Understaffing and burnout

  1. 0 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 clearly see how understaffing and high nurse/patient ratios can contribute to burnout. I worked medsurg for the last 2 mos and the 6:1 ratio was making me HATE my job. I went back to ICU where the highest is 4:1. Anyway, I'm looking for any other situations, reasons, or ideas that anyone might feel contributes to burnout.
    Thanks:smilecoffeecup:
  2. Visit  cherishlpn profile page

    About cherishlpn

    From 'Indiana'; 36 Years Old; Joined Nov '01; Posts: 4.

    34 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  RNSacht profile page
    0
    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
  4. Visit  Gromit profile page
    0
    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.
  5. Visit  bargainhound profile page
    0
    Causes: not enough:
    rest/sleep
    support from management
    family/friends to talk to away from work
    activities that you enjoy that take your mind off work issues
    proper nutrition/fluids
    exercise
    spiritual support or participating in spiritual activities
    Last edit by bargainhound on Mar 26, '07 : Reason: needed to correct
  6. Visit  bargainhound profile page
    0
    Causes: inadequately educated/prepared co-workers
    other departments in hospital that function poorly
    maltreatment from families/patients
    maltreamtent from doctors/management/people in power
  7. Visit  bargainhound profile page
    0
    another cause: management not giving whatever they
    promised in hiring interview (loss of hope)
  8. Visit  NotReady4PrimeTime profile page
    0
    Let me add my
    * Chronic short-staffing at all levels
    * Mandatory and other forms of overtime (paid or unpaid)
    * Ever-increasing acuity coupled with just-as-rapidly increasing busy-work
    * Lack of leadership
    * Lack of flexibility in the system from the top down
    * Lack of meaningful recognition
    * Management that is out of touch with what's going on on the units
    * Patients and families that demand attention out of proportion to their true needs
    * Violence in the workplace

    I could think of many more...
  9. Visit  angel337 profile page
    0
    Quote from cherishlpn
    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 clearly see how understaffing and high nurse/patient ratios can contribute to burnout. I worked medsurg for the last 2 mos and the 6:1 ratio was making me HATE my job. I went back to ICU where the highest is 4:1. Anyway, I'm looking for any other situations, reasons, or ideas that anyone might feel contributes to burnout.
    Thanks:smilecoffeecup:
    i have never heard of a ICU ratio that high. that's horrible. that's unsafe and unfair to the nurse and the patient. i think what contributes the most to burn out is the aciuty of the patient. people are soooo sick and living longer and require more complex care. i see the "shortage" getting worse just because of this. i personally plan to do bedside no more than 3-4 years and then i may only do it prn.
  10. Visit  Rizpah profile page
    0
    multiple roles and difficulty to work with co-workers: I'm an RN in LTC. 2 years after I passed my boards, our facility had to downsize staffing and bed certification due to chronic low census. There were several positions eliminated by way of retirement and resignation. So many of the tasks of those who left were divided among those who stayed and positions were combined. I now have the title of "Pt. Care Coordinator" - operate as an RN supervisor, MDS coordinator, New hire orientator, inservice director plus I'm a Train the Trainer in our facility. There is one other full time RN who also works in the office, strictly as an RN supervisor. So I often feel very overwhelmed by what to do first and very pulled in many directions. The other corker is that I don't make any more money than the other FT RN other than what I get for longevity.
  11. Visit  edgwow profile page
    0
    Just a thought,
    High Nurse turnover contributes to burnout as the more experienced nurses leave, you get less experienced ones in thier place, requiring the more senior nurses to precept all over again.
  12. Visit  EmerNurse profile page
    0
    INSPECTIONS contribute to burn out. I swear, I am SO tired of JCAHO and ACHA and Magnet and whoever else wanders down the pike, I could scream.

    Every time I walk into work, things have been moved, locked up, changed, new paperwork, new requirements, old ones thrown out, signs up telling us idiot stuff like we're 1st graders. THANK GOD I work nights. I could never deal with this on day shift.

    Oh and all those changes? We find out about them from the shift reporting off to us, not in any kind of formal communication, inservice or whatever. They had a fit cause so many missed the staff meeting but they'd only put up flyers the day before!! Why not use that email you're always telling us to check, to actually inform us of things, hmm?

    Staff is getting miserable, the place is overflowing with BS patients, even more than usual, call-outs are a daily event, people are talking about leaving.. it goes on and on. You dance as fast as you possibly can to give good patient care and they STILL want to harp on something. Never a word for those who actually get the job done and show the hell up for their shift.

    You want burn-out, you got it. I'm not quitting - Lord knows why (I'm sure it's on Axis 2 somewhere) but I like my job, I just hate all this BS. But I'm not gonna kill myself anymore. I just can't.

    Sorry for the rant - caught me on a bad morning.
  13. Visit  Lorelai22RN profile page
    0
    Quote from EmerNurse
    INSPECTIONS contribute to burn out. I swear, I am SO tired of JCAHO and ACHA and Magnet and whoever else wanders down the pike, I could scream.

    Every time I walk into work, things have been moved, locked up, changed, new paperwork, new requirements, old ones thrown out, signs up telling us idiot stuff like we're 1st graders. THANK GOD I work nights. I could never deal with this on day shift.

    Oh and all those changes? We find out about them from the shift reporting off to us, not in any kind of formal communication, inservice or whatever. They had a fit cause so many missed the staff meeting but they'd only put up flyers the day before!! Why not use that email you're always telling us to check, to actually inform us of things, hmm?
    Staff is getting miserable, the place is overflowing with BS patients, even more than usual, call-outs are a daily event, people are talking about leaving.. it goes on and on. You dance as fast as you possibly can to give good patient care and they STILL want to harp on something. Never a word for those who actually get the job done and show the hell up for their shift.

    You want burn-out, you got it. I'm not quitting - Lord knows why (I'm sure it's on Axis 2 somewhere) but I like my job, I just hate all this BS. But I'm not gonna kill myself anymore. I just can't.

    Sorry for the rant - caught me on a bad morning.
    So true. Another reason I am going PRN after June when my year of experience is up. Tired of so much at this job.........need a break even if if it is a paycut
  14. Visit  blueheaven profile page
    0
    Quote from janfrn
    Let me add my
    * Chronic short-staffing at all levels
    * Mandatory and other forms of overtime (paid or unpaid)
    * Ever-increasing acuity coupled with just-as-rapidly increasing busy-work
    * Lack of leadership
    * Lack of flexibility in the system from the top down
    * Lack of meaningful recognition
    * Management that is out of touch with what's going on on the units
    * Patients and families that demand attention out of proportion to their true needs
    * Violence in the workplace

    I could think of many more...

    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. I hate to use the label codependant but many of the characteristics of burnout are similar to those of codependancy. When we learn to set boundaries, take care of OURSELVES, and develop a life outside of the caregiving role (along with others) burnout will be less of a problem. (IMO)

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