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Burned out

MICU   (333 Views 4 Comments)
by emmjayy emmjayy, RN (Member)

emmjayy has <1 years experience as a RN and works as a RN in a medical-surgical ICU.

44 Likes; 6,949 Visitors; 466 Posts

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I've been a nurse for 9 months. Started off in a MICU. I just feel so burned out. I've been off orientation for a little over 3 months. I feel stupid 99% of the time. I just had two bad weeks in a row, with poor patient outcomes (one through no fault of my own, another because my pt went from fast asleep/sedated to self-extubated in literally less than five minutes while I was in another room), stress, drama with patient's families, and dealing with mid-levels who truly take pleasure in acting like jerks (this is not just my opinion because I'm upset, both providers I've been dealing with have a reputation on the unit for being intentionally mean/rude to staff nurses). I feel so dumb and like I shouldn't be on the unit. I have had great feedback from my management, co-workers, etc., but I always feel like I'm one dumb error away from a disaster. This week just reinforced for me that I work at a job where the slightest bit of inattention can result in someone dying and I just don't feel like I can handle it anymore. I had a literal panic attack on my drive home from work the other day and the only thing that made me calm down was telling myself I didn't have to go back because I have a couple days off. 

I have spent my days off looking at other jobs, but I just don't feel like any other nursing job is going to make me feel less stressed. I could never handle the patient load on a regular med-surg floor. Our progressive care unit is a horrible place to work. I always used to want to be a labor and delivery nurse, but I don't think I can handle the stress of that, either. I truly feel like being in an outpatient setting might be best for my anxiety and how miserable I feel, but I can't afford to take the pay cut right. I just wish there was an easy answer and I'm dreading going back to work. 

I guess I'm looking for suggestions about how to cope better so I can get through the next few months and at least make it to 1 year at this job. Suggestions about jobs where my training might be applicable but the work would be less stressful would also be nice. 

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1,560 Visitors; 32 Posts

I've found that it takes 12 mos to feel ok, and 1.5 to 2 years to feel comfortable.  My vote is to hang in there, but not if its affecting your health.  Just know it won't last forever and one day it'll just hit you :)

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emmjayy has <1 years experience as a RN and works as a RN in a medical-surgical ICU.

44 Likes; 6,949 Visitors; 466 Posts

On March 2, 2019 at 3:54 PM, isis07734 said:

I've found that it takes 12 mos to feel ok, and 1.5 to 2 years to feel comfortable.  My vote is to hang in there, but not if its affecting your health.  Just know it won't last forever and one day it'll just hit you 🙂

Thank you for your kind response! I felt much better after having a few days off and I'm in the middle of a stretch at work right now and doing okay. I've been assigned to some less challenging patients the past couple of days (in the sense that they aren't imminently about to code) and that has been nice. I do think I'm going to stick it out at least until I get my BSN/CCRN at the end of this year and reevaluate my feelings then 🙂

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33 Likes; 13,505 Visitors; 367 Posts

Hang in there! You will learn from each experience. 

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