I am a senior nursing student looking forward to joining this profession. Many times, I've been asked by nurses, "Why did you pick nursing?" I see them going through their day, doing nursing tasks/skills but not really caring for the patient. I've often wondered, what made them hate their job so?
I've decided to research this issue on nursing burnout/stress in the workplace. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this subject. What makes you stressed out as a nurse? Is it staffing, the nature of your job, lack of support, etc.? What are your experiences in the hospital? What do you do to deal with the stress/burnout?
As a nursing student, I would really like to learn from all the nurses out there. Please do share your knowledge with me. I would really appreciate it.
Nov 6, '98
Firefly, first of all I don't have to ask you why you want to be a nurse, I think I know!
After almost 20 years, it's still what I want to be!!!! Staffing is a major cause for stress, nurses are to care for more patients with less help and more responsibilities. Many can't "care" for their patients because they don't have the time. I think this causes a lot of stress to the nurses because they do want to have time for each and every patient.
It often seems that management isn't listening to us on the frontline of nursing, this is another type of stress. We are intelligent people with many good ideas if given the chance. I think you see nurses hating their jobs because of frustration with no solutions in site. I find that talking to other nurses helps fight the stress/burnout, even if you can't change things, it's good to know that others feel the same way as you.
Our hospital has been greatly affected by the Medicare cutbacks this year. We are now having to work with greater patient loads and less help. Talk about stress! They've just reduced the nurse managers on the floors from 6 to 3, so this is leading to more stress for the nurses. Everyone is worried about job security...is the hospital going to make it?
Only time will tell.In the meantime, the nurses plod on with stress growing and growing!
Nov 6, '98
I'm glad you're entering the nursing profession. It is a challenging, stressful, but very rewarding career. I've wanted to be a nurse since the 2nd grade and I've never been happier. Yes nursing can be very stressful, not only emotionally, but physically, depending on the type of nursing you choose. I feel much of my stress in the workplace comes from poor staffing. We work with 7-9 patients each, on the day shift. That's to many for us to be effective--taking care of the whole person, not just treating the illness. Nurses are in high demand in our area, we have 4 FT openings--so we are all working extra to cover those positions until we can find replacements. With the hoildays here--everybody wants to be with their family.
Our manager gives us very little encougagement and praise for a job well done. I think things would be easier if we did get the support from her. We as the staff would respect her much more if she would work the extra days too--rather that sitting behind her desk 7-3:30 and then she leaves.
To deal with this stress we lean on our co-workers. We are all going through it toghther, and we know we will get through it. I have a wonderful husband and listens to me every evening. Our hospital offers workshops on stress inthe workplace, but honestly I got nothing from them.
Please don't let this turn you off of nursing. In general, it's a wonderful career and I really wouldn't changed it if I could. Good luck with your senior year.
Nov 7, '98
Burnout, Stress, Overwhelmed...sounds like an average work week in a hospital to me.
Its not really that bad, I love being a nurse and most of the time it is very rewarding.
Having some positive feedback from the nurse manager would really be nice. If the administration would take the time to give us some positive reinforcement we would really appreciate that. I didnt become a nurse to be praised for my work on an hourly basis but I did expect to at least be noticed when I take on an extra patient load or go out of my way to accomodate a demanding family or patient. Coworkers who are difficult to work with are also a problem, these are the burned out ones who declare how they hate their jobs, usually the whole time they are at work. Having others stresses in your life make it difficult to concentrate on work at times, it is hard to leave a sick child at home with a babysitter but if you take too many sick days off you are reprimanded or fired. I have found that an occasional change in the unit or the hospital I work in leads to a new learning experience. That keeps things fresh for me. I have decided to try travel nursing for a while, this should broaden my experience and knowledge as a nurse.
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