Having now worked in medical/oncology for 2 years, I think I'm starting to feel burned out. It's not that I no longer care or feel less energetic about my job. I go about it in the usual way, chat and laugh with my patients when I can, etc. But...I'm starting to get sick and tired of seeing dying people. I think back to all the people we have lost to cancer over just these 2 years and it's daunting. It's sad. It's depressing. And this is on top of the job being stressful enough due to the high complexity and acuity of oncology patients in general.
For the record, I'm not depressed. It's just that I miss the satisfaction of sending people home whole and relatively healthy. When I work with oncology patients, they just come back to us in a few weeks because they require more chemo, they've relapsed, they're sick because of the side effects of their treatments, etc., and I feel like with every admission back into the hospital, they get worse and worse until the inevitable end comes along, as it must.
What are some ways of dealing with this? I honestly don't know how nurses who have been working oncology for 10+ years have done it. I think that, with my next job, it won't be oncology. I think I'll try something else. But, for now, I'm here.