Am I burned out?

  1. hey all,

    i feel like something is wrong with me. i feel like i am at the end of my rope. i have been a nurse for 5+ years. and emt for 6+ years and i have worked in acute care my whole life. everything from rural med/surg/er to par and burn icu to travel. i feel like i am so sick of nursing. i am constantly bombarded at work by crazy employer demands, haphazard training, and poor morale among co-workers. my schedule is so freakin screwy the only thing i know for sure is i work every 3rd w/e which doesn't bother me at all. i just can stand these string of 5-7 12 hour night shifts in a row! yes i get a strong off after that but i feel my body is constantly striving for decent sleep. right now i am rural nursing in a mix of er/med/surg. i just don't know where to turn or how to feel anymore. am i burned out. i feel bad because i have worked many jobs and have not really kept them for very long i.e. 9-12 months and i am out the door looking for something else. i feel like i have tried everything and am out of options?

    everyone always tells me how 'lucky' i am to have the job i have right now. i currently make 25-27$/hr, though i would gladly take a pay cut to 20-22$/hr for a career i liked, and had a decent schedule.

    i guess i am just looking for feedback or if other people felt like this what they went into or type of nursing. i do know ltc is not my bag. i am a 3 year rn with an adn, i was an lpn first. im almost 26 y.o and male, married and my wife is in rad tech school (formerly a surgical tech) just a little backround. my options are limited as i am rural based... however, i am open to new things even if some travel is needed. any comments are appreciated.

    and fyi- yes i treat my pts well. i know what it is like to be a pt. so please refrain from "well you shouldnt be in it if you cant think of the pt first" comments.
  2. Visit MrRacer98 profile page

    About MrRacer98

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 38; Likes: 4
    ICU Nurse
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Ortho, surgical, ER, ICU, Transportation

    12 Comments

  3. by   travel50
    I was so burned out after being a nurse for 12 yrs that I quit. I just walked away, saying I'd NEVER work as a nurse again, ever. A yr and a half later, with 6 hungry kids looking at me (and a husband who wouldn't work...yes, he's gone now), I had to return to work. The local nursing home offered me so much that I had to take it. I HATED nsg homes. They stunk and were depressing places. I got sick the first day b/c I knew how I'd hate it. I absolutely fell in love with it. That was 12 yrs ago, and I'm still in LTC. I just needed to find my niche. You sound as burned out as I felt. And yes, I gave my patients good care. They never knew I was burned out. So your options...you can't quit or change careers right now with your wife in school. Have you tried home health or hospice? Some industries, if you have any, hire nurses. I hear those types of jobs are less stressful. Does your county hire a school nurse? Insurance companies hire nurses to go to homes and do labwork and basic exams. How about working in a clinic for a specific doctor? I am sure others will have good suggestions. Hang in there!
  4. by   MrRacer98
    Quote from travel50
    I was so burned out after being a nurse for 12 yrs that I quit. I just walked away, saying I'd NEVER work as a nurse again, ever. A yr and a half later, with 6 hungry kids looking at me (and a husband who wouldn't work...yes, he's gone now), I had to return to work. The local nursing home offered me so much that I had to take it. I HATED nsg homes. They stunk and were depressing places. I got sick the first day b/c I knew how I'd hate it. I absolutely fell in love with it. That was 12 yrs ago, and I'm still in LTC. I just needed to find my niche. You sound as burned out as I felt. And yes, I gave my patients good care. They never knew I was burned out. So your options...you can't quit or change careers right now with your wife in school. Have you tried home health or hospice? Some industries, if you have any, hire nurses. I hear those types of jobs are less stressful. Does your county hire a school nurse? Insurance companies hire nurses to go to homes and do labwork and basic exams. How about working in a clinic for a specific doctor? I am sure others will have good suggestions. Hang in there!
    Thanks, Yeah I am looking into home care. As well as like an company nurse for industrial places.... I swore I would never do home care, but I am thinking it doesnt sound so bad. Again I am limited because of job job siutation in small town america, but keep looking I guess.
  5. by   Moogie
    I think the first step to conquering burnout is to acknowledge that you might be burned out.

    Be gentle with yourself and please take care. You are on the right track.
  6. by   lunden
    look into being a dialysis nurse, most work 3-12's and every other sat. no sun. closed on xmas and most clinics are closed on Thanksgiving. the rearrange the pt's schedule to have xmas and thanksgiving off. some clinics only have 2 shifts meaning 4-10 hour days, most of the other holidays are usually worked unless they fall on a sun. hope this helps. sorry i don't really know the pay scale but Davita and Fresenius are 2 of the top two dialysis clinics that i know.
  7. by   Magsulfate
    I know it's hard to find a good job that is meant for you in a small town. I live in a large city and finally found the schedule that I like... three 12's on the weekend, fri sat and sun,,, and that leaves four days off during the week. The pay is higher to compensate for every weekend commitment. This makes it better for me and I'm not having to work overtime to make a decent wage.

    I felt burned out too, when I was having to work so many days.. but now I feel much better.

    I wish you luck,, don't give up.
  8. by   ElvishDNP
    Is there a community health center nearby where you live? I used to work in one and went to several conferences for CHC workers - they tend to be out in rural places as you seem to be.

    It's generally a M-F job, no weekends/holidays. I loved it and would still be doing it were it not for a need to be at home w/ the kiddo more.

    You do sound burned out, and I do hope you find something to suit you very soon.
  9. by   alwayslearnin
    MrRacer98,
    If you are wondering if its a possiblity that you are burned out, you probabley are. Sounds like it. Time off???
    How is the rest of your life? Do you have some fun, some challenge, some time with friends? If your whole world is nursing, your in for some deep doo-doo.
    It is a lot harder to get burned out if you have a life outside of nursing.
    Counsiling?? Sometimes that can help you sort and get unstuck and help you to find some new directions.
    It's a tough field we work in, don't forget to give credit where credit is due-look at the positives you do and you bring to each day.
    Is there someone at work that you can use as a confidant-someone to "share the burden" and support you? That can be helpful too.
    I understand. Was told I was in stage 4 burnout. I had to do some changes in my life. Now I am greatful-but it was scary at the time.
    Good luck to you, be gentle with yourself.
    Keep looking for the light, evan though for the moment you do not see.:heartbeat
    alwayslearnin
  10. by   nursej22
    I agree that you may be approaching burnout. I would contact your EAP if you have one. Consider changing shifts if possible as you may be suffering from sleep deprivation---I worked nights for 7 years rationalizing that it was best for my kids. During that time my daughter and myself were diagnosed with clinical depression. I switched to 3-11 and it took me 3 months to catch up on my sleep and finally feel human again. Sadly, I do not remember much about my kids' experiences when I was on nights, probably due to exhaustion.
    Best wishes!!!
  11. by   End Game RN
    MrRacer98.
    I've also gone through cripling burnout. 2007-2008 I was absolutely exhausted. Managed to do very well at work since all my energy went to being the best I could be. Personal life revolved around horses, minimal human contact outside sick people, devasted families, etc....I made myself completely available to anyone who felt a need to talk to someone. Friends, neighbors..patients, families, former and current...name it. It was exhausting. It became an obsession, a compulsion to help people. Couldn't stop doing this.
    I finally hit rock bottom...picked myself up..you have to be willing to look at yourself from another person's perspective, even if you don't like what you see..first step to changing your behavior is accepting who you had become and making a conscience decision to change it.
    Still tired, but happier..still am available to some patients and families, but I am more careful in who I choose. I thank God for my co-workers/friends actually who have been my safe harbor in the storms of my own making. I love each and every one of them. I Hope you find a place like this, people like this, a new life like this. There is hope but you have to be willing to move on.
  12. by   diane227
    First of all, your schedule is horrible. I could never work that many days in a row and you really need to discuss this with your manager to see if you can get a change. Nights shifts are hard anyway without having to work that many in a row. Where do you live? Are you union? Does your hospital have a policy that employees may be asked to work mandatory overtime?
  13. by   GiGiOm
    So sorry. My heart goes out to you. Yes, you are exhausted and in burnout. Is there any way you could cut your hours back and see if that helps? I've been there. I think we all get burned out in this job, and that it is cyclical. I've burned out several times and come back from it by doing certain things. I switched jobs for a while, until I figured out I was still burned out and was simply finding a change of scenery. If you can, cut back on your hours. Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and make a list of pro's and con's of your present job. Then make a list of things you like to do and what interests you. Finally, most importantly, make a list of things you DO NOT want to do and are NOT WILLING to do. Start getting more sleep because you are definitely sleep deprived. Sit down and talk to your spouse about how you're feeling and see what kind of input she has for you. Even with school, she might be able to help a little. Don't judge yourself for how you feel. You're human. We are supposed to be professionals, not martyrs. Find an interest outside of work and make some time for it at least once a week. Try to surround yourself with positive people. After you do all this, take a step back and see if it's time for a job change. I hope that helps. These things worked for me, but everybody's different. Things will probably ease up when your wife graduates, too. It's stressful to go to school, and it's stressful for the family. Good, and necessary, but still stressful.
  14. by   soulofme
    Quote from lunden
    look into being a dialysis nurse, most work 3-12's and every other sat. no sun. closed on xmas and most clinics are closed on Thanksgiving. the rearrange the pt's schedule to have xmas and thanksgiving off. some clinics only have 2 shifts meaning 4-10 hour days, most of the other holidays are usually worked unless they fall on a sun. hope this helps. sorry i don't really know the pay scale but Davita and Fresenius are 2 of the top two dialysis clinics that i know.
    Im a dialysis nurse and Im burned out also...try winning the lotto...you might have better odds

close