Ten Ways To Know You're Burning Out - page 4

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. 2
    Quote from mrr5745
    Thanks. It provided me with some valuable insight as well. I am once again starting on that downhill slope of burn out. I have felt burned out in every nursing job I've had after a year or so.

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My question was "Is it the job or is it me?" After reading this article, I now understand it is truly a combination of both. I found some things I can work on to help stop (or at least slow down) the burn out process. I truly do not want to be labeled as a job hopper, but unfortunately, changing jobs seems much easier than changing me!
    You can say THAT again!!

    You are not alone. I'm in the same boat---I've wound up getting restless and agitated in every single nursing job I've ever held, including this one (even though it's head and shoulders above all the rest and I should still be thanking my lucky stars to have it). But like you, I'm going to work on the things I CAN do to cope and to make work life more enjoyable, because I really don't have the luxury of leaving nursing right now.

    One thing I've decided is to get my butt OUT of the building promptly at 5 PM, unless it's on fire or I'm actually coding somebody. Too often, the med aides start getting a bunch of MD orders in around 1630 and then other things come unspooled between 1630 and 1700, so more often than not I end up staying late to deal with it (and then, of course have to document everything). There have been two solid weeks of this recently, and Thursday when they came running to me with a resident complaint that didn't require an RN to handle ("what do you do when I'm not here??!") I said "NO--I'm not doing this, you need to take care of it because I've been here all day and I am going home."

    Of course, I felt guilty about it all the way home because the staff had goggled at me like I'd suddenly sprouted three heads, but I told myself it was well worth the momentary discomfort and talked myself out of it by the time I pulled into my driveway. Like most nurses, I tend to think that the whole dang opera's going to fall apart if I'm not there to sing the aria, when the truth is that the backup choir is perfectly capable of carrying it off. Besides, if the administrator can get out of there by 1700 on four out of five days in a given week, I certainly should be able to.

    The other thing I've promised myself is to begin laying the groundwork for an eventual departure, re-evaluate my career when I turn 55, and if I still feel the same way I do now, I'll get out. That's only a little over two years away, but it's plenty of time to explore what else I might be able to do and plan how we can downsize our lifestyle to accommodate part-time work and/or lower wages. By that time my hubby will be eligible for Social Security (he had to retire last year for health reasons) so that will take a little of the pressure off me.

    In all honesty, I think I could probably last another 10 years if I didn't have to work five days per week. My old four-day weeks at the nursing home were great, and a three-day week would be just about perfect; but my administrative job doesn't lend itself well to three 12's per week, even if I could handle the long shifts physically, and I couldn't go back to the floor even if I wanted to because of my bad back and knees. Six of one, a half-dozen of the other.......either way, I'm not going to have an ideal schedule, and indeed, I'm not sure such a thing even exists.
    NurseShelly and mrr5745 like this.

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  2. 2
    Quote from Bluee
    Isn't it somewhat normal to experience anxiety symptoms before heading off to work? Especially if you've been off for awhile (six day stretch or more, like someone else said). I mean, there's a reason why we're paid to work. It's tough stuff and can be quite unpleasant. That's what the money is for. So, if you just spent a full week relaxing, enjoying your life and family, and having the best time of your life, any reasonable person would dread going back to work!
    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.
    sweetnurse63 and VivaLasViejas like this.
  3. 4
    I am there. I love the field, love the patients. I ended up at the wrong facility. Three Don's, two Administrator's and the business has been sold in three years. The Clinical Director does not have a Nursing License and the new Executive Director is a "he said, she said" "her perception, his perception" do nothing Nurse. I'm there, but not for long. Networking and job hunting as I type. I did not work my but off for this foolishness! This girl knows when to go!
    PReiser, NurseShelly, nhensleyLPN, and 1 other like this.
  4. 3
    What SUCKED about my last job was, not the job itself, but the administration!! The DON hated conflict, so she'd pick on the most-unlikely-to-talk-back (MOI). I got chewed out for trying to assert my authority with the CNA's, I got blamed when another nurse didn't properly do HER assessment and the patient ended up in a bad way, I seemed to be the only nurse that got in trouble over leaving blanks in the books, ad nauseum, ad infinitum!
  5. 4
    I am totally burned out, and I am just a new, unexperienced nurse.
    Graduating in Dec. 2010, and taking and passing boards in March,
    I could not find a job, so I applied to a hospital where I had my clinicals that I did not like.
    I hated the clinicals on this particular unit I re-thought nursing during that last semester.
    However, I have been orientation a long time because it is taking me very long to catch on with
    the hustle and bustle of the floor.
    I have been in orientation since the last week of June, but have not had a consistent preceptor;
    I would say about 15+ preceptors or whoever is available. 10+ nurses including both managers have
    left the floor. I am stressed and cannot learn in the environment.
    I go home with pounding headaches and even though I'm young I can feel my blood
    pressure rising.
    I cannot do this on this med-surg/vent floor.
    Any suggestions as to how I can get out?
    P.S. I have my BSN and in the Chicago-land area.
    I cannot do this job and am thinking maybe I should have went into a less stressful career like education.
    However, deep down inside I feel there has to be other nursing jobs out there less stressful.
    NurseShelly, anotherone, LTCangel, and 1 other like this.
  6. 6
    I don't know if there are nursing jobs that are less stressful....but there are jobs that don't give you constant headaches or HTN. Your hospital sounds like the workplace from Hell, and all I can say is what I did on the first page: Life is too short for sucky jobs. It took me fifteen years to figure it out, but NOBODY is going to reward you for sticking with such a job---all they will do is sap the life out of you until nothing is left, and then kick you to the curb like yesterday's garbage. I know. I've seen it happen. It's happened to me as well....twice, in fact. And the only thing I ever regretted about those jobs---other than taking them in the first place---was waiting as long as I did to get out.

    Wishing you the best......it's a tough decision in this sort of economy, but I can't in good conscience tell you to suck it up and live with it. Get out, I say, while the "gittin's good".
  7. 1
    Wow, that's powerful encouragement and advice. Thanks.
    Yes, I am not a quitter, even though I'm young, college age and
    have had a couple of jobs, I have never quit a job like what
    I'm contemplating doing.
    I have been looking fervently and spend time filling out applications.
    My target areas of interest include: homehealth, peds homehealth,
    school nursing (much later down the line), and perhaps psych.
    But you are right. I cannot sacrifice my mental wellbeing for a job.
    Because at this point, I'd rather work as a cashier full time with half my pay than
    what I'm doing now, and that is sad.....
    Thanks for input...I'll keep looking and stay positive
    P.S. I had a meeting with the manager last week, and she
    tells me she doesn't want me to quit; apparently they have an
    extremely high turnover for new grad RNs.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  8. 3
    I imagine there are, but they all have their own brand of stress. WHY does every nurse think they HAVE to work in a hospital to be/feel competent ?? As an RN, one has many other choices!! Doctors offices, home health, LTC, school nursing? Tell me if I'm too far off base here. Again, its not usually about the job, its about the administration or lack thereof. I'm so sorry you feel this way at such a young age and so early in your career.
  9. 4
    As a wise man told me once and he had 40 years on the Job. He said "Son, this place was here and running before you go here and it will be here long after you are dead and gone"
  10. 5
    I ,too, had my fair share of being burnt out. There a time when I was having multiplejob assignments.
    Worked as woundcare nurse , 3-11 supervisor and doing the audits for psychtropic meds documentation such as behavior charting fora 180 bed capacity LTC. It was tough. Then the administrator quit and then almost 50% of the r
    RNs who worked for the facility for a long while up and left the facility. Then A few months after the DON left too . I was stuck because I had a 3 yeArs contract and I was barely a year in that facility when everything happened. Itwas no fun at all. We had agency nurses filling the gaps. No continuity. It was hard for everybody . Talk about hurting between the scapular area d/t tension. Dragging yourself out of bed to be at work on time. Unable to sleep at night because you are trying to think how to get everything organized at work or thinking about what it would be like inthe morning. Being so busy at work your energy is spent and all you want to do on your day off is sleep.

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