O.K. I seriously think I'm burning out...

  1. I nearly had a meltdown last night. You don't have to read this, I'm just venting, but by talking about it now I can let go and move on. I'm off for two days. I'm moving to my new unit on Sunday and hopefully will be alright.

    I come on at 6:45 and I'm in charge. We have no secretary, which is the normal. Phone is ringing off the hook, family members all lined up at the desk with questions, get through report. Call staffing "where is the agency nurse we were getting." Answer "we cancelled him in favor of another nurse and left a message on her maching" Me: "You cancelled a confirmed nurse and don't have confirmation on her replacement". "She'll be there, I'm sure". Day shift nurse wants to leave graciously stays but vents her anger at me. Call supervisor "Please, if I'm f*cked let me know right now, I'll take the patients and there will be no charge nurse for a while".

    They send me an ICU that was in the ER to take care of ICU patients in my intermediate unit and I pull one of "my" nurses out. She literally cusses me out one side and down another. Seriously pissed, and I understand. Sorry. ICU nurse isn't happy either. Sorry.

    Phone still ringing off the hook. Radiology transportor screams "I've been waiting for help with this patient and none of you want to help me". "I NEVER HEARD YOU ASK FOR HELP AND WE AREN'T SITTING AROUND DOING NOTHING!!!!!!!". Charge nurse helps tranporter.

    Recovery room calls wanting bed they've been waiting on. I explain when the patient in their is discharged, as you already know. 15 minutes later recovery room "we're still waiting", me "yes patient is not through with her IV med, AS I SAID I WILL CALL YOU". 15 minutes later recovery room on the phone again "we've been waiting....blah blah blah" I literally scream in to the phone "STOP HARRASSING ME!!!!" and hang up on her. She calls back "Did you just hang up on me". Me "Yes, CLICK SLAM".

    I'll spare you the rest, but it went on like this for a few more hours.

    I took a deep breath. Walked to recovery room and apoligized in person for my behavior and that I was very sorry and wrong and she shouldn't have gotten the brunt of my anger. She said she talked to her coworkers who know me well, and got the felling it was not the real me and was willing to let it go. But at that point I wanted to beg her to write me up so I could get fired.

    I've done this job for 10 years, I can do it. But I've never hung up on anyone in that kind of anger and frustration before. I'm famous for my serenity and it takes A LOT to get me frazzled.

    Am I loosing it? Burning Out? Need a vacation? Need to get out of nursing? Shut up and quit my whining, you get paid to do this job? Sigh.

    Thanks so much for those who made it this far.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 23, '03
    •  
  2. 56 Comments

  3. by   adrienurse
    [[[[[[[[3rdshiftguy]]]]]]]]
    Hunny, have I ever been there. Hope that this venting is making you feel better.
  4. by   Stargazer
    Oh, honey. I think you need A) to get off that hellhole of a unit, and B) a vacation. Even a nice long weekend away.

    What are the chances of asking your new unit for a few extra days before you start?

    I don't think you're completely burned out yet, but I have never seen you be anything but kind and polite on this board, and if you are stressed to the point that you're yelling at colleagues on the phone, I think you need to take it as a sign that you are seriously, significantly stressed, and you need to do something about it before you fry to a crisp.

    Honestly, no matter how great your new unit is, do you want to start there feeling like this? You need to let off some steam. Take some time off. Whatever you can manage. Go book an expensive hotel room for the weekend. Get a massage. Go skiing. Do something relaxing and/or fun.

    I'm worried about you, kiddo.
  5. by   TX Guy
    I feel for ya man.

    Sounds like you need some YOU time.

    Good luck
  6. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Oh, honey. I think you need A) to get off that hellhole of a unit, and B) a vacation. Even a nice long weekend away.

    What are the chances of asking your new unit for a few extra days before you start?

    I don't think you're completely burned out yet, but I have never seen you be anything but kind and polite on this board, and if you are stressed to the point that you're yelling at colleagues on the phone, I think you need to take it as a sign that you are seriously, significantly stressed, and you need to do something about it before you fry to a crisp.

    Honestly, no matter how great your new unit is, do you want to start there feeling like this? You need to let off some steam. Take some time off. Whatever you can manage. Go book an expensive hotel room for the weekend. Get a massage. Go skiing. Do something relaxing and/or fun.

    I'm worried about you, kiddo.

    Thanks Stargazer. Unfortunately, I can't right now. I'm working my unit Saturday and begin my new unit on Sunday. But on Monday, I'm putting in for some vacation. Perhaps knowing I have vacation time will physch me up.

    (I've been under the weather a bit too, had some crud a week ago and it's lingering a bit, so that's part of it.)

    But you are right. I'm not exhibiting healthy signs.
  7. by   sunnygirl272
    said it before, i'll say it again...i wanna be just like stargazer when i grow up...


    and:kiss to 3rd shift guy
  8. by   igloorn93
    I think we have all been there at one time or another. It truely helps to vent, and I for one don't mind listening. Goodluck and keep your cool. (I know it's hard). Hang in there. Better days are ahead.
  9. by   adrienurse
    Whew! I thought you were describing your NEW unit as being a hell-hole.
  10. by   l.rae
    going postal, now known as "going nursing". knowing a change of scenery is coming may help.....l hate nites like that.....don't know what to say....<<<<<<<cyber hug>>>>>>>
  11. by   sjoe
    I agree completely with Stargazer. Hell, get a doc's slip for stress and use sick time instead of vacation time.
    Last edit by sjoe on Jan 23, '03
  12. by   hapeewendy
    great advice...
    dont have much to add except i've been where you are and have felt the same way for awhile, and only now am I realizing that I deserve better than whats going on with me at work these days
    I still think we should all band together and form our own hospital ala patch adams style , we could rock the free world
    best of luck friend
    I'm here for ya and in your corner always *cracking knuckles for dramatic effect*
  13. by   BritishStudent
    You might consider reading "The Joy Of Burnout" (no, seriously) I'm afraid the authors name escapes me right this min, but its a great book supposedly gives perspective, this weeks Nursing Times also makes refrance to it.

    A change is as good as a rest?
  14. by   P_RN
    All of the above. I want to tell you how impressed I am that you went to the PACU and apologised in person. That says a LOT about who you are.

close