Understaffing and burnout - page 3

Hi, I have been an LPN >8 yrs. and am currently doing pre-reqs for my RN. I am doing a paper on "burnout". I have had some frustrations of my own in the med/surg unit in the hospital I'm at. I can... Read More

  1. by   lujological
    gerinurse-mangement that has no idea what goes on -on your particular shift,they pull staff ,from your shift to use on other shifts,they have no idea what other things can go on like-alarms you need to check on,phone calls to get maintance in for problems,laundry problems,calls coming in,espically call offs then they have the nerve to exspect me to try and find replacement staff,all while i am trying to do morning medpass.It seems 11-7 is the least understood shift,oh i forgot mandatory inservice during the day when you sleep!!all of these are reasons for burn out.
  2. by   passion4parrots
    I work in Springfield MO on a med-surg floor, on the 7 pm to 7am shift. I usually start out with five patients and almost always get another admission by 10 pm. Most of these are high acuity pt's just back from surgeries such as colon resections, Turps (with CBI) and mastectomy/TRAM patients not to mention ETOH WD (which require hourly assessments), We also get a large percentage of very elderly dementia pt's that are pulling out IV's, trying to crawl OOB and such. At the night shift change I pick up two more pt's which brings me up to eight and then usually get another admission during the night (which requires a ton of paperwork and time going over all their past med history and the endless amount of questions we have to ask them, then calling the doc for orders and such). I am a new grad with six months experience (on this floor only). It is very frustrating as I can't get everything done and end up staying at least an hour and a half after every shift just to do all the charting that I didn't have time for during the night. My question is: is this a normal load for these high acuity type pt's on a med-surg floor in most places in the US? It is incredibly stressful and I am already feeling "burnout" at only six months!!
  3. by   NumberCruncher
    Quote from anonymurse
    Hospitals make choices, and so do we. There are two main choices where I live. I hired on with the one that pays less but staffs better.
    Hey, so far this is the best thing I've read. You are right, it all boils down to choices. Hospitals make their own, you make yours. So, why blame the universe for the burn out.

    Nice one!
  4. by   oramar
    Quote from RNSacht
    Just thought I would share my story. If you look at my prior posts (I dont want to be labeled a hypocrit) I have just raved about 12 hour shifts. I have now been a nurse for only a year (on 12 hour shifts) and I feel as if I am exhibiting the Oh so popular burnout symptoms. :smackingf I have recently accepted a 8 hour position in the ER (cant wait ) and part of my decision was that I feel the 12 hour shifts burned me out quick !! I am sharing my story because these 12 hour nursing shifts are new to SOME facilities and maybe future research will prove that these shifts are burning nurses out, maybe leading to more errors, etc. I just found that the every other weekend 12 hours on Sat and 12 hours on Sunday was too much for me and too much for my family. I will now work a totally different shift that I NEVER said I would work 3-11 four days a week. NEver say never in the world of nursing Hope I have helped with your research. Good Luck
    Glad you are being honest about this. I think 12 hour shifts post a host of problems for managment and nursing. They are being promoted at the big panecia for staffing problems. From where I sit they cause as many problems as they solve. It is true they work for some people but not all. Biggest problem from my point of view was call offs. It is soooo hard to find replacements for a 12 hour call off.
  5. by   oramar
    Quote from Gromit
    For my part, I prefer the 12-hr shift -and I prefer to do three in a row, and have four days off. When I start to feel like I'm beginning to burn, I schedule a vacation and take a couple of weeks to 'regroup'. It works for me, anyway. I burnt out in EMS -had all the classic signs -though I wasn't really aware of it at the time. I can't say I'm as excited about nursing as I once was, but by no means am I burnt out.
    Good for you for working out a system that works for you. Different systems work for different people and sometimes a system that works at one stage of life does not work at another.
    For example in my 30s and 40s I worked primarily night turn. Loved it, it remains my favorite shift. Got into my late 40s early 50s and suddenly found I could not handle nights anymore. It is very important to be your own advocate and watch for signs that things arn't working for you anymore.
  6. by   oramar
    Quote from passion4parrots
    I work in Springfield MO on a med-surg floor, on the 7 pm to 7am shift. I usually start out with five patients and almost always get another admission by 10 pm. Most of these are high acuity pt's just back from surgeries such as colon resections, Turps (with CBI) and mastectomy/TRAM patients not to mention ETOH WD (which require hourly assessments), We also get a large percentage of very elderly dementia pt's that are pulling out IV's, trying to crawl OOB and such. At the night shift change I pick up two more pt's which brings me up to eight and then usually get another admission during the night (which requires a ton of paperwork and time going over all their past med history and the endless amount of questions we have to ask them, then calling the doc for orders and such). I am a new grad with six months experience (on this floor only). It is very frustrating as I can't get everything done and end up staying at least an hour and a half after every shift just to do all the charting that I didn't have time for during the night. My question is: is this a normal load for these high acuity type pt's on a med-surg floor in most places in the US? It is incredibly stressful and I am already feeling "burnout" at only six months!!
    Is it normal as in is it what the average hospital does? Sadly the answer is "yes". It is a sad comment that this sort of abuse of nurses and endangerment of patients is the norm in most hospitals. Being the norm does not make it good, matter of fact it is criminal. This is the actually cause of the nursing shortage. It is criminal.
  7. by   rn-ka1977
    I have been an RN for about 15 mths and I have already experienced burnout! I work in ICU/CCU/ER and have heard burnout occurs faster in these areas. I believe understaffing and not considering acuity of patient loads is the #1 cause of new-grad burnout! That and the fact that the support staff does not do their job so I am constantly doing the jobs of several people. When you have to do your job, the tech's job, EVS's job and lab's job.....it gets old fast!
  8. by   oramar
    :yeahthat:
  9. by   canoehead
    Quote from blueheaven
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the tendency for nurses to have the "If I don't do it, it won't get done" mentality.
    (IMO)
    I think that stems from the fact that if it doesn't get done it's the nurse's fault. Doesn't matter if it was someone else's job, ultimately the nurse is responsible for overall care.

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