ICU BURN OUT

  1. 0
    Hi all,
    I would like to know what different hospitals are doing for the RN's to keep them motivated to stay in the nursing profession. I am a unit manager of an ICU and I have alot of RN's working for me that are just burned out!! There is a critical care nursing shortage across the country and there doesn't seem to be any relief. I am having to hire new grads into the ICU which also adds stress to my more senior staff.
    Help!!!!!!!!
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  4. 0
    Originally posted by KSAHR:
    Hi all,
    I would like to know what different hospitals are doing for the RN's to keep them motivated to stay in the nursing profession. I am a unit manager of an ICU and I have alot of RN's working for me that are just burned out!! There is a critical care nursing shortage across the country and there doesn't seem to be any relief. I am having to hire new grads into the ICU which also adds stress to my more senior staff.
    Help!!!!!!!!
    some units have offered an opportunity to rotate briefly to another area for a chance to
    see some other side of nursing: Nursery, out patient, clinic, etc.. Your patients get
    ICUitis, so do the nurses. Just a thought for you.
  5. 0
    Originally posted by KSAHR:
    Hi all,
    I would like to know what different hospitals are doing for the RN's to keep them motivated to stay in the nursing profession. I am a unit manager of an ICU and I have alot of RN's working for me that are just burned out!! There is a critical care nursing shortage across the country and there doesn't seem to be any relief. I am having to hire new grads into the ICU which also adds stress to my more senior staff.
    Help!!!!!!!!
  6. 0
    We have the same problem in the UK. I don't know if you already do this but we have organised the staff into teams with a senior nurse leading and representations for all the grades. Then we do things as a team both work and social.

    As a team we work on a particular topic that interests us which will be of benefit to the unit.

    For example the team may choose to work on improving/changing the documentation or look at the shift patterns or be responsible for doing the rota or organising the social events. We are also trying to organise team days which is where the team are given a study day and they can invite any speaker they like for lectures/professional development. We are also looking at the teams going on team building days/ W/ends.

    We also have days across the grades where those on a similar grade can organise the day it must be educational but the point is they can organise it themselves. One of the teams where i work actually go down to a pub and have there discussions there or do a morning study and an afternoon in the pub, it is however considered a work day and if you do not turn up it counts as sick time. Another thing that some of the larger teaching hospital do is allow the senior staff who run the teams an admin day which means they can spend that day doing things like staff appraisals. There is nothing like having your appraisal in a pub when the sun is shining. They only occur every three months and we usually save one day for fun non educational/non work stuff like going to a theme park or whatever. It sounds a lot of hard work to organise and it can be but if you allow the team to organise it no one minds taking up the slack when they know they are afforded the same privilege.

    Sounds strange but it does work

  7. 0
    KSAHR: What's your nurse-pt ratio? If it's routinely 2:1 I find that CCU nurses don't burn out that often. However, the new trend of 3:1 in CCU/ICU, without adequate ancillary help to turn/bathe pts. leads to severe burnout pretty fast. I'm about to leave my staff CCU RN position (departure date June 1) after only 7 months due to burnout and its directly caused by the 3:1 ratio. Management needs to understand how grueling that ratio is. If you don't believe me, try it for one month. Go back to the bedside and try a 3:1 assignment every shift for one month. I guarantee, within that time, you'll cry uncle!
  8. 1
    I work in a community hospital that has a 10 bed ICU. Because of the shortage of critical care nurses in our area(or at least willing to work for our hospital)we have closed three beds. We are lucky to have three ICU nurses per shift. What has saved me from burn out has been the addition of critical care techs in our unit. They do basic hygiene, turning transfering ,set up rooms for an admission, blood glucose tests. They have allowed me more time to document,provide emotional support etc. They were not added to "replace a nurse" but to help the ones who are struggling to provide quality care during o time of short staffing. I find myself more burned out from babysitting the Dr's that I work with but thats a whole other story.
    nursgirl likes this.
  9. 0
    Emotional support whats that? Rarely time for that.
    Signed: FLOOR NURSE


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  10. 0
    Our hospitals giving us a nice bonus. For working overtime. Which helps.

    They're not forcing overtime.

    We have a sign up board. And they put date and times we need help. Needless to say there's lots of opening spots. But you'd be surprised how many nurses sign up. There's some nurses that never sign up. Some that occasionally. And a some that sign up a lot.

    We have 8 and 12 hour shifts. So some of the opening spots are just 4 hours. So a lot of the 8 hour nurses pick up 4 hours.

    If you sign up on the board. Your on-call just for our unit. Which helps increase the amount of people signing up. Not too many people would sign up, if they came in and got pulled else where.

    My supervisors very flexible with us. And we try to be as flexible as we can for her.


    Our motivations good overall. Our shift supervisors really helps that. They're very upbeat and understanding.

    I love the flexibility on our unit. The last hospital I worked at. There was no flexiblility. That's one thing that's keeping me there and motivitated. We've had a couple nurses whom had life changing experiences. And needed to go from full-time to part-time. There was no part-time positions available...but she switched them. Which was great, because they were going to leave otherwise.

    So all and all it's the flexibility that's working well.

    Good luck!!! I know it's a tough time, with burn out.

  11. 0
    same problem different country. I find that some appreciation from the managers goes a long way and is in very short supply. The more clinically experienced managers are better at supporting the staff in ICU. We seem to be the "pool" for the hospital when ICU is quiet so there is never time for off-line study or upgrading of unit policies etc. Some work time to assist with study and all the extra admin work we are expected to complete would reduce burnout BUT I've had no sucess trying to convince my managers. They all agree in principle but when the numbers are crunched our staff are used to replace staff in the ward areas.

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    Cathy
  12. 1
    We were promised a care technician a long time ago on the nite shift, but haven't seen one yet. If I didn't have to spend so much time cleaning up bottoms and giving baths, maybe I could spend some time thinking about the condition that brings them to the ICU. Our management used to be pretty good, but even that's gone downhill - their attitude was 'our way or the hiway' - guess what, many chose the hiway, so now they're crying about the fact that no one wants to work there. I'd worked there for many years, but they started messing with my schedule, so I went PRN. I figured I could sit around and complain or I could take control of my own life. I usually still work as much if not more than before, but now its on my terms.
    dorie43rn likes this.


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