Ten Ways To Know You're Burning Out - page 6

by VivaLasViejas Guide

32,018 Views | 73 Comments

Here's something a little different from the writer who usually brings you the funny top-10 lists. Recently, a good friend of mine I'll call "Viv"---an LPN who's worked at the same LTC for eight-and-a-half years---suddenly up... Read More


  1. 3
    Quote from pyegirlrn
    Dear Burnout,

    I am on the same treadmill that you are on and due to circumstances that are out of my control, I could be looking at having to walk away from my primary mortgage and move to an area where my great-grandfather built a home(which has a small mortgage--long story). There is no "thing" or "debt" that will make me wish for an early death. After all, they are predicting that some catastrophic event will end it all in 2012 anyway. My family is what I wake up for every day and what enlivens me to endure whatever work may throw my way. Even living in a tent would be preferable to being dead without them.

    You sound depressed, so change your focus. I have a friend who has no young children and she is returning to school for a double degree--a Masters in Psychology with a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Degree at 54. What is your love? Why do you think that God created you? Find a niche and express your passion either in Nursing or out. Remember that God hasn't created any junk and He loves you. Praise God and He will return your joy to you.

    God Bless You!
    I think you were respnding to post, not the orignator of the thread. I'm not suicidal - I just am old enough to see a time when my health will not allow me to provide for my families lifestyle and enjoyment without not having the strength or time to participate in it with them. I can honestly say that death is preferable to struggeling to achieve a life not worth living. Nursing is a difficult profession and if we do it for a career, most of us are going to be old in body long before we are in years. I have enjoyed much of my practice and ALL of my time with my family. In recent years work is the sacrifice I make to provide for my family's joy. When I can no longer provide for their welfare I would rather "shuffle off this mortal coil" than have "...neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honour abated" If I can remain healthy enough to live another 40 years and still work to enhance our lifestyle I will, I just don't see his as likely.
    Work is more and more a burden that takes me away from the things and people I love. It is a means to enable me to provide for those people. It is fast approaching that I will no longer be physicaly able to use work for that purpose and when that time comes I don't want to be a burden to my loved ones. I would rather they remembered me as a generous provider and a loving parent/spouse than the cause to thier poverty and sacrifice in my failing years. I know I'm burnt out - it's what happens to a lightbub you leave on for too long. It isn't the fault of the darkness it is just a fact of life.
    mrr5745, Code_VSA, and VivaLasViejas like this.
  2. 0
    Beautifully stated, and spot on, suanna. You have just articulated my own viewpoint of things better than I did. Thank you!!
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    Oh gosh, after reading that i guess i'm burning out, lol.
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    I am new here. In fact,this is my 1st post. I have been a homecare nurse for the same company coming up on 9yrs. october 15th. And b4 i rant,please forgive my poor typing skills. I do not like computers nor do i like typing(this will lead up to part of my story) I was dx with ms in 2009. It was no big deal at the time. I felt fine and it hadnt sunk in. Than 2 months after dx,my mother dx with multiple myeloma and died 3 Thursdays to the day after dx. Went right back to work. Than in homecare we went from paper charting to computer charting,had to take a computer class while still in a haze from the mom's death. So,I'm trucking along,lugging a supid computer into my pts. home,performing infusions,wound vacs,etc....than charting on a computer after all that. If I wanted to be a computer whiz,I would have gone into computer science and not nursing! Okay,so,all the grief therapists telling me take some time off,use your pto(still hadnt even dealt with the ms dx,going back to work right after she died was good for me. Now,I am not telling my story for sympathy,just wanting to get across the insane burn out. And all of this is gonna be so hard to believe,but I promise you,it really happened. So,dx of ms in june,mom died in august,go back to work,take computer class in october,than I have a miscarriage,didn't know I was pg,was having a period and than starting bleeding heavily,trip to e.r. blah blah blah. So,after the miscarriage,had to do a round of salumedrol and decided ya know what,I have 120hours of pto time,it's time. Well,my company was unsure how to keep track of pto via the computer,and all my pto was gone. I wasnt paying attention to my paystubs,which list how much pto is used,My bad,I was a little out of my head,and just knew I hadnt taken anytime off and I have a lot of pto time left. I went to hr,vice president,and they admitted the mistake,I begged to please figure this out or I am headed to nuthouse. They suggested fmla for the ms,to cover their own mistake. GREAT! fmla. I dont know bout u guys,but i need to get paid. So,i took no time off. Now,fastforward to 2011. The ms is now hitting me,I have gone down to the lowest amount of hours that will still allow insurance. Can you say BURNT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am working to pay for m.d. appts,injections,etc...All the while,infusing MS pts.,cancer,u name it. I am trapped,because I need the insurance. But meanwhile,I loathe nursing at this point,my health is going down the tubes d/t burnout which is making the MS progress. I am engaged,but we are like every other person in his economy,we need 2 incomes. And let me tell ya,I live simpy. I at one time surfed daily,ran marathons,taught pilates.....Now,I take care of sicko's,only to get sicker. I am on a hamster wheel. In addition to this,I have had 4 of the computers provided to us,slip out of my hand,as you know you drop alot of crap with ms,and I am responsible for the cost of the cracked screen. If someone told me 2morrow,julie,you no longer have 2 be a nurse,i think i would feel the relief that a person must feel that has been on death row for 9 years than was suddenly found innocent d/t dna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again,my words may be jumbled in this post,my spelling may be off,and I am sorry. burnout burnout burnout!
  5. 0
    Quote from mysticalmoonray
    Thank you for posting this!!! I've been bummed out so badly for the past few months and couldn't figure out why. I work weekends and like others have posted it takes the whole week to de-stress. I also always think, talk, and dream about work in nightmares. I have anxiety and find myself taking my medication mainly after I get to work. It's really noticable since my fiance tells me to stop focusing and talking about the horrors of work since it gets me so worked up. Needless to say I'm looking for work elsewhere, even looking outside of nursing. Just for a change of scenery and I would much rather be doing something I really enjoy for less pay, then putting myself under such stress for a little more.
    I would rather sell tacky rugs on the side of the road than continue to be a nurse.
  6. 0
    Quote from jadelee
    I don't agree, while relaxing and not being at work is great, there are nursing jobs out there, where you can look forward to going to work. How easy they are too get, where you live is a different matter. I think the problem above isn't the work itself's but the balance between work and everything else. It would be nice, but ? utopia to live in a world where you could work 70% of the time,. etc and have 30 % off for example. but the world economy is built on needing full time work to just pay the bills.
    Nursing jobs that I would look forward 2 would be a low dose morphine drip,some tequila,my favorite band,and all my friends, That is the only nursing job I would look 4ward 2. But I do admire your positive attitude.
  7. 2
    I greatly sympathize with all nurses experiencing burn out. I could relate to most of the things expressed by everyone, only my job was not in nursing but in social services. I too quit my job unexpectedly like the subject of this post. I didn't plan or have thoughts of doing so in this tough economy, but yet I have no regrets. Like her, I knew I couldn't go on the way I was. I am now researching new fields to get into, which brought me to this website. Thanks to everyone who shared their experience. Your words are invaluable. I would not want to get myself in the same situation again in another career. I hope you all learn to care for yourselves as well as you care for your patients.
    sweetnurse63 and VivaLasViejas like this.
  8. 1
    Important topic to cover. Burn out can quickly deteriorate the environment.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from suanna
    I think you were respnding to post, not the orignator of the thread. I'm not suicidal - I just am old enough to see a time when my health will not allow me to provide for my families lifestyle and enjoyment without not having the strength or time to participate in it with them. I can honestly say that death is preferable to struggeling to achieve a life not worth living. Nursing is a difficult profession and if we do it for a career, most of us are going to be old in body long before we are in years. I have enjoyed much of my practice and ALL of my time with my family. In recent years work is the sacrifice I make to provide for my family's joy. When I can no longer provide for their welfare I would rather "shuffle off this mortal coil" than have "...neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honour abated" If I can remain healthy enough to live another 40 years and still work to enhance our lifestyle I will, I just don't see his as likely.
    Work is more and more a burden that takes me away from the things and people I love. It is a means to enable me to provide for those people. It is fast approaching that I will no longer be physicaly able to use work for that purpose and when that time comes I don't want to be a burden to my loved ones. I would rather they remembered me as a generous provider and a loving parent/spouse than the cause to thier poverty and sacrifice in my failing years. I know I'm burnt out - it's what happens to a lightbub you leave on for too long. It isn't the fault of the darkness it is just a fact of life.
    Well put! And it cracks me up that people give advice like..."go pamper yourself,go take a long walk" I love this one......."Light a candle and turn off all noise and meditate" I call a spade a spade,it's not a negative attitude,it's fact! And what if there is nothing you can do about burn out? what if you just have to keep working or you find yourself uninsured with multiple sclerosis(me)and have all th stupid meds to take,and cannot be homeless and have gone thru all your savings d/t the fmla time taken off,most of it without pay cuz you used your pto time for sick days?
  10. 4
    Quote from KeepingItRealEeyore
    Thank you for posting this. I know exactly how your friend "Viv" feels. I myself have debated on faxing in my resignation letter and not looking back, but I can't due to the economy. I'm getting tired of dealing with rude staff and rude patients who think they are at a hotel or something. I'm also tired of management having grandios ideas that are unrealistic for the nursing profession.

    this post is the post that really gets to the heart of the problem that Nursing is facing and it only is going to get worse.

    management (I've been in management). Management at many places... totally lacks any imagination.(That's why I quit that job) New medicare law? Throw more paperwork at nurses (only now it's data entry) Many of us never thought when we went into nursing we would spend hours a shift at a computer. No matter what anyone tells you. Key strokes take longer than paper charting. Why do you think doctors don't type out their progress reports? Because they haven't been bullied into it.
    So throw more and more charting (data entry) at a nurse, and then complain to nurses that press ganey scores aren't high enough?
    Well GEEEEEE....I WONDER WHY? Here's my favorite...you have computers in the room to chart on, and then managament tells you not to act like the computer is the most important thing. lolololol. UNBELIEVABLE.

    And she also has a point about patients thinking they are at a hotel. For me it's not the majority of patients, not even close....but here's the problem. ONE of those patients can manipulate an entire shift.
    Ever been called into a room to move a pillow for a patient that's completely capable of moving themselves? Or, another one of my favorites...you ask they patient if there is anything else you can get for them, and they call you 5 minutes later for a milk.

    Look folks, it's pretty simple....it's all about money, it always is. Nurses are exploited, treated like children despite being highly skilled and/or experienced and unless they happen to work for good managers, have absolutely no say about patient loads that are dangerously heavy...or for that matter, have much say about anything. (Unless in a union)

    What's that all add up to? Danger for the nurse and unfortunately the one thing ironically, we are there to prevent, potentially dangerous outcomes for the patient that the nurse has not had the time to keep a closer eye on.

    And please don't bore me with the "negative attitude" lecture. I'm a realist...I also love being a nurse, but I know the deal.

    Nothing will change until Nurses function like Doctors. YOU group together and you CONTRACT with a hospital. YOU dictate safe acuity measures, YOU dictate break times. YOU work with hospitals to decide how best to produce patient satisfaction, and high productivity. Those are things that many if not all Unions don't even do.

    None of that means you won't be busy, but what it does is empower nurses...which translates to better patient care, better patient outcomes, happier nurses and happier patients.
    It's time to take control of the profession, as a country of nurses. Not a union here or there.
    Lives depend on it. That's why we are here.
    And I will say it again, it is ONLY going to get worse without MAJOR changes

    It's time to get bold. Think big and stop being battered from every side.
    eyeball, fantasyworld, VivaLasViejas, and 1 other like this.


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