New hospice nurse: Burned out!!!

  1. I HAVE BEEN A HOSPICE NURSE NOW FOR 10 MONTHS NOW AND IM FEELING COMPLETELY BURNED OUT. I HAVE CONSIDERED LEAVING MY JOB FOR THE LAST 2 MONTHS. THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS THAT I LOVE HOSPICE. I LOVE THE FACT THAT I GET TO BE THE NURSE THAT I ALWAYS PICTURED IN MY HEAD. THE ONE THAT IS MORE THAN A DOER BUT ONE WHO IS A CRITICAL THINKER. I CONSIDER MYSELF A NEW NURSE AS I HAVE BEEN IN THE FIELD FOR 3 YEARS. I PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON An ONCOLOGY/MED-SURG FLOOR THAT WAS EXTREMELY SHORT-HANDED FOR OUR AREA, AND IT WOULD BE NOTHING TO COME IN AND HAVE 7 CANCER PATIENTS. WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH ATTENTION A CANCER PATIENT NEEDS SO THIS LOAD WAS CRAZY TO ME. I LIKED WORKING IN THE HOSPITAL, BUT I FELT LIKE ALL I DID WAS FOLLOW ORDERS. I WAS NOT ACTIVELY BEING A NURSE I FELT. WITH HOSPICE I AM ALLOWED TO REALLY USE MY CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. ANOTHER REASON WHY I WOULD HATE TO LEAVE IS THE AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE OBTAINED WHILE BEING ON MY JOB. I HAVE BECOME A MUCH BETER NURSE BECAUSE OF THE DAY TO DAY LEARNING THAT I RECIEVE ON MY JOB. I HAVE LEARNED MORE IN HOSPICE WITHIN 10 MONTHS THEN I DID IN 2 YEARS ON MY ONCOLOGY FLOOR. MY PROBLEM IS THAT I AM CONSTANTLY WORKING. I WAKEUP AND WORK AND I WORK WHEN I GET HOME. AS SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WORKED IN THE HOMECARE SETTING I FELT THAT I NEEDED ALOT OF ORIENTATION TO THE JOB ALTHOUGH THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. I SPENT 4 DAYS WITH A NURSE WHOS POSITION I WAS TAKING AS SHE WAS LEAVING TO TAKE ANOTHER JOB. I FELT MY ORIENTATION WAS RUSHED AND MY WORKLOAD WAS TO HEAVY TO FAST. I STARTED OFF WITH A FULL TEAM OF PATIENT AT 13. I KNOW IN HOSPICE NO ONE HAS THE TIME TO MICROMANAGE YOU BUT I DID NEED TO BE MANAGED. THE MANAGER WHO I HAD AT THE TIME WHO I ADORED WAS UNABLE TO HELP ME DUE TO THE FACT THAT SHE WAS OVERWORKED. I RELIED HEAVILY ON MY SISTER WHO WORKED FOR THE COMPANY AS A PATIENT CARE MANAGER AND A CASE MANAGER FOR 10 YEARS. SHE LEFT AFTER 2 MONTHS OF ME BEING AT THE COMPANY BUT SHE WAS BASICALLY MY MANAGER WHO I COULD CALL ON WHILE OUT IN THE FEILD IF I HAD QUESTIONS WHICH I HAD ALOT OF. I WAS GIVEN NO RESOURSES WHICH MADE A DIFFICULT JOB EVEN MORE DIFFICULT. TO TOP IT OFF AFTER BEING THERE FOR ABOUT 4 MONTHS STATE CAME!!!!! DURING THIS VISIT MY COMPANY WAS CHEWED UP AND SPIT OUT ON THERE DOCUMENTATION AND WAS LEFT WITH 30 DAYS TO GET IT TOGETHER BEFORE THEY CAME BACK. WELL THIS SET OFF A CHAIN OF EVENTS WHICH INCLUDED 2-3 MEETINGS REGARDING CHANGES A WEEK(ALONG WITH IDG), DAILY AUDITS, POLICY CHANGES, AND INSERVICES. DURING THIS TIME I STILL HAD TO FIND A WAY TO SEE ALL MY PATIENT HAS PRN HELP WAS UNAVAILABLE. NOW THAT STATE HAS COME BACK AND EVERYTHING TURNED OUT FINE I AM STILL LEFT IN THE SAME WORE OUT CONDITION. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I DEAL DAILY WITH ATTITUDES WHEN YOU HAVE QUESTIONS. I DEAL WITH MANAGERS WHO TALK TO YOU LIKE IN THERE MIND THEY ARE SAYING " OH WHY DONT YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THAT YOU BEEN HERE FOR 10 MONTHS". I WAS NEVER EVEN TAUGHT HOW TO DO AN ADMIT BUT WAS SENT OUT TO DO AN ADMIT AND WHEN QUESTIONS AROSE FROM ME I WAS TOLD THAT ITS PRETTY SELF EXPLAINATORY. AS ALL HOSPICE NURSES SHOULD KNOW, WHEN YOU ARE A NEW HOSPICE NURSE NOTHING IS SELF EXPLAINITORY. I REALLY JUST DONT KNOWN WHAT TO DO AS I LOVE THE JOB AND MY PATIENTS AND FAMILIES DEARLY AS I HAVE GONE THROUGH MUCH WITH THEM AND THEY HAVE HUNG IN THERE WITH ME WITH NO COMPLAINTS AS I LEARNED AS I GO. I HAVE DISCUSSED THESE ISSUES WITH MY DOC AFTER SHE CAME TO ME TO ASK WHY I WAS SO BEHIND. I LET HER KNOW THAT I HAVE EXPRESSED THAT I NEEDED HELP SEVERAL TIMES WHILE OUT IN THE FEILD AND HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THIS PERSON IS OFF AND THAT THIS PERSON IS OFF AND THAT YOUR PRETTY MUCH JUST ARE GOING TO HAVE TO HANDLE IT. I KNOW THAT TIME MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN AN ISSUE WITH ME AND I AM RESOLVING THAT WITH MANY TIPS THAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS SITE AND COWORKERS. BUT I FEEL THAT IT IS SO MUCH MORE TO IT THEN THAT. I FEEL LIKE I HAVENT BEEN GIVEN THE TOOLS TO SUCCEED AND IM STRUGGLING TO STAY IN A JOB THAT LOVE. IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGESTION ON HOW TO PROCEED PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I AM SO ON THE FENCE BECAUSE I KNOW THAT MY RUSHING AND SITUATION CAN POTENTIALLY PUT MY PATIENTS IN A BAD SITUATION WHICH I REFUSED TO DO. SO PLEASE HELP A STRUGGLING HOSPICE NURSE IF YOU CAN. THANK YOU!!!!
    •  
  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   pfeliks
    You can start by turning off your "caps-lock".
  4. by   oceanblue52
    Nobody will respond to you if you don't reformat your post without caps.
  5. by   elimayrn
    Please repost without all caps. I would like to respond as I have had a very similar past 12 months, state and all.
  6. by   4boysmama
    it sounds like you need to find a new agency...the one you're at now is setting you up to fail.
  7. by   helen09
    I'm trying to think of CRITICAL skills needed for hospice. Pain and anxiety management is all; patients are not being medically treated.
  8. by   TriciaJ
    And please, paragraphs. I am very interested in your post, but my COB eyeballs can't handle it.
  9. by   CelticGoddess
    Quote from helen09
    I'm trying to think of CRITICAL skills needed for hospice. Pain and anxiety management is all; patients are not being medically treated.
    You don't work hospice, do you? I still have to use critical thinking at my job. I am not just managing pain and anxiety. I am caring for the family also. I have to make decisions based on my assessment of the situation. We just don't drug 'em and leave 'em to die.

    Before you dismiss what a hospice nurse does, learn about it first, please.
  10. by   Been there,done that
    You like the job, the company employing you is the problem.

    There are literally hundreds of companies/ hospitals that are begging for your skills. Start a job search, you will be amazed. If I were you, I would even go for a federal or state position.
  11. by   NurseToOurVets
    This is in response to CelticGoddess

    Well said! You are a TRUE hospice nurse. Thank you for letting others know, I worked on hospice for 5 years with our veterans and it was both the hardest and most rewarding job I have had since becoming a nurse. I have made such wonderful bonds with some of the families and have been there to help their loved one cross over. Those who have not worked in hospice will never know how different nursing is there.
  12. by   NurseToOurVets
    Are you serious helen09?? You have NO idea what hospice nursing is. Please do your research before you post a comment! When a patient is in Hospice care, they have a hospice diagnosis and many of them have co-morbidity's which YES we treat! I guess to you, families just leave their loved one with us and left to die right? Hospice patients can be extremely active, I would suggest you read about "terminal restlessness!
  13. by   TriciaJ
    I agree with previous posters that you just need to find a new employer. It could make all the difference. Good luck.
  14. by   CalArmy
    I critically think EVERY day!!! We are alone in the field and have to think on our feet. Hospice is not just pain control. We manage and treat a lot of symptoms. We also manage family dynamics. All of which take critical thinking!!

close