Another 'nursing burnout' thread

  1. In 11 years as a nurse, I've had rough shifts, jobs I wanted to quit, etc.
    But now I'm wondering why I ever went into nursing in the first place.
    I love critical care, but I can't stand dealing with the families.
    I work in an ICU that's frequently turned into a tele holding area with long term mrsa, failure to thrive pts that have nowhere to go.. That along with the 24/7 open visitation policy has me looking for another job. I'm so tired of taking care of critical unstable patients while being expected to also entertain the families.
    I'm even more tired of the families that go along with the above mentioned long term placement problems that demand ICU care and attention from the staff long after the patient has been downgraded. By this point in the hospital stay, the families have become too comfortable with the system and are much more of a distraction than families of the critically ill. The physical enviornment and visibility of the staff nurses station in the ICU (as opposed to on a med-surg floor) encourages more interruptions by family IMHO.
    The last straw came when I tried to set limits with an unreasonable family member; she complained about me to the manager. The manager backed me up on most everything she complained about, but I ended up being written up over an incident that had happened 3 weeks earlier (absolutely no harm to the patient) As a result of the write up, my first in 8 years, I was denied a transfer to the PACU.(the PACU mgr is still willing to hire me after hearing the whole story , I just have to wait out the 90 days) Although I wrote my side of the story on the counseling form, I also have learned the hard way that there is no grievance procedure except for 'unfair dismissal'.

    I am so burnt out..And so desperate to find a part time critical care position that has limited contact with visitors... Thank you all for listening.
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    About VAC

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 163; Likes: 69
    RN

    22 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Oh the games people play. Hang in there and I hope your job in PACU is better.

    I get a little weary of familes myself and I feel your pain completely.
  4. by   GeminiTwinRN
    well, you're doing what you can to solve the problem by attempting to secure a position in another area. you definitely won't have dealings with PITA family members in PACU!

    I hope the 90 days pass quickly, and that you are happier in your new area.


    (((((((((hugs))))))))))
  5. by   NurseCherlove
    Families are a total PITA sometimes!!!!!!!!!! Some of 'em just camp out for the day and I'm thinking, "Don't you have a life of your own?" Even worse are the pesky ones that call you for updates on the phone constantly.

    And then there's tonight...this pt's daughter knowing damn good and well I am staying late to finish her mom's admission off the clock and she has to talk in between questions, delaying the flow. I don't need all the sidebars, really I don't. And then of course later have the nerve to express pity that I have to stay late???? Gimme a break!

    Some of these people drive me nuts on my med surg floor - I can only imagine with the whole anxiety-laden critical care area!
  6. by   huskersfan
    Dealing with demanding, uneducated family members can be more stressful than taking care of the sick loved one. And I love the ones that always throw in the words lawsuit, lawyer, calling a tv station etc to intimidate and throw the floor in an uproar when they demand a manager right now. The nasty families are far more prevalent in my facility, than the nice families. Some of the family members even embarass the pt and the poor sick patient is so sorry they are being mean to you.
  7. by   SICU Queen
    Ugh, I feel your pain. My 14 years of ICU has me completely wiped out. Families make me insane. They're a big part of the reason why I work nights and in a facility that has limited visiting times. Between the residents and attendings, the short staffing, the MRSA and other "buggy" patients, my aching back, and just... everything, I have been looking for a 9-5 M-F NON-bedside job.

    I interviewed for a Case Management position today and it looks very promising.

    Maybe it's time for you to get out too??
  8. by   ginger58
    [QUOTE=VAC;2141540physical enviornment and visibility of the staff nurses station in the ICU (as opposed to on a med-surg floor) encourages more interruptions by family IMHO.
    ...but I ended up being written up over an incident that had happened 3 weeks earlier (absolutely no harm to the patient) As a result of the write up, my first in 8 years, I was denied a transfer to the PACU.(the PACU mgr is still willing to hire me after hearing the whole story , I just have to wait out the 90 days) Although I wrote my side of the story on the counseling form, I also have learned the hard way that there is no grievance procedure except for 'unfair dismissal'.[/QUOTE]

    IMHO I agree...the more visible the desk is the the light goes on by the patient and the family is more "needy".
    Same thing happened to me recently. I got written up but it was the other party that should have gotten the correction plan. Didn't matter what I had to say. If nursing wants to retain people, they need to get rid of this 90 day hold crap! That's a long time if you're ready to move on. They treat you like you'd killed someone.
    I hope this passes quickly for you. I'm at the end of my career so I didn't play their game and left and I feel great!
  9. by   burn out
    I just wonder if by writing you up is not just a ploy to keep you from transferring because your manager doesn't want to loose a good nurse and then have try to replace you. This way you may change your mind, the PACU position may become filled, or then they will keep you at the current job until they find a replacement for you . I think you are probably doing a good job and they don't want to loose you.
  10. by   morte
    Quote from burn out
    I just wonder if by writing you up is not just a ploy to keep you from transferring because your manager doesn't want to loose a good nurse and then have try to replace you. This way you may change your mind, the PACU position may become filled, or then they will keep you at the current job until they find a replacement for you . I think you are probably doing a good job and they don't want to loose you.
    lol, i had thought of that angle as well....have heard of employers giving less than glowing references to keep the employee.....
  11. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from morte
    lol, i had thought of that angle as well....have heard of employers giving less than glowing references to keep the employee.....
    Off Topic, this happened to me in one job (I was too valuable to let go). I kept getting rejected by potential employers who told me that they LOVED my interview and resume! Once I figured out which supervisor was bad mouthing me I figured out a way for interested employers to have absolutely no contact with him! And to no surprise of my own, I immediately found a new job.

    OP: Thanks for the thread. I was trying desperately to get a new grad position in the ICU through being an extern first, but I have NO DESIRE to deal with the drama of families (I have had my share for a life-time in social services). So off to PACU with you! :spin:
  12. by   DutchgirlRN
    I soooo feel your pain. I took a 3 month LOA to rest my nerves, went back PRN, within a couple of months I quit. If family members would only realize that we are doing the best we can they could make our lives so much easier. The public has no clue of what go through and medical shows on TV don't help one bit. I'm 51 y/o and have finally come to realize that my days of hospital nursing are over. I'm retired from hospital nursing as I like to call it. After 31 years of doing what I loved, that part of my life is now over. I am enjoying home health. I have issues there too, just this week we changed to pay per visit, but it's going to work out. God Bless Hon, take care of yourself.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Apr 4, '07
  13. by   cardsRN
    tell me about it. we recently had a 26 year old pt who for some reason was special. he was allowed to have not 1 but 2 cell phones, visitors around the clock, including several children under 12 years old, food brought from mcdonalds fighting with baby mommas all while admitted to icu for bp control for thoracic AA. manager aware of situation, later denied awareness. and last week, our pt whose chest we cracked in the room, many hours of OR in the unit and the family fist fighting in the hall, the smell of alcohol rolling in the doors whenever our tech ran for another cooler of blood products. it's enough to make you want to run screaming.
  14. by   gr8rnpjt
    Thank GOD there are other options for you guys. You nurses with your wealth of experience are wanted and needed at insurance companies all over the country. It is easy as pie and very little stress!

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