So Frustrated! Cheering up needed....

  1. Well I'm not quite sure where to begin. I work on a busy renal/resp/medsurg floor. I'm a new nurse and I have been on my own since April. I feel like I am very close to burn out. I don't work much overtime so I don't guess that is the problem.

    I usually have 6 patients. I feel like my time management is pretty good. I just feel like the floor is too busy, my patients are too sick.. Or something. It is hard to explain. I work as hard and as fast as I can and I still barely get everything done. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. And it isn't just me. All the nurses are like this. The old nurses and the new nurses.

    Like today; I only have 5 patients, until 1500 where I picked up an extra one. I had 1 pt going to dialysis that morning (they leave at 8 so I have to have there assessment/charting/and any morning meds they can get done by 8. Then I had a pt going for a bronchoscopy, one going for an arteriogram, and one going for a kidney biopsy, all that morning. So I run around all day sending pts and receiving pts. Doing mounds of pre-procedure and post- procedure paperwork and things.... And it is like this everyday....

    There is also a lot of tension between the staff.. Certain nurses think they rule the floor and boss everyone around (even though they aren't charge). Our assistants are overworked and exhausted, leaving them to have attitudes and gripe.

    Like the other day I had 3 pts that went to dialysis that afternoon. They all came back at 1830 and I got an admission. So I'm trying to get ready to give report but I can't because I have 3 dialysis patients that need to be assessed and have vitals taken. And an admission to get set up. And then I have to hear it from 3rd shift because I didn't get anything done.

    Third shift always gets so mad when anything is left for them. I'm only one person. I'm so stressed. I'm constantly being pulled every which way...

    A senior nurse went to the DON friday and told her that most of her staff was unhappy and burnt out. But I don't know how to fix the problem. I don't know the solution. I don't really even know what the problem is....

    Sorry so long, I'm just frustrated and burnt out..... Thanks for listening.

    No one told me nursing would be so hard.. I love what I do.. But I don't have enough time in the day to do it to the best of my ability.


    Tiger
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   YellowFinchFan
    Is your charting computerized? That makes a big difference.

    All I can say is that it's like that most places - you have to forgive yourself if you can't get it all done. Try to practice safely and prioritze all the time.

    Like my manager always says "this is a 24 hour job = if you can't get it done - the next shift HAS TO DO IT" (of course this is within reason, like the kind of days you describe - not stuff being passed on cause they didn't want to do it etc)

    Try to hang in there - make it to ONE YEAR and then reevaluate ....you're more than 1/2 way there! :spin:
  4. by   leslie :-D
    aw (((tiger))),

    when i first read your post, i hesitated in responding.
    but after reading yellowfinch's post, i decided to jump on board...
    because i totally agree with yf's post.

    first year for all new nurses, is an absolute nightmare.
    not only are you learning many different tasks, but are also focusing on prioritization, time mgmt and just keeping your head above water.
    at least you know that it's just not you:
    that the experienced nurses are also struggling.

    IF you can, i would strongly advise you to hang in there until the spring.
    get that 1 yr of experience in.
    after that, you will be much more marketable.

    in spite of your frustration, it sounds like you're holding your own...even exceeding some's expectations!
    and for that, you should be tremendously proud.

    if you can hang in til the spring, that will only increase your chances of writing your own ticket to a more ideal work environment.

    wishing you only the very best.

    leslie
  5. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from TigerGalLE
    There is also a lot of tension between the staff.. Certain nurses think they rule the floor and boss everyone around (even though they aren't charge). Our assistants are overworked and exhausted, leaving them to have attitudes and gripe.
    That's the problem.
  6. by   TigerGalLE
    You are right on that Sue.. It is very frustrating when you ask an assistant to do something and all you get is attitude and complaints. They work hard though, it isn't like they are sitting around. They are just like us.. Too much to do, to little time. Our patient care techs are responsible for VS, SQBS, I/O, baths, venous blood draws (not from lines), Foleys, collecting urine, stool ect for specimens.... We have some really awesome assistants.... but they are overworked...

    I think our staff have just been pushed to their limit....

    I haven't gotten to take a lunch break longer than 15 minutes in I don't know how long... And yea y'all will say.. You have to eat, you have to take the time to sit down and take a break.... But how can I when every nurse is running around like crazy.. and as soon as you sit down to eat the OR calls to send for your patient... Or dialysis is coming to get your pt for their afternoon dialysis run? I can't put that off on another nurse..

    And yes I try to plan my breaks in between the chaos... but usually it isn't possible...

    Our charge nurse, who was my preceptor, and now my dear friend is going job hunting next week for a new place to work.. I don't know what I'll do if she leaves...
  7. by   EmmaG
    Quote from TigerGalLE

    I haven't gotten to take a lunch break longer than 15 minutes in I don't know how long... And yea y'all will say.. You have to eat, you have to take the time to sit down and take a break.... But how can I when every nurse is running around like crazy.. and as soon as you sit down to eat the OR calls to send for your patient... Or dialysis is coming to get your pt for their afternoon dialysis run? I can't put that off on another nurse..
    When I did charge, I assigned lunch breaks and wrote it on the assignment board for everyone to see. I also assigned coverage; if the nurse assigned to cover was swamped, then I did so. I would not accept staff telling me they couldn't take a 30 minute break. Unless there was a true emergency occurring (i.e. code), they did take a break. I made rounds on their patients, explaining their nurse was away for the next 1/2 hour, and asked if there was anything needed before they returned.


    I found that the nurses were much more able to handle what was thrown at them, and contrary to popular belief, did NOT have to stay over to "finish up" when they were given a true lunch break. You need that time to decompress and regroup. Without it, the stress is exacerbated to a point you really don't function as efficiently. Some of the staff balked at first; I had to literally move them away from their med carts and guide them down the hallway. But after a while, they saw how much it did help them to get that break.

    If you ARE working through your shift, and do not get 30 uninterrupted minutes away from your work area, then you need to charge for missed lunch. That's Federal law. If you are so much as asked a question about your patients, you can declare "no break". I think if everyone did this, the hospitals would do more to assure their staff got their legally-mandated breaks.
  8. by   Dolce
    :icon_hug: From your post you sound like you are actually handling the situation very well. The floor you are on may be particularly busy, but think of all of the excellent skills that you are learning. You will carry those time management and assessment skills with you the rest of your life. Even though it is painful now this is a great opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism under pressure. Keep up the good work! You can do it!
  9. by   ebear
    Tiger,
    Just try to remember that this is probably the most difficult year of your career in nursing. There are so many fires to put out, you don't know where to start! I promise you it will get better in so many ways after this first year. Yes, you will continue to work hard and face many, many challenges, but you will learn how to get through it all and survive! I remember my first yr. out of school about 100 yrs. ago ( I went to school with Nightingale)HaHa! I think I was in tears every day on the way home. The work never got any easier, I just figured out how to handle it. YOU WILL TOO!!!! At least your supv. is not oblivious to the situation (a whole lot are). Maybe as a group you can discuss this with the VP of Nursing (or DON). She/he needs to be aware that so many of the staff are completely exhausted.
    Just hang in there if at all possible and know that you won't ever be so overwhelmed as you are this first year!
    ebear

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