Burned Out?

Posted
by Davey Do Davey Do Member Expert Nurse Retired

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience.

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Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 10,140 Posts

When I went through the LPN program in 1983, there were a couple of older students in their 50's. One had begun a nursing program decades before, but had to drop out due to getting married or having a kid, I forget which.

I remember the instructor- an older lady herself- saying something about married or pregnant women weren't allowed in the nursing program in years past.

When the Union was at odds with Great Britain and there was a possible powder keg getting ready to explode, Abraham Lincoln was reputed to say, "One war at a time". The vast majority of us can successfully only take on one major life's thing at a time. The more we spread ourselves thin the higher the likelihood we will not be comfortably successful.

So very many people going into the nursing already have a heapin' helpin' of responsibilities on their plate and cry boo boo when the reality of working as a nurse comes down on them like a ton of bricks.

It's like: "I wanna be a spouse!" then "I wanna be a parent!" then "I wanna be a nurse!" then "Oh why is my life so filled with responsibilities and needy people?!"

Richard Bach said something along the lines of, "Every event, every person that you have in your life are there because you've drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you". It is we who are responsible for our lot in life and not some unseen forces smiting us with troubles.

I know there are a lot of really good nurses out there who aren't heard from or recognized because they are of a higher consciousness. It's the crybabies and sensationalists who are heard, since they make the louder noises. 

Like in the news media, mostly only the bad stories get attention.

LibraNurse27

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 9 years experience. 972 Posts

13 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

pretty good at faking sanity

Surprisingly useful skill, I've found!

RNNPICU, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU. Has 16 years experience. 1,258 Posts

IN a lot of the literature I have read, there are varying levels of burnout, burnout typically is related to compassion fatigue, which occurs with moral distress.  Burnout tends to occur after repeated exposures to stress.  

I think nursing now has so many more reponsibilites, there are audits, families are more demanding and do not seem to fear any repercussions for offensive and/or physical behaviors. Also, documentation is much more than even 10, 15, 20 years ago. All of the clicks in the boxes, staffing ratios, COVID, etc.  

I definitely can sympathize with those that are feeling burnout.  

KalipsoRed21

KalipsoRed21, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical Specialty Clinic - Ambulatory Care. Has 14 years experience. 365 Posts

I don’t know Davey. While the learning curve is steep for a new nurse (unnecessarily so, if you ask me), the stakes are high and the control of outcomes are very low. I hated nursing my first year, and 14 years and 8 jobs later I still hate it. I hate the martyrdom spouted by older nurses and employers. I hate the entitlement of patients. I hate ever dueling lines between capitalism and my licensure. The to valuable things nursing has given me is affirmation that life is incredibly short and the ability to tell an employer to *** off with relatively little worry about finding another position. Overall I feel the field unworthy of the trust the public places in us, mostly because our actions are controlled by our employing entities. We are the scapegoats for heavy lawsuits and accountability by administration and physicians. I say anyone who can afford to get out should. Anyone thinking of joining should look into physical therapy, ultrasound tech, or pharmacy. And if it takes a bunch of burnt out baby RNs screaming at the top of their wilted little lungs for change to occur, then so mote it be.

Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 10,140 Posts

On 11/17/2021 at 4:02 PM, KalipsoRed21 said:

I don’t know Davey. While the learning curve is steep for a new nurse (unnecessarily so, if you ask me), the stakes are high and the control of outcomes are very low. I hated nursing my first year, and 14 years and 8 jobs later I still hate it. I hate...

 

Joseph Campbell encouraged the concept of "follow your bliss". Basically, Mr. Campbell said that following our bliss, pursuing something we love to do, will energize us, fulfill us, and give our life meaning.

It's easy to see, on the other hand, that pursuing something which is hated will have the opposite effect, in that it will suck the energy from us and leave us feeling unfulfilled and empty.

Pursuing something which is hated is preconceived burn out.

 

Matricies

Matricies, BSN

Specializes in Long Term Care. Has 5 years experience. 7 Posts

I think this situation of burnout was hit on the head by another post here. Nursing is a hard field and your expected to do a lot and handle a lot. I can deal with the daily work expected of me and I don't think my clinicals weren't necessarily ineffective persay in giving me the expectations (then again I went in with the mindset this would not be easy). But current work environment in hospitals, is insanely stressful both physically and mentally due to shortages and organizations focusing on profit over quality of care. Your expected to do a lot for many many people and with the shortages, it just gets worse and worse. You know you can't possibly provide the best care possible with what your given, so you do the best you can and still its not enough. That takes a toll over time. We all have bad days but if your stretched thin 12 hours 3-4 days in a row (with potential overtime mind you) every single week, with little support and still getting yelled at for doing the best you can with limited resources and time, it will break people down even in the short term.

The current work environment is overly taxing both physically/emotionally and mentally and overall just makes nurses feel like they can't give proper care. I'm not surprised nurses are flat out leaving or retiring much earlier then before or that agency is the booming business right now.

Edited by Matricies