Burning out

Nurses General Nursing


How do you know when your starting to burn out?

For me it started the day I had a night from h---, resuscitating a GI bleed by myself in the nuclear med department in a remote section of the hospital, saved the patients life only to give report and get flak from co-workers because the patient was continuously oozing blood from her rectum and yet the sheets weren't spotless at the change of shift. The same night, my other patient was a seeping oozing liver failure mess who had equally messy sheets. I don't care how good of a nurse you are, when you have seeping oozing patients, you can't have them looking pretty 100% of the time. I was told I should have turfed the cleanup out to someone else. Well HELLO, when you're having a bad night your co-workers are doing damage control themselves to help you out, not fluffing and puffing the patients. This was just one in a long chain of events that has just begun to push me over the edge.

I'm putting in for a transfer to another unit when I get back from vacation; I've done several shifts there and the folks there are far less anal.

Thanks for listening, I really needed to vent.


350 Posts

Hi there. I hope your transfer comes thru. When things start to look bad in one area and you're starting to burn out and re-think nursing, sometimes all it takes is moving to a different area or field to change your perspective. Kudos to you for saving that patient's life. I can't believe your fellow nurses ignored that fact and were upset because they had to change some sheets. They sadly sound burned out and unhappy too. Don't let them drag you down with them.

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

That's good that you have a vacation coming up...get away from it for awhile. Good luck with the transfer, sounds like a good idea!



9 Posts

Those who throw out their comments would not have done the work that you were able to do. Many times the ones who complain are the ones whose BUTTS never leave their chairs, either to assist or on the oncoming shift.

Hang in there - you do know what you did during your shift and to ????? with them. Your patients know your concern and comfort.

Keep the faith - know that someone is watching over you.


Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Good luck to you. Glad to hear your going on vacation. I hope that transfer goes through and it's a better environment. I think that's when I started to burn out on the unit I was recently on. I worked like a dog but it wasn't good enough. Good luck.


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!.

I've been burned out many times, but always managed to change jobs before I quit nursing completely. The only problem I found, was that once I was proficient in one area, I longed for new learning situations, and ended up looking again. The changes became more and more frequent. The first job: 18 months; 2nd 1 year: 3rd- 3 years...just depended on the unit. But, the more predictable the job got, the quicker I burnt out. I'm doing both diabetes education and telephone triage now, and don't see myself burning out. But.....vacations definitely help. Make your final decisions after vacation. Good luck to you, my friend. I have had co-workers that stimulated me to look again. Sometimes I worked it out, sometimes I left. After 27 years, I've experienced most areas of nursing, and still love it!


4,516 Posts

I feel for ya. Sometimes we get in with a bad group and it's impossible to enjoy the job.

I work with one nurse who always wants my help and expects me to put up with her numerous idiosyncrasies, ( won't bore ya'll with a list but they're excessive) BUT won't help ME (always an excuse) She is antisocial and makes caustic comments every chance she gets. It wears on ya. :( More than one of these on a shift makes for a miserable job, so maybe it's time for you to move on elsewhere before they bring you down.

When you leave, a well placed comment to the manager that you are leaving for a team atmosphere may give her a heads up (or not). Your call. Sometimes the managers like to hear these things, sometimes not...

Good luck to you! :)

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