn't an emergency, they were told to go to the HD in the am. It didn't stop some, but stopped many.
  5. by   VictoriaLeavitt
    EDs can be wild places. And there have been days after a 12 hour shift in a very busy ED that I have questioned my own sanity for ever deciding to work in the ED. But you know, for every day like that there have been 3 that I left feeling tired, but good about my work with patients.
    Yep, you have your "regulars". But they are looking for something - to be cared for, to matter in this world. So many of these folks have so little real actual power in their daily lives.

    You have to lead with your strengths, so I keep them laughing. Humor helps a lot. Get them on your side and things will go oh so much more smoothly. One technique I use to to make them think that I am breaking some rule just for them. Sometimes I am actually breaking some tacit ED "rule" - so what. I try to do the humane thing. Patients love to think that they are special in your eyes. So when I let them have 3 visitors and say things like, "Now don't tell or it is my butt." - everyone is on their best behavior and everyone wins.
  6. by   petiteflower
    Originally posted by SteelTownRN
    I worked pediatric ER when I first graduated, and looking back on it, burned out in a year. Not that I was overworked, but not oriented well, let on my own way too early and no one wanted to answer questions, and burned out on clients who overused/abused the ER.

    We did have a neat system worked out with the Health Department. If they didn't ahve insurance, and it wasn't an emergency, they were told to go to the HD in the am. It didn't stop some, but stopped many.
    Oh it would be great to do that, but didn't you worry about EMTALA?

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