Is this considered a burn out?

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    I'm no stranger to mandates due to weather conditions but I actually began to feel helpless these past few days because of the snow blizzard in NY that ended up being more intense than anticipated. I worked 24 mandated hours on a subacute rehab floor. 1st shift I was assigned 8 patients, 2nd shift and 3rd shift we were just so short staffed that we had no set assignments! We just ran the floor answering call bells while 1 nurse handed out meds to 33 patients . We were snowed in , I couldn't even leave if I shoveled my car out bc someones car was stuck in front of my car in the parking lot hahaha.

    But anyway , my 1st and 2nd shift went smoothly , but that 3rd shift may have really pushed me over the edge and I don't know if it's burn out or if I genuinely mean what I'm saying when I say that nursing is the worst profession anyone could sign themselves up for.

    3rd shift was 630am-230pm , I literally never had a chance to sit and eat... Many nurses actually snuck out so that made us even more short staffed. I personally could never do that to my team or patients but some people think their lives are more important than ours so they are more entitled to go home during a emergency mandated snow storm. But anyway , I hated everything about today. Call bells were non stop, patients complaining about EVERYTHING regardless of how many times I explained the situation and apologized. I just felt like the patients especially were ticking me off. I found myself crashing, chills, and body shaking. It was a feeling I don't think I've ever had. Soon after that i got to go home , meanwhile another nurse stayed for her 4th shift in a row (mandated ) .. But after a few hours sleep I'm still really angry about today and just in a overall bad mood. Everything upsets me even the slightest little thing i start crying lol

    I do have to go to work tomorrow and the next day. I'm dreading it but hoping when I wake up tomorrow ill feel better.

    ..... Is this burn out? ? Well either way how do you guys handle it when you have feelings like this? And what can nurses really do when they are put in such horrible working conditions ? Legally? I feel like I was just emotionally and physically abused. So much so I'm a emotional train wreck !
    anotherone likes this.
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  4. 24 Comments so far...

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    Wow. Bless you. I feel burned out after just 8 hours of hell tonight. Same thing...call bells non-stop, short-staffed, complaining patients and families, running around like a mad woman, no dinner break (felt guilty to even stop to pee), aggravated at co-workers, had to stay over an hour and a half to even be able to chart. I almost cried at work tonight and I never do that. I'm finally home and trying to relax but still angry about the night. I feel angry that the powers that be make us work in these conditions and don't really seem to care because THEY don't have to do it. Dreading it like hell tomorrow. You are probably burned out to an extent but more physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel for you having to work all those shifts in a row. I really don't know what the answer is. I feel the same way you feel a lot. It seems the good days at work are so much fewer than the bad ones anymore.
    anotherone and NJnewRN like this.
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    Quote from NurseFrustrated
    Wow. Bless you. I feel burned out after just 8 hours of hell tonight. Same thing...call bells non-stop, short-staffed, complaining patients and families, running around like a mad woman, no dinner break (felt guilty to even stop to pee), aggravated at co-workers, had to stay over an hour and a half to even be able to chart. I almost cried at work tonight and I never do that. I'm finally home and trying to relax but still angry about the night. I feel angry that the powers that be make us work in these conditions and don't really seem to care because THEY don't have to do it. Dreading it like hell tomorrow. You are probably burned out to an extent but more physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel for you having to work all those shifts in a row. I really don't know what the answer is. I feel the same way you feel a lot. It seems the good days at work are so much fewer than the bad ones anymore.
    I 100% agree with everything you said! I feel taken advantage of while the big guy makes all the money and we get refused over time or even a break! I can seriously rant about this all night. I worked my a$$ off to get my BSN and RN and I get no respect. All of these bad days are really taking a toll on me and I can't determine if all that hard work to get educated was even worth it. This snow storm had me feeling like I was the owner of the facility and that I need to protect everyone no matter what ! Even if that means not eating , holding in my pee and drinking strictly coffee. But now I'm thinking.... Where the heck was the administrator before and during the storm? He should have been there the entire time making sure everything was safe and ppl got breaks. That's a true leader and a admirable one! But no, those are a rarity now. It's rare you even see a nursing leader ever on the floor even in a damn emergency situation!!!!
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    My hats off to you! I live in an area that gets a lot of snow. One year we got 46 inches. At the hospital I was a CNA at, when they knew there was going to be a big snow storm they had nurses spend the night so they would be available for their shift. They actually used an empty patient room so people could get some sleep while they waited to go on their shift.

    I don't know what to tell you. That's ridiculous that they couldn't think ahead. I mean they KNEW it was a huge snowstorm - what were they expecting? I just can't believe people snuck off to get home. I would complain to your supervisor whenever they get back. I guess with global warming we can expect more of this crap.
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    For the most part I don't do mandation, and luckily the union supports me on that. Before I worked at a unionized hospital I didn't pick up the phone, so work couldn't contact me. I'd call back after they left a message. I DO go in voluntarily if there is a crisis, and do whatever is needed. I take my shifts seriously, and stayed at the hospital during this past blizzard between shifts. The ultimate staffing responsibility still lies with administration, and they can't just make a call and mandate- that's just passing on the problem.

    Say there was a flu epidemic, and half the staff called out, so they started mandating people... I'd expect that if it's bad enough to call me in, the manager had better be in there too, helping in whatever way they could. I'm paid hourly, my responsibility ends with my scheduled hours. The manager has that position because they agreed to be responsible for overall staffing. I'd NEVER want that job- that's why I'm still a staff nurse.
    KelRN215 and monkeybug like this.
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    I don't think its true nursing burn out. Its more your bodies reaction to you being abused, and overworked. I am sorry that your administration is such a hunk of junk, that they are not even there helping.

    You were abused! I am so sorry for you! You are not a robot, but a human! Your feelings right now are totally natural.

    I would be afraid to go in for a while to, I mean, were you expecting to go to work and then get stuck there in a total nightmare of a situation, while the administration drained the life out of you? It might happen again! I would be terrified to go in too! Plus after working 24 hour shift, your body needs to heal and recoup. I seriously feel so sorry for you. I hope you feel better soon.
    anotherone likes this.
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    I feel like this most days on my current travel nurse contract. Definitely burned out. I don't know if it's the particular hospital or nursing in general but I feel sick to my stomach going into work and am ultra sensitive if a patient is rude to me (I cried at work yesterday), when before I could just brush it off.

    I clearly don't have it as bad as you. You sound like your burned out on this current situation, but hopefully before the storm happened, the working conditions were better. Sounds like it was poorly handled by your management, which isn't surprising to me. Nursing management or staffing in general don't seem to care about overworking us. It's rough.
    anotherone likes this.
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    Actually, burnout is a pretty well defined phenomenon for nursing .. I would recommend reading just about anything written by Heather Laschinger who has researched this issue for a very long time. Here is one to start you out Work Stress and Burnout Among Nurses: Role of the Work Environment and Working Conditions - Patient Safety and Quality - NCBI Bookshelf From her post, it seems the OP was absolutely frazzled & exhausted to the point where she was unable to ensure safe practice.

    What the OP is describing is (to me) an example of egregious leadership failure - complete lack of planning to ensure patient safety. This storm was not unanticipated - they had plenty of time to enact their disaster plan. In my neck of the woods, we get similar situations due to hurricanes. All facilities have a plan for maintaining patient care during the time period when new staff cannot make it to work. They staff up with volunteers & provide sleeping accommodations & meals to the staff who remain during that time. Many even provide shelter for the 'stayers' families.

    I wonder why this was not done in the OPs case. Seems like they really weren't prepared. Both CMS and JC require facilities to have disaster plans. Maybe theirs needs to be re-examined and revised.
    KelRN215 and Altra like this.
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    I agree with HouTx's post above -- this was not an unanticipated disaster -- there is no reason whatsoever for the facility to have devolved to such a level of chaos. I would, seriously, be reporting this failure to implement a disaster plan to Joint Commission. There is zero reason to have any individual attempt to work for 24 hours straight in a situation that can be planned for ... and in this day and age we have these things called *weather forecasting* and *mass media* which made it almost impossible to not knowthat blizzard conditions were approaching.

    http://www.jointcommission.org/report_a_complaint.aspx
    KelRN215 and BrandonLPN like this.
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    Thank you houTx and Altra , and everyone else who responded with support. I've reviewed the links you both posted and I appreciate it very much. I will be filling a complaint no doubt about it. I'm still utterly ****** off with my administrator and determined to do something about it. By the way this administrator is a few months new to the facility and from the first day he was hired , his main goal was to change a lotttttt in a short time and cut down costs (including lay offs)!


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