Well I have been at this for a total of 23yrs now, and I have been burnt out, and depressed at one point or another. But I think the worst bout of depression came while I was working on an ICU/CCU contract in S. C..
I got a small boy who was supposed to be 14yrs old, but looked about 8 or 9! He had a very small frame, and had been shot by a drifter the family had picked up during their move from JVille, Fl. to S. C.. He was placed on a vent, and dropped into my bed in the early am of a nite shift I was working. It was my turn to get the admit. His father had been killed by the drifter while trying to rob them. The little boy saw his father shot, and tried to run out the door, but was shot in the head!
Everyone who went into the room came out crying. His head was in an ace wrap, and we had to go in, and wash him up, suctioning brain matter.. Anywho...it was also me who had to listen to the family members screaming in agony from the pain of learning the horrible news!
This took me a long time to get over, and I don't think I would have made it without the help of some great friends! I probably should have received consuling, but thank God I was able to finally get over it. I didn't take any meds, not because I didn't need them, but because I'm terrrible at remembering to take meds. And I KNOW me...I wouldn't have stayed on them long enough for them to do me any good!
I have seen a lot in 23yrs, and I have worked in a whole lot of places. Starting out in NICU, L&D, working OB/GYN, Med/Surg, Clinics, Residency programs, R. O. A. D. S. Team, ICU/CCU/SICU,ER including Level I trauma hospitals, PTSD, Industrial, Home Health visits, Mohs Surg, etc..etc. But this is the worst time I ever had in caring for a pt. This one got to me big time!
I think if I hadn't become agency and later travel, I would have never made it this long in nursing. I think the constant change of scenery is what keeps me going, and keeps the burnout, and depression from taking me over.
Right now I'm on an assignment at a facility I have been at twice before. And each time I return it seems new again. Upon returning I got hugs from everyone starting with the Asst Administrator, the DON, to housekeeping. I live across the street from the CEO of the hospital here, and yesterday he came over, and introduced hiimself, and invited me to visit him at the hospital. He also offered his sons to help me with getting settled. The funny thing is the last time I was here, I was constantly fussing about the housing I was in, but no one remembered that. They just remembered they thought I was great!
I guess it's things like that, that make it worthwhile sometimes
I wish you all the best florry. Hang in there, and take good care of yourself. We need all good nurses, and we can't afford to lose you...