Stress and Burnout

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    hello! i have a research project to do on nursing stress and burnout. i would like to know some of your experiences; for example, the exact "last straw" it took for you to realize that nursing may not be for you. tell me techniques you use to relieve stress; how many of you are on blood pressure medication? (i know i am.) what do you think it would take as a profession to alleviate the frequency of burnout in nursing? any of your comments and experiences would be appreciated. if you just want to vent, that would be great too! thanks...
    Last edit by Nursebaby23 on Sep 14, '05
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    Quote from nursebaby23
    hello! i have a research project to do on nursing stress and burnout. i would like to know some of your experiences; for example, the exact "last straw" it took for you to realize that nursing may not be for you. tell me techniques you use to relieve stress; how many of you are on blood pressure medication? (i know i am.) what do you think it would take as a profession to alleviate the frequency of burnout in nursing? any of your comments and experiences would be appreciated. if you just want to vent, that would be great too! thanks...
    i've been on a bp med for years now. a lot of that is probably genetic in my case ( everyone on both sides of my family had / has high bp usually starting at about 40) but lately the stress at work is definitely creating a heartburn issue that needs treatment.

    for me , its not the difficulty of the work or when the families or patients are nasty.........its the behavior of the doctors and especially the behavior of the don and administration.

    my administrator is generally a nice person, but that only goes so far. when the higher ups make big changes with no explanation it really makes me nuts.

    my don is one of those insecure/ angry control freaks. being a control freak might be helpful in that kind of position, but she controls by withholding information, snipes at us when we dont read her mind, snipes at us when we do take initative, mutters about everyone else when they aren't present, and lashes out on a regular basis.

    i hate going to work because of the jekyll & hyde routine.:angryfire i hate the fact that i really don't have any idea where i really stand with the boss. evaluations? can't remember when they last did them.........they keep saying they're almost ready...ditto with pay raises.....ditto with a lot of other things that could make the place run better.

    i guess the bottom line is that i have no confidence that my bosses will support us or even have a clue.

    the only reasion i'm still there is because it is convenient and i am still holding out a little hope that things might improve again.

    what i do to relieve the stress is : garden, comisserate with other nurses, play with my cat, pray.
    Last edit by fluffwad on Sep 15, '05
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    Nursing is very much a stressful job.
    I find that going for a long swim is a good way to relax when the stress starts to get too much.
    Not on any meds for BP though, far too stubborn.
    But I imagine after work most nurses are too exhausted to go for a swim (even a short one).
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    I think most of us who began this long journey as a nurse got into it because we had ideals of being able to make a difference and to really help people. Generally the reality is that you are working so hard trying to keep your head above water, drowning in paperwork and BS that you can't take adequate care of your patients.

    I took a travel job this time to be closer to my family and it pays less than I have ever made as a traveler and less than I made 12 years ago when I last worked a "regular" hospital job. I am happier than I have been in years with my job because the staffing is fantastic! I am in a 50 bed ER who sees about 100,000 per year with lots of trauma, we have an average of 18 RN's, 4 techs and several clerks for night shift. It is amazing how happy everyone is. No one sits around, but everyone helps each other, patient satisfaction is sky high and so is staff satisfaction. They are seeking magnet status. The pay is less than what would be in comparable hospitals in other cities but no one complains. Staffing and autonomy are the difference. Travelers come and stay and there are many who have spent their whole careers here.

    Staffing alone may not be enough if you are treated poorly, but I get the feeling places that staff adequately would not treat their nurses poorly.
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    WOW! I can't belive I stumbled upon this post,perfect timing.I'm tired.I've been in nursing for almost 20 years and I think to save some folks major disappointment we need to step forward and tell it like it is.Nursing Sucks!OK that may be a little harsh.Let me put it this way.Doctors,Surgeons,Fellow Staff,Management,and last but not least,Corporate suck!Honest to God if someone would have told me I'd be cussed out,spit on,lied to,humiliated by,and demeaned on a daily basis in this profession I think I would have gone elsewhere.Have you ever seen a grown man throw a tantrum?It's not pretty,especially if he happens to be holding a knife,hammer,or drill.Oh Yes life in the OR.Imagine if you were a secretary and you were sitting quietly at your desk and all of a sudden you see a computer screen wizz over your head!A little dramatic but you get the picture.I'm thinking you'd be calling someone for some help because this person has lost his mind.But what if noone came and things kept flying?You are on your own Sister.Welcome to Nursing!!!No one knows what we put up with except us.This harassment is part of the job,better keep a stiff upper lip.If your feelings get hurt easily and you didn'tMinor in "Dealing With Difficult,Angry,MoneySucking,Tired,Overworked,Unde rpayed People"Please look over the college brochure again"
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    I am on Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant :hatparty: Approx. 65% of the nurses on my unit have stated that they are taking an anti-depressant, some in combo. w/therapy. It is not that we hate nursing. It is that the emotional situations/interactions that are presented to us (by co-workers, physicians, families, patients etc.) on a daily basis are so over-the-top and so frequent, that anything involving self-care is needed and appreciated. Sometimes exercise, spirituality, the support of friends, family, etc. does not cut it emotionally. :wink2:
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    People who work in jobs that tax them physically need to keep themselves extremely fit. They increase their risk for injury if they do not take the needs of their bodies seriously and do everything they can to maintain health and strength.

    As nurses, we should follow that example for physical health. But even more important, WE need to pay attention to our emotional/spiritual health. Many of us deal with aching feet and bad knees and tender back muscles, but we manage. Where I see nurses hurting themselves is on the psychological level. We don't look out for ourselves, or for each other, by regarding emotional needs, restorative down time, nurturing of the soul, moral support, and inner healing as the life-saving tools they really are. We're much more attuned to sore feet than we are to sore spirits and we don't even take the sore feet all that seriously.

    Those among us who work in caustic environments with few options for escape would do well to recognize that this kind of stress is the equivalent of being in combat and then pare down other responsibilities accordingly. It takes extra energy to survive in hostile territory. A nurse who wants to protect herself might shed non-essentials, unless those are the activities that refill the well for her.

    Nurses who deal with heart-wrenching patients need to seek balance and anchoring by seeking after spiritual truth and finding outlets that allow them to set down their heavy loads and find joy.

    We do not routinely talk about getting and keeping our mental/emotional selves in good shape, maybe because it seems self-indulgent and weak to need comfort and nurturing. If only we could equate this kind of self care with exercising and eating right, we might be better equipped to stay emotionally healthy and avoid burn-out.
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    I've been on blood pressure medication for 20 years. I doubt that it's because of nursing since everyone on my dad's side of the family has cardiac disease! My "last straw" on the nursing jobs I quit usually involved my own attitude and because I was butting heads with superiors. I really had a problem with thinking they just didn't understand the staff nurses job. Going back and getting my BSN helped me a lot because I got a better look and understanding at what those managment and supervision jobs entailed and began to realize that I was part of the problem. In other words, I opened my mind. One of the things I do to relieve stress is to meditate. I learned transcendental meditation 30 years ago. What it has done for me is put things into perspective, so to speak. I tend to worry less about physical possessions and value my interactions with people and their emotions. After all. . .you can't take it with you. I also think a lot about something someone said to me a long time ago when I was freaking out about something. A hundred years from now, no one is going to know or care about what you did or went through today. Didn't that bring me down off my high horse!
  11. 0
    Quote from nursebaby23
    hello! i have a research project to do on nursing stress and burnout. i would like to know some of your experiences; for example, the exact "last straw" it took for you to realize that nursing may not be for you. tell me techniques you use to relieve stress; how many of you are on blood pressure medication? (i know i am.) what do you think it would take as a profession to alleviate the frequency of burnout in nursing? any of your comments and experiences would be appreciated. if you just want to vent, that would be great too! thanks...
    well, i used to call my prozac "mommys little helper" it is now a "nurses little helper"..
    but really, i try to focus on one good thing i can do a day, even if it is just to put a smile on one residents face (ltc) that makes me get through it. i try to not become discouraged by "administration" if they are all about money, but to remember why i became a nurse, to make the difference in lives, and yes, we are overworked, underpaid, too stressed out with all the new regs ect..but i can tell you, i still can and don make a difference in peoples lives, even in the passing of a resident, for the family to know i do care, and feel for them...it makes me keep ticking...
    jobug..
    no blood pressure meds after 15 pluss years, i am blessed that way, now high cholesterol is a different story, eating on "the run", excersing...is that running the corridors at work "smiles" ...
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    i have been burnt-out for a long time, so long i can't remember. i have already been doing this for too long, despite this i still try to do my best, as i want to treat others as i want to be treated. i may become sick one day and do not want to sow what i don't want to reap.
    i already told all of my story a long time ago, i won't retell it. but i know it's over for me for real now. sunday night a patient grabbed and twisted my right wrist, spraining it. i am online doing a serious job search, although it is not comfortable. he grabbed it while i was flushing his saline lock. he was known to be labile but not violent, however after he did this, the others said 'oh he kicked the doctor the other night' and 'he threw food at me on purpose' but there was nothing on the kardex stating this and it was not mentioned in report, all they said was that he was non-compliant with his medicines, none of them being pych meds. i believe that he is a psych pt that slipped through the cracks. he is homeless.
    i am right-handed. what can i do in nursing without writing? it hurts to write. after being molested, cursed and otherwise abused by patients, family members and staff who don't help, including managers who only care about their six-figure check, it is time to get out. i thank god that i was not getting blood from him, and got stuck with a live needle. who knows what he might have...aids, hepc, i don't want them. i am not a pill taker but i am taking naprosyn for the pain. and since i have to wrap my wrist after 22 years, how can i wash my hands properly? it is time to move on. i have just sent two resumes out this evening. i hope someone likes me.
    i have a ba in theatre arts, and taught summer school this year. i absolutely loved it! there is no perfect job and i don't expect to find it. but i know that i can be happy doing something else and keep my health at the same time. why should i continue to be abused? it's just not worth it anymore.
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    what i do to relax: i burn lavender oil and white sage, and have made a committment to myself to include some type of beauty in my life on a weekly basis, last week i went to a film festival, this week i repotted some little plants that i found for $1.00 and arranged them on my front porch. these things are inexpensive or don't cost anything. and they keep my sanity.
    Last edit by chrispicritah on Sep 15, '05 : Reason: add-on


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