Burned Out and Breaking Down

Nursing Students CNA/MA


i am struggling. i am a weekend warrior. i work doubles every weekend. 7am-11pm every single sat and sun. i also float from unit to unit.

i know i am only there for 2 days out of the week but i am suffering! :cry: the phrase from that movie constantine "one minute in hell feels like an eternity," comes to mind. i am working short constantly. i have read some outrageous cna to patient ratios on here before so i hope i don't sound like a punk. our units typically have around 33 residents. we usually work with 4 aides...at least we are supposed to.

last weekend i worked short 3 out of the 4 shifts that i was there. i worked short on 3-11 and then came in the next morning only to be short again! that morning i had a horrible meltdown. :cry: i just kept crying and crying and crying. i feel so overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. we do patient care, ambulations, sometimes housekeeping duties and dietary stuff.

working short has become a regular thing. yet, every time i turn around we are being chastised for something new. i don't feel like my facility is doing everything it can to keep us fully staffed. i hate being so whiny and negative.

i am taking two sciences this summer to so i am a little overwhelmed with school so that could be adding to my stress level. i am taking microbiology and a&p ii right now.

i love nursing but i hate the conditions i work in. *sigh*

i can't stand having to get 10 people up in the morning or putting 10 people back to bed. its draining me. i don't know how much more i can take. :cry:

i need some encouragement please.


Button, it sounds like you're needing a change of scenery. I don't know what your personal situation is, if you're working doubles because you're raising kids or taking care of parents or just need the money for school or are socking cash away for the recession... but if you can shed one of those doubles, do it pronto. You are going to go off the deep end and end up hating yourself and everyone you work with, and resenting the whole situation with every fiber of your being, if you continue to burn the candle at both ends like this. And trust me, waking up with a furrowed brow and a heavy heart is not the way to live. You are knocking years off your life like this.

And it is YOUR life. Don't you forget that. They do not "own" you and you are not their servant who must obey or get the whip. You are providing a professional service in exchange for pay, but part of you providing that service depends on you having certain working conditions. If those conditions aren't met, you can't provide your best service. And the business relationship goes off-kilter. They're not holding up their end of the bargain. Why should you hold yours up, AND theirs? Take a weekend off. Don't you think you deserve to rest? Tell them you can only work 1 double a week now. Or that you can work 4 shifts, but they need to be to where you can go to school. Or something else different. If they let you go, they're asshats. But they pretty much sound like they're asshats anyway.

Even in a recession, you will find a way to pay your bills, even if you have to stop working as a CNA and take a shift at McDonald's, or be a Walmart cashier, or work in a stock room, or deliver newspapers in the morning and do data entry at night. You can tell yourself you're going to be diligent about changing this situation, starting right now.

Good luck - check back in sometime and let us know how it goes. :)

Specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

Button, my hat goes off to you!! I can't imagine doing doubles on weekends..I'm burned out after 8 hrs!

Specializes in Alzheimers and geriatric patients.

i don't know how in the world you do that...

no sleep at all saturday night? that's crazy.

omg no!!! i get to sleep when my patient sleeps, (she has alzheimers and usually gets up several times during the night and i just assist her in what she needs.) so i generally get 3 hours sleep on a bad night and maybe 5 or so on a good night. i guess i'm just a glutton for punishment lol!!

When I was a CNA I worked weekend doubles to work my way through nursing school. I graduated without any debt, but it nearly did me in.

Please take care of yourself and cut down your hours if you can.

Hugs to you!

Specializes in PCT/CNA/HHA.

I say this now, probably because I'm new. But for whatever reason, working 3 12's or 3 doubles a week sounds ideal to me. The ideal schedule would be Sundays, Tuesdays. & Thursdays. One can only dream..

But since I'm just starting out, I'm going to stick to regular schedule (8Hrs) &+ not get ahead of myself..until I learn the job and get a routine.

I don't think I could do 12 hour shifts, much less a 12 that turns into a 16 (ie, a double), for days in a row. It's not really the physical work that bothers me so much as the emotional stress of it all. I have the greatest respect for those that can juggle all the demands of being a CNA and not turn into a total basket case, or totally shut down.

Good luck! Stay positive! I know its hard dont work to hard to the point u cant function--no matter how much u work ltc will always to beshort staff !!

I agree with you and everyone else. CNA's are definetly underpaid and overworked. No care's about nursing assistant/patient ratios and my facility has a hiring freeze for nursing assistants. This past weekend my unit was understaffed and I was on the brink of going crazy. Being overworked and stressed turns you into a completely different person for the worse. Sometimes you want to put in a few extra hours, for a larger check, but at the end of the day it's not even worth it. Having a well, rested mind and body is more important than money. I used to work three 12's in a row, but I became exhausted from doing that. Now I work 1 12, take a day off, and then work 2 12's. You need to take a day off and gain your strength back.

lol wow thats really true--some people work 70-80 a week .i will never work like that and they have to hold up a certain lifestyle to work like an idiot

I knew of one place close to me that was intentionally hiring new graduates and burning them out, just keeping a steady stream of new blood supposedly to keep the job fresh. Wha??? Their starting pay was $8.25 an hour. At other companies, starting pay is anywhere from $10 to $13 an hour. They had a very high turnover rate. I looked online and they were only rated 1 of 5 stars. :uhoh3: Why is it better to run a new CNA ragged, just completely use them up until they're no good anymore, and also pay them so little? Seriously, I don't know. Unless you're more interested in coming in under budget, and patient care is like your #3 priority or something...

lol yea i jus moved the california and i was hired over the phone for ltc....IT WAS A HORRIBLE I QUIT AND THE TURN OVER RATE IS BAD.

+ Add a Comment