How do you avoid burnout?

  1. I am an oncology nurse on a oncology/medsurg floor. We do chemo, cancer and chemo related illnesses, and terminal care. We are a primary care unit , we do have a secretary/tech who is extremely overworked so we do our best with the primary care stuff. There are times when I feel I am about to loose my mind because I have so little time to do ALL that is asked of me.
    I am afraid that I am headed toward burnout in this period of extremely high census we are experiencing. Can any one offer any suggestions as to how they cope with this issue of burnout or how they avoid it. I love what I do with patients and would like to do this for the remainder of my nursing career.
    Thank you
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   momangel29
    I think that you have to approach your life'swork on a one day at atime basis.It also helps if when you get home you have a family or other distractions to keep your mind away from work.When your job becomes all consuming the it is not healthy for you.Perhaps its time to explore another area of nursing. momangel29
  4. by   bigjay
    I thing that the problems you describe are common to all areas of nursing but are especially felt in oncology nursing. I work on an 8 bed palliative care unit where all of our patients are terminal cancer with difficult symptoms. Sometimes, you feel like you need to be in three places at once and at the end of the day you feel like you haven't gotten anywhere. I find it helps to just say to yourself:

    "I can only do so much"

    Nurses tend to martyr themselves, skipping breaks and staying past their shift. Nursing is a calling, but it is also a job. When your job is over, you need to go home. You need to identify when you have done what you can and leave it for those who come after you. There will be days where you can't get everything done and the important thing is to identify it and pass it on in an effective manner. Nurses don't do this well, we like to take everything on ourselves. Take time for yourself, both at work and in your personal life. Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    J-P
  5. by   roth0003
    I work in bone marrow/stem cell transplant program and, while I love the work, it can exert a heavy emotional toll. Our staff has explored developing a staff support group; for some basic information about it, please see the Staff Support section of our web page... www2.mc.duke.edu/9200bmt/

    If you wish additional information about the program to see fi you can modify it to suit your needs, let me know.

    Best of luck.


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