What is "burnout" and how do you cope? - Page 2Register Today!
- Dec 9, '10 by Vtachy1Quote from Kris10kI have heard this from a CNA the other day, and from others. Both RNs and CNAs need to realize what its like to be in the other's shoes. When I was an RN on med surg and even in ICU I worshipped the ground the charge nurse walked on when they allowed me to aid when we were short an aid. Because the legal responsibility of charting and calling all the disciplines to coordinate the patients care all that burden was lifted off my shoulders! Yay!!! I can do the physical stuff and work like a dog NO PROBLEM and be ever so helpful and respectful and realize that its my job to build up the nurses and help them. I was an aid for 4 years before I was an RN and I wish I could go back to the days of aiding. It was a mistake to get my BSN. I realize that now after 20 years LOL.It's really unfair for people to say CNA's are all lazy, disrespectful, etc. I am in nursing school and have been an aide for a few months and in my work place it is the exact opposite. Nurses will NOT help you when they know you are struggling, and often times I am the only aide on a shift. I really aspire to be a great nurse and I hope that someday when I have aides I will actually lend them a hand if they are in need--after all they are your patients. I feel that overall, the system is broken and I wish teamwork was more of a commonplace.
- Dec 9, '10 by noahsmamaQuote from mta1976At the hospital where I used to work, the CNAs were AMAZING. They worked at least as hard as the nurses if not harder. Most were great about teamwork -- they would help me and I would help them. They really worked their butts off. I would have a 4 patient assignment, but they would have 12. They did all vitals, most patient hygiene, toileting, feeding. Don't know what I would have done without them.As for the CNA's...get used to it. For every 20 CNA's I know... 1 will be good. I don't know where they get their sense of superiority. If we were brick layers they would be the laborers, and be expected to work while we take our break. I honestly don't know why CNA's are allowed to behave as they do. I had a situation where I was the bad guy for writing up two CNA's I caught surfing the internet while the nurses were busting our butts. really? c'mon.
However, at another hospital where I did my med/surg clinical rotation in nursing school, the CNAs were much as you've described. They would do vitals, but would pretty much disappear for the rest of the shift, and would look at you like you had two heads if you asked for help turning or bathing a patient. And I don't just mean me as a nursing student, they weren't around to help the nurses either.
I can only conclude that this situation existed at the second hospital because management tolerated it. At the hospital with the amazing CNAs, any CNA who slacked off all of the time would have been out of a job pretty darned quick.
- Dec 9, '10 by enchantmentdisAs for the CNA's...get used to it. For every 20 CNA's I know... 1 will be good. I don't know where they get their sense of superiority. If we were brick layers they would be the laborers, and be expected to work while we take our break. I honestly don't know why CNA's are allowed to behave as they do. I had a situation where I was the bad guy for writing up two CNA's I caught surfing the internet while the nurses were busting our butts. really? c'mon.
My advice, if you don't like healthcare and can't find a good fit. Run. Run fast. It's not going to get better.[/quote]
My sentiments exactly. CNA's are allowed this behavior because they are cheap labor and expendable, and management don't care what they do. They have no responsibilies, either. If they do vitals wrong or allow a patient to fall the nurse is responsible. CNA's are like toddlers--you have to watch them constantly. Once when i complained about a lazy, good for nothing CNA, the manager reprimanded me and said, "but you make so much more money than she does". Yes, i guess it is my fault for not being a slacker and going to school. I hear CNA's complain about how much money the nurses make but if i ask them if they would like to become a nurse and make more money, they say no way, every one dumps on the nurses, you guys are always in trouble, and there is too much responsibility! Then stop complaining about how much money i make and take care of that code brown in room 211!!!!
- Dec 9, '10 by enchantmentdisQuote from TheCommuterI'm coping by working PRN. This means that I can select the days that I want to work at a higher rate of pay than full time staff.
I'm also coping by working exclusively on night shift. There's too much craziness during daylight hours: doctors rounding and writing orders, rude families, demanding patients, and unsympathetic managers. I'm being pulled in too many directions during daytime hours. At least I am comforted by the fact that most families, doctors, and managers will be at home trying to catch up on their sleep while I'm at work!
AAAAAMMMEEN! I have spent my whole career trying to stay out of trouble. Could not avoid trouble in the big hospitals, even on nights, when there are fewer staff, because drug-seeking patients are very manipulative and will report you to management if you won't give them what they want. Have worked nights, days, pms. Now as on call hospice nurse i am alone in my car on pms and visit 3-5 patients per night. No doctors, no ancillaries, no management on my case, and family members are grateful when i show up to fix a problem. The patients are also not drug-seeking--they're actually sick. No manipulation here. And this, after 16 years of hell.Last edit by enchantmentdis on Dec 9, '10
- Dec 9, '10 by squirmalsI can so relate. I hate everyday I walk off the floor. I get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. I'm so sure I could have done it better if my hands weren't tied behind my back and had just a bit of help from the CNA's. Our CNA's do NOT do vitals, HS care. Their duties are to put the RN and CNA's name on the white board, weights(that always seem to be exactly the same as last nights wgt) pass linen for days and the I&Os. If you should happen to need help while they are adding up that cup of coffee and sip of water (that is old and I gave it to the pt last night before I went home) the pt took in, I get the evil eyes with sound effects. It's not worth it. I use to think the CNA were the hardest working, then it was as if one day they were told it didn't matter. I've been in nursing since '81, to tired of this. The past 2 wks the Dr are having temper tantrums, families are upset and the pt are upset because we have Pepsi products and not coke. I miss the day the day when you walked into a room and told the pt you WILL turn, cough and deep breath and we Will walk. Your going to get better and get out of here. No pneumonia, no skin breakdown. There is so much we could do if they just untied our hands.
- Dec 9, '10 by SoundofMusicDefinitely didn't mean to slam ALL cna's w/ my last post. But I'm here to tell you -- there are hardworking techs, and then there are the slackers.
And the thing is -- the slackers usually come w/ the attitude.
With floor nursing, there is just too much work to be a slacker, I'm sorry. SOME Cna's just also need to work on their flexibility -- yes, you have your vitals and the things you need to get done, and we constantly revise OUR schedules so you can get them done ...but once in a while, YOU also need to be flexible to accommodate the nurse -- and better yet, the patient, when it calls for that.
As I said ...if techs were directly accountable to nurses ...the whole world would change. As it stands, its just a recipe for burnout - at least it was for me.
And I will also add -- a lot of it is just understaffing w/ techs as well. If we had enough of them, maybe it would improve ...however, on the days when we are fully staffed ...a lot of the techs seem to also find ways to disappear even more, I guess expecting that the "other" tech will be there to get it done.
That said, I work w/ a GREAT tech at my job who works her butt off ... but she is about the only one there who does. The rest of them seem to be on little pre-programmed tracks they cannot get off of. I am lucky to get their help when I need it, and I do feel a lot of them pick and choose which nurses they will help based on their personal like or dislike of that nurse. Nothing is more unfair as nurses do not pick and choose the needs of their patients at any given time.
- Dec 9, '10 by canesdukegirlQuote from Kris10kI understand your sentiment. However, if team work is really what you wish to see, you must not use verbiage like "Nurses will NOT help you..." That is a blanket statement, and is exactly what you are posting as "unfair". I was an aide myself during nursing school and I understood that the nurses were swamped with things that I was unfamiliar with, like the LOADS of charting, getting everything ready for a pre-op patient, getting ready for the docs to round, clarifying orders, etc. While it is true that there are underachievers in all positions in healthcare, it takes a resilient and understanding person to refuse the "us against them" mentality that seems so commonplace. It is a tough thing to do, I know.It's really unfair for people to say CNA's are all lazy, disrespectful, etc. I am in nursing school and have been an aide for a few months and in my work place it is the exact opposite. Nurses will NOT help you when they know you are struggling, and often times I am the only aide on a shift. I really aspire to be a great nurse and I hope that someday when I have aides I will actually lend them a hand if they are in need--after all they are your patients. I feel that overall, the system is broken and I wish teamwork was more of a commonplace.
OP, the way I avoid burnout is by taking a weeklong vacation every 4 months. I work in a broken system, as so many of us do. We need to understand that systems are slow to change, and that the institutions themselves really do not place a humanistic value on us as nurses. We do seem to be just numbers to an institution, but to REALIZE that takes some of the sting away when we are constantly running into brick walls.
- Dec 9, '10 by Kris10kCanesdukegirl,
You are completely right. Of course there are nurses who help and they are very much appreciated! All I was trying to express is that CNA's are not all "uneducated and constantly disappearing" etc. I respect the role of the nurse and I try to be the very best CNA that I can be, for I know when I'm in the opposite position I will appreciate a hard working tech!
- Dec 9, '10 by Ruby VeeQuote from nunnurse1congratulations -- you've just answered your own first question. this is burnout!i am working a great job, that i really love, but i am so tired! i am tired of whiny cnas , petty nurses, screaming patients and a totally unrealistic schedule. i have been a nurse for close to 10 years and have never felt so frustrated with so many things. i feel like i have way to much responsibility, way too much info that i have to keep track of, and when i take 3 or 4 days off, i don't want to go back. i am so sad right now and i dont know how to fix this. can anyone help me with any suggestions, please??
as for how do you cope? change! not everyone has the time and/or money to go back to school or the choice of incurring mountains of debt to go back to school to be an advance practice nurse. not to worry. you can still cope.
a change of shift may help -- if you're on nights, ask for a day shift. if your on days, work some nights. if you're rotating, work more of one shift or the other than you have. a simple change of shift may change your entire perspective.
change departments within your hospital. jobs are hard to come by these days, but you might be able to volunteer to float to ccu from sicu or to peds from nicu. pick up some overtime in the cath lab or gi clinic or wherever else seems interesting. change specialties entirely if you're so inclined.
take a new job in a different hospital.
volunteer to teach acls, spearhead the handwashing initiative or develope a care plan for the new type of surgery your patients are having done. become an expert in iv starts or wound care or whatever floats your boat.
go back to school . . . i'm talking cheapo here because i know you'll get lots of the expensive education ideas. go to the community college and take a class in physics because you wish you'd learned that in high school. learn french. take up scuba diving.
volunteer at your child's school, your church or your local food bank. take the focus off your job and make some outside activity your reason for being. the job just pays the bills.
practice better stress management. work out at the gym before work, after work, or on every day off. walk your dogs three miles instead of 1/3 of a mile. swim, run marathons, or learn tennis. eat healthy. get a new bed or new bedding or a cpap machine -- whatever it takes to ensure that you get good sleep.
take a real vacation if you're able.
i've been burned out many times, and i've tried many of these solutions myself. they all work. the more burned out you are, the bigger changes you're going to have to make to fix it, so nip it in the bud if possible. good luck!
- Dec 10, '10 by melschI was burnt out three years ago, working part time on a medical/oncology/stroke unit. It was really heavy and although the team worked pretty well together the manager wouldn't back us or help us at all. It really was all about money to her and whether or not she could stay under budget so she could get her bonus. We worked short all the time and had more patients on the floor than beds (parked in the hallway) and we could never find equipment. I only worked 2 or 3 shifts a week and on my days off I would find myself crying for no reason and almost sick just thinking about going back to work. I also found that I just came to work and went through the motions and couldn't really care about my patients because I just didn't have the time. I was leaving big stuff (like calling doctors) to the next shift because I just didn't care. I felt really helpless and that I wasn't even capable of doing my job anymore - because I couldn't be at 8 - 10 bedsides at the same time and know what was happening to all my patients and give good care.
An opportunity came up to cover for another nurse while she was on maternty leave on another unit and I grabbed it, looking at it as a vacation from my other job. I was able to secure another position when the first one was done on the same unit and never looked back.
I have time to care for my patients and we are properly staffed and never get grief for our decisions to call in mores staff if needed. The unit is patient focused, not budget focused, but we still try to keep overtime to a minimum and send home staff - or don't replace them if our census is low, but our everyday staffing levels are right if we have a full census and we never have hallway patients.