Are any of you guys as burned out as I am?

  1. I've been an RN and NP for almost 22 years now. Most recently I was working as an RN due to the rather soft job opportunities for NPs around my area. This past Friday I walked away from my job. My manager told me she was receiving complaints about my nursing style. Most of the gripes seemed to focus on my not being empathetic or not seeming to care about my patients. Not true but at the same time I've always come across as more serious in demeanor. That conference with my manager was the last straw. I talked things over with my wife and quit the next day. I'm now looking at changing careers and getting out of healthcare.
    This is not a new feeling for me. Working in hospitals for so long and dealing with difficult patients, families with unrealistic expectations, arrogant MDs, assignment overload and managers that want to turn me into a woman has finally pushed me off the cliff.
    I've been in nursing a long time and really don't know how to do anything else so I'm in limbo right now. I'm leaning toward getting some job that has the least resonsibility possible. Kind of like Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty". Maybe the local Wal-Mart or Burger joint has some openings. But this I know, I'm never going to work as an RN again.That part of my life is over.
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I'm sorry to hear that. Good luck in whatever you do.
  4. by   Halinja
    Not male, so I hope you don't mind my butting in.

    I can understand being burnt out, and how that would make you want to walk away from it entirely. But having watched my post-teen boys work at places like McDonalds and Walmart made me aware that you get a ton of the disadvantages (unreasonable expectations of performance, screaming bosses, horrible customers) on top of truly crappy pay.

    Have you thought of using your RN in a different capacity? Like a legal nurse consultant, or working for a corporation, or as a school nurse? (or, pharmaceutical sales, though I offer that with some trepidation...not sure of the ethics involved there)

    Most likely you've already considered these options so I'm out of line, but on the off chance...it seems a shame to leave something you've devoted so much of your life to.

    Good luck in whatever you do!!!
  5. by   Dinith88
    Quote from Germanicus

    I've been in nursing a long time and really don't know how to do anything else so I'm in limbo right now.
    Thats totally how i feel at times. I've been a nurse for a long while, and have struggled with varying degrees of burn-out for quite a few years.
    I'm not, however, ready to throw in the towel...or flip burgers...yet.

    good luck to you.
  6. by   shnaples
    I hear you! I have been in nursing a long time. Try being a visiting nurse. You only have to deal with one patient at a time or private duty.
  7. by   knockandhello
    Quote from Dinith88
    Thats totally how i feel at times. I've been a nurse for a long while, and have struggled with varying degrees of burn-out for quite a few years.
    I'm not, however, ready to throw in the towel...or flip burgers...yet.

    good luck to you.
    wow! Are you 87 and still working?
  8. by   Demonsthenes
    If you have a Bachelors Degree in any field, you can make as much or more money as an RN, have better job security, better working conditions, and significantly more respect in education as a teacher than as a nurse. Also, it has been my experience that there is significantly less sexism (if any) in education than in nursing.
    Best of luck!
  9. by   karenne40
    Quote from Germanicus
    I've been an RN and NP for almost 22 years now. Most recently I was working as an RN due to the rather soft job opportunities for NPs around my area. This past Friday I walked away from my job. My manager told me she was receiving complaints about my nursing style. Most of the gripes seemed to focus on my not being empathetic or not seeming to care about my patients. Not true but at the same time I've always come across as more serious in demeanor. That conference with my manager was the last straw. I talked things over with my wife and quit the next day. I'm now looking at changing careers and getting out of healthcare.
    This is not a new feeling for me. Working in hospitals for so long and dealing with difficult patients, families with unrealistic expectations, arrogant MDs, assignment overload and managers that want to turn me into a woman has finally pushed me off the cliff.
    I've been in nursing a long time and really don't know how to do anything else so I'm in limbo right now. I'm leaning toward getting some job that has the least resonsibility possible. Kind of like Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty". Maybe the local Wal-Mart or Burger joint has some openings. But this I know, I'm never going to work as an RN again.That part of my life is over.
    I can absolutely sympathize with you...nursing is a lousy profession. I've been a nurse for 11 years if if I was 20 years younger I would be gonzo. Have you ever thought about going back to school and getting into the trades.....like any trade pays more than nursing. Why if I got a lawnmower and a rake I could easily make $35.oo/hr. My friend's son is in a big dilemma after goingto college and getting jerked around my different corporations. He is in retail and got fired 2 wks ago..so I will mention to you what I mentioned to her. How about going to school to be a locksmith? It does not take a long time and the security business is booming everywhere. Just think you could go back into the hospitals and they would be at your mercy..you could jack your rates up and may them pay for all the mean things they've done to you. Twice I was at a nursing home and left the keys locked in the cart...had to call the locksmith and they paid dearly for the gentleman to come in at 1a.m. Another thing you might do untill you leave this profession behindl'is do agency nursing in LTC. You go in do your 8 hrs and leave. I've been doing this for years and you don't have to deal with any you-know-what...no admissions, no discharges,no meeting, no edits, no summaries. If you don't like a place you just don't go back. Find a few places you like...guaranteed no stress. I enjoy the cna's for the most part,respect them for the work they do and we become allies. Some of the patients are not so bad although the families are the worst. Lots and lots of luck...you are one guy that's got it right about this 'profession'
  10. by   NYNewGrad
    [QUOTE=Germanicus] I've been an RN and NP for almost 22 years now. Most recently I was working as an RN due to the rather soft job opportunities for NPs around my area.[QUOTE]

    Wow, this scared me.

    Not that RNs takes a whole load of crap, families, managemnet, pay, etc. That I know and that we all know.

    What scares is that I thought as an NP it gets better. One patient at a time, families more respectful, no waitressing or bartending... Is it really just as bad as an NP? What kind if setting did you work in??
  11. by   Mulan
    Quote from karenne40
    I can absolutely sympathize with you...nursing is a lousy profession. I've been a nurse for 11 years if if I was 20 years younger I would be gonzo. Have you ever thought about going back to school and getting into the trades.....like any trade pays more than nursing. Why if I got a lawnmower and a rake I could easily make $35.oo/hr. My friend's son is in a big dilemma after goingto college and getting jerked around my different corporations. He is in retail and got fired 2 wks ago..so I will mention to you what I mentioned to her. How about going to school to be a locksmith? It does not take a long time and the security business is booming everywhere. Just think you could go back into the hospitals and they would be at your mercy..you could jack your rates up and may them pay for all the mean things they've done to you. Twice I was at a nursing home and left the keys locked in the cart...had to call the locksmith and they paid dearly for the gentleman to come in at 1a.m. Another thing you might do untill you leave this profession behindl'is do agency nursing in LTC. You go in do your 8 hrs and leave. I've been doing this for years and you don't have to deal with any you-know-what...no admissions, no discharges,no meeting, no edits, no summaries. If you don't like a place you just don't go back. Find a few places you like...guaranteed no stress. I enjoy the cna's for the most part,respect them for the work they do and we become allies. Some of the patients are not so bad although the families are the worst. Lots and lots of luck...you are one guy that's got it right about this 'profession'
    How do you avoid admissions? Do you work 11-7?
  12. by   wjf00
    Quote from Germanicus
    : I'm leaning toward getting some job that has the least resonsibility possible. Kind of like Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty". Maybe the local Wal-Mart or Burger joint has some openings.
    Good idea to move on if you feel that way. Having become an RN rather late in life I have done such jobs as roofer, bartender, cleaning airplanes, Letter Carrier and the like. You should try it if you have not already... this route tends to give one a different perspective on nursing. Good Luck.
  13. by   Mulan
    I wish I had something else to do also, I just don't know what. Wal-mart greeter sounds pretty good except for the pay.

    Was it patient complaints or other staff members that were complaining?

    Have you tried doing prn?, working as little or as much as you can stand and at hopefully higher pay.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  14. by   Germanicus
    I appreciate all the responses to my rant and all of the suggestions for alternative employment. I got into nursing when I was 30 so I already did my time in the ashes, so to speak. I worked in construction, taught school threw drunks out of nightclubs; you get the picture. I worked as an NP this week through an agency and actually enjoyed it. There were and always will be trying or difficult patients but most of the folks I treated this week were appreciative of my efforts to get them well. I still feel the same way about nursing though. I will never work as an RN again. Maybe it was just the last situation I was in that helped finish burning me out, I don't know. I do know that I'm ready for a change. A big change. Thanks for the support I've seen here on the forum.

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