Preventing Burn Out

  1. I'm a student who will be graduating in December. I have really loved this field so far (clinical experinces) but I'm afraid of burn out. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to prevent burn out???

    AlmostThere from Idaho
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   happydays352
    I'm not a nurse yet but I know how getting burnt out feels. I was working 80+ hours a week and going to school full time. I quit one of my jobs and am now down to 50 hours a week, soo much happier.

    I think you can tell when you are starting to get burnt out, as soon as you feel that do something! Take a vacation, do something really wild. Go get a massage, eat healthy and exercise. Get enough sleep and let the b@ll%^&# go.
  4. by   Indy
    Change is necessary to prevent burnout. That, and relaxation. For new nurses it gets sticky because the unit that hires you first after graduation will train you the most (if they're worth working for at all), and they will of course want to reap the benefit of such training, and keep you for a decent amount of time. They need you, you need the experience.

    But you know what? At some point a lot of new grads fall out of love with their new unit, if it was love to begin with. And they're teaching the new grads a year later, and possibly in charge, and a bit overwhelmed, and if at that point understaffing becomes an issue, look out. Managers will tell you they'd like you to stay ... forever, I guess. But if they don't keep a unit staffed appropriately, let alone well, then they can say it until they are blue in the face. When you graduate, remember a few things:

    -you need some experience so stick that first job out a while if at all possible. I mean like, a year if possible.

    -almost every nurse leaves the first job at some point.

    -don't shortcut yourself on spa time! Get that pedicure!! (just shave your legs first.)

    -if you feel the burning need for change after having gotten somewhat comfortable at being a nurse, and there's a position open, take it!

    -do whatever you have to, short of alcohol and drug binges, to relax in your off time.

    -do insist that your schedule be reasonable during that first job. You want your days off in a row, period.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    the first year will undoubtedly be rough.
    be certain you get a full orientation-at least 6 wks.
    i can't emphasize enough, the value of exercise.
    i am not a physical fitness buff, but after much encouragement, i took up wt lifting...
    and push ups, and a great punching bag my sons use.
    i am such a puddle afterwards.
    i can feel all this pent-up stress, just leaving my body.

    and yes.
    get consecutive days off.
    insist on it.
    try to stick out the first yr.
    after that, you can write your own ticket.
    best of everything.

    leslie
  6. by   nyapa
    1. Organise your day as best as you can
    2. Patients - if they are demanding or rude, talk to them quietly but firmly stating your position. You don't have to put up with this.
    3. Learn as much as you can. Listen to your more experienced colleagues and ask plenty of questions. You are both expanding your knowledge base as well as developing relationships with the staff, who generally will support you if you show interest. '
    4. Learn some relaxation techniques. There are shortened versions that you can do while you are at work. If things get really bad just STOP!, take a breath, relax yourself, then move on.
    5. If you are concerned about your performance, talk to someone. They may be able to give you pointers, or tell you how wonderful you are
    6. Ensure you have your break. You won't realise how much you need it until you are in the tea room. And don't talk work when you are there
    7. Have lots of 'me' time at home, at least an hour a day Don't just concentrate on work, get out and have fun, go swimming, visit friends. Get out of the house.
    8. Obviously eat well and sleep well.
    9. If you find you are becoming stressed, and you can't seem to resolve it, see a counsellor. Don't let things get so bad that you need to go on medication.

    Hope this helps.
  7. by   chuchie
    I'm not a nurse yet, but when I was feeling overwhelmed with work and school I took the advice of my psychology teacher, who suggested to limit the amount of time that you spend watching TV and browsing on the internet (even if it's on awesome sites like this one). He had a list of things we could do for extra credit and one was to eliminate watching TV and being on the internet (except for school purposes) for a whole month and I had decided to take the challenge for some points. I found that with my hectic schedule, I still had time for more meaningful things in my life like reading, cooking dinner, going for walks, and talking on the phone with family/friends when I took out that one hour or so of TV/internet. I used to tell myself "Well, it's not like I watch THAT much TV compared to some people" but after I took away that little bit of time I didn't feel as burnt out anymore.

    Also, it's not a terrible thing to splurge on a facial every so often either, lol.
  8. by   AlmostThere:)
    Thank you all for your posts. All of the suggestions are great. I really like the exercise idea (thats a toughy for me though )!! I think that I am going to get an orientation at my job but are the any suggestions about how asking for the days off in a row...just request them??

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