RANT RANT !!Burn out? What would you do?

  1. I would like to hear from others about where they are at in their OR experiences. I have been working in the OR for 15 years. I'm at the top of the wage scale $32.00/hr plus call pay, so I'm making good $$ from what I read my hospital is above the norm in pay.

    Here is my problem. I have nothing left to aspire to. Being at the top of the wage scale I can only look forward to cost of living raises for the NEXT 15-20 yrs till I retire? I have many jobs and lots of experience but do not have a BSN which many orgaizations want. Going back for BSN means retiring with a student loan And at the age of 50 it's just not appealing to back to school.

    I hate call! We do more "emergent scheduled cases" than REAL call cases. I can't see myself doing this when I'm 60. Too hard on my body.

    Our small hospital is growing fast and the work load is increasing without increasing staff. We are adding new doc's to staff every year.

    I thought about traveling, family obligations and age are a deterant.

    What would you do if you were in my place? (and don't say quit complaining, LOL)
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   BBFRN
    Does your facility offer tuition reimbursement? If so, you might want to consider getting your BSN, and then moving on to the education dept. All those years of OR experience would make you a great OR educator!
  4. by   shodobe
    I just turned 55 last week and have a 7 year plan in place. I have been in the OR for over 31 years and still take pride in my choice of profession. I do agree with the "emergent scheduled cases" being a royal PITA! The misuse of time by the surgeons really irritate me. Now getting back to my plan. I know I don't really want to do this much more, scrub and circ, into my 60s so I know I need a different direction. I know I will need a BSN to get into the areas that will benefit me down the road. A couple of co-workers just started on their BSN quest with Univ of Phoenix which is totally a on-line program. They are not the most computer savy people you would meet but they say it is challenging. They both took out a loan against the proram and the cost is about 10,000 or so. Our hospital has reimbursement and after you finish a class you submit your grade and get some money back. Now, it won't pay for the entire program but will pay about 75% leaving you with about $4000 to pay back. This is minor compared to continuing to be miserable for years to come. At 62 I plan on either quitting the OR or managing one for myself so I don't have to take call and can still have a hand in an area that I still care for. Please check into school reimbursement through your employer and get going, it isn't to late. Start your own "plan".
  5. by   mikethern
    Work part time or per diem. Per diem nurses usually don't take call. See if you can buy your own health insurance....
    https://www.ehealthinsurance.com
  6. by   ewattsjt
    Quote from mikethern
    work part time or per diem. per diem nurses usually don't take call. see if you can buy your own health insurance....
    https://www.ehealthinsurance.com
    or assist teach on the side. while most institutes want you to have a degree higher than what you teach, it is not always the same if you assist teach. your experience should come in handy for students! it is worth checking out.

    i wish you the best in what ever direction you path leads you!
    Last edit by ewattsjt on Sep 15, '07
  7. by   caliotter3
    If the physical aspects of your current position start to get to you and going into the education dept is not an option, I suggest you consider home health. Your OR experience would make you hands down qualified in assessment skills and able to handle home emergencies (as few and far between as they are). You are only responsible for one patient. If you work night shift or your patient does not require a lot of hands on care you can sit for periods of time as you monitor your patient and do your charting. Many nurses like to go into home care once the physical demands start to take their toll. You might even find a nurse supervisor job in home care appealing. You make monthly home visits and attend to other supervisory tasks that would give you some variety in your work. Just something to consider.
  8. by   yogacat
    I"ll be 40 at the end of this year. By then, it'll be almost 7 years in the OR. Ten in nursing. When I started nursing school, they told us that ten years is the average time before nursing burn out sets in. Very true! I'm looking for other opportunities. I'm done. My compassion has been beat out of me by Healthcare as an entity and by narcissistic surgeons. It's all about the money these days. I won't rant about Healthcare as a whole, because quite frankly the whole thing is quite disgusting. I don't have a Bachelor's degree nor do I want it. I don't enjoy management nor do I wish to learn more about what I believed to be a wonderful profession (I'm a fourth generation nurse). Nuff said. As far as what I think you should do??? Follow your heart, your gut and find your true passion. Then find a way to make money with that. I really empathisize with you. You've spent a LOT of time in the cold dank pit known as the OR. Good luck and God bless for hanging in so long.
  9. by   hubcap8383_CST
    Quote from umakemesmile
    I would like to hear from others about where they are at in their OR experiences. I have been working in the OR for 15 years. I'm at the top of the wage scale $32.00/hr plus call pay, so I'm making good $$ from what I read my hospital is above the norm in pay.

    Here is my problem. I have nothing left to aspire to. Being at the top of the wage scale I can only look forward to cost of living raises for the NEXT 15-20 yrs till I retire? I have many jobs and lots of experience but do not have a BSN which many orgaizations want. Going back for BSN means retiring with a student loan And at the age of 50 it's just not appealing to back to school.

    I hate call! We do more "emergent scheduled cases" than REAL call cases. I can't see myself doing this when I'm 60. Too hard on my body.

    Our small hospital is growing fast and the work load is increasing without increasing staff. We are adding new doc's to staff every year.

    I thought about traveling, family obligations and age are a deterant.

    What would you do if you were in my place? (and don't say quit complaining, LOL)

    $32.00 an hour??

    thats terrible. ive been a travel scrub tech for 5 years now. as a tech i have made more than that. the RNs in my agency wont take a job for less than $50.00 an hour

    you need to travel. if anything, it will force the hospitals to pay their staff more
  10. by   ewattsjt
    I would like to recant the assist teach thing on the side that I stated in an earlier post. I think it would serve you better to get a BSN online. As Baptized_By_Fire points out, many facilities have programs in place that allow for tuition assistance. There are also many online ways to earn RN to BSN. Since you are at the top of your pay where you are (I assume circulating or charge) it is a necessary thing to be able to move up in management where there may be more perks.

    Other than that; I don’t see many other options.
  11. by   Annabelle07
    I am 54; and several years ago was lucky enough to find a job in an Ambulatory Surgery Center. The work is hard and fast (time is money, lol) but it is 07:00-15:30, Mon-Fri with no call!! However I did take a slight paycut to have these "real hours". Before that I worked in a large 24/7, 33 room OR suite. We did not take call, but did have to work different shifts/week-ends, holidays. Is your hospital the only one in town or are there other options? I have also started online classes for my BSN as I know that is the only way I can advance to any less physically challenging role.
  12. by   nurse bling
    Have you thought of trying outpatient surgery? great hours, no call, our staff takes on small committees for improvement, policy and procedure, we give inservices as part of our job description etc......because we are a small center.

    I work per diem and love it........... I am a scheduled per diem, meaning I have the same days every week and fill in for vacations and sick time. I work 2 days a week and don't need the benefits. I can take a month off for travel if I want.
    I've been a nurse for 30 years.......
    There still is some lifting and moving of equipment because we are mainly an orthopedic center. We have even performed total knees and total shoulders, not on a regular basis but a couple a year.
    I do not have a BSN and see your dilema, especially if you want to do more than be an OR nurse.
    Getting your BSN might be a good idea online..........travel nursing is an option
    but personally I wouldn't like going to different places and having to relearn where everything is and how each place is run and the inter workings of the staff......
    Good Luck
    Check out an outpatient center.

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