I know it's been discussed ad nauseum, but since it's so prevalent, I was thinking about burnout yet again. Well, it's prevalent where I work, anyway, for me & my wonderfully overworked peers, lol. The other night I was serving my time on my mandatory night shift rotation (which by the way, I am enjoying the temporary change), and after having worked yet another 10 hr workday w/o a break the night before, I was feeling quite angry. There were 2 days worth of orders that were not taken off from days & pms, let alone 24 chart checked. To me, that meant that the nurses on ALL shifts are worked to the bone, since things weren't done. I had one pt who didn't have any of his blood sugars graphed for the previous 2 shifts!!!!!
Keep in mind, I have cut back to 3 days/week, and am pending transfer off this horribly understaffed med/tele floor...but in the meanwhile I have to stick it out w/ a positive attitude. I'm trying! ;-)
So, the other night I was working and one of the phlebs came in to draw am labs from one of my patients and I overheard her tell the patient that she is going back to school to "be a nurse." I had to literally bite my tongue to keep from saying,"NO! Don't do it!"
For the 1st time I really feel like the burnout isn't my fault. I have said no to overtime, I exercise, I have a social life, I cut back my hours & I am changing units. I am still crispy! And I just want to say that the burnout isn't my fault! I am very angry because I am an excellent nurse. I work hard, I am a caring person. I am tolerant & rational. I do take care of myself. But working conditions continue to deteriorate. It is not acceptable to me anymore.
It really makes me feel resentful that we nurses are expected to to muddle through & deal with burnout, when I feel the problem belongs to administration, who refuse to staff appropriately. You know what, an extra nurse aid or two would make all the difference in the world. But they won't budge on fixing the matrix. There is obviously a problem with our matrix, if all of us are 1-2 hrs overtime everyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am feeling a little better since I cut my hours back at work, but everytime I go into work I feel a little tense, wondering if I will be 1-2 nurses short, and knowing I won't get a break, let alone get out on time. And the last shift I worked, I was the ONLY regular staff RN for my floor, the rest were travelers and registry. (They were good nurses, but we need some more regular folk, you know). It is kind of scary being the charge to a staff of all registry/travelers.
We really have to do something about this problem-
I can go onto another profession, and happy trails for me, but then that doesn't fix the greater problem, which is horrible working conditions and staffing that is never based on acuity!
Oct 6, '02
kona2-I hear ya! Management doesn't seem to get it! I am getting burnout on my unit after 7 years. I am actively looking for a new position, but haven't found anything yet. I used to be the 2nd shift supervisor for our unit up until a year ago. I resigned that position and went back to day shift. You wouldn't believe the amount of people who come to me during the shift (especially during the weekend) with problems. I don't mind helping my fellow co-workers with your normal day to day tasks that nurses usually help each other with, such as admissions, crashing pts, and so on. What I do mind is being asked to help with problems that are definitely management problems.
On the weekends I if it is a management problem, I tell the inquiring person to notify the on call management. I figure they get paid to make the tough decisions, let them decide. Everyone on my unit knows I am getting burned out, including my managers. But nothing seems to change. They ask how can they help and I tell them what is wrong and give them proof of why it is wrong, and still nothing happens. Anymore, I just give the best possible care I can to my patients, clock out when my shift is done, go home and forget about it. That is all you can do for now.
Hang in there!!
Last edit by deespoohbear on Oct 6, '02