1. burnout .... help! what do you do when you are feeling burned out? this has been brewing like a storm for a few months now off and on. usually, i can get my head above water for a while, i just can't seem to keep it there. all the usual "cures" don't seem to get to the heart of it. i keep thinking this will pass. i like what i do...er..worked so hard to get there too. my place of employment is ok...not perfect but utopia doesn;t exist...right? work with a pretty decent group of people too. i wonder if this is one of the reasons a lot of nurses change jobs often? the longer i stay in this the more i realize that erma bombeck was right..."the grass is always greener over the septic tank." i think i'm depressed because "they'er all septic tanks." i'm sooooo tired, a diferent kind of tired...like right into the soul. well, i guess i'm indulging in some self pity. i try not to, usually this just passes...but i'm starting to wonder if it ever will.. any one else ever experience lengthy episodes of this? what did you do????????????
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    About l.rae

    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 2,065; Likes: 48


  3. by   LilgirlRN
    Can you take some time off? Does your hospital have counselors on staff to help you get through stressful times? If they do, talking to one of them may help you. Talk to anyone who will listen to you, it's like you're FOS, you're full to the brim with this really bad stuff that really eats away at your soul and you have to get it out of you, you need a dose of MOM...if she's available...if not then talk here. Most of us are pretty sympathetic to your plight, we've been there before. We've all needed a good cleaning out and catharsis is the only way I know how to do it. Excercise may help too..put those head phones on and WALK. Whatever you do don't just lie around by yourself and be sad. TALKTALKTALKTALKTALK till ya can't talk no more and then you'll find yourself feeling better :kiss
  4. by   Reabock
    I agree, if you can get away from it for a while it does help. I took a leave of absence 2 summers ago for 2 months, did work my weekends though, so as not to leave my fellow workers in the lurch. That was dumb, but made me feel less guilty. I was ready to quit and go work at flipping burgers or at WalMart :roll :roll
    It did help to a point, even looked for another job at a SNF in our system because time accrued would transfer, but eventually decided as priviously said, "they're all septic tanks" and I was not ready to jump out of the frying pan into the fire, so stayed where I was.

    Since finding this site and these bulletin boards, I have made peace with myself, most of the time, that I need to continue doing what I am doing. The support here from people you will probably never meet is invaluable , as they know exactly where you are coming from. The old "been there, done that" syndrome. Good luck! Hope you feel better soon.
  5. by   Jenny P
    For me, getting back in touch with Nature really helps a lot-- NO headphones-- I need to hear the blue jays and cardinals and cat birds and ducks and geese and all of the rest of the neighborhood birds singing at me. Quiet time for centering and finding myself; flying kites and blowing bubbles; laying in the grass, sitting by the lake and bird watching-- digging in the garden-- whatever; just getting away from the modern conveniences helps a whole lot.

    I just spent the past 3 days at a Personal Mastery workshop sponsored by my hospital system that I would reccommend for anyone. I've been on a waiting list for 2 years (but was unaware I could have paid for it myself) and was sent for free. We had time to renew ourselves, reflect on who we are and what we do; work in small groups to come up with new ways of looking at things and making our systems work better; worked in different small groups to help us realize our own creative talents and acknowledge our own uniqueness and affirm each other. There were 30 nurses from all different areas and levels of nursing across 5 hospitals and 3 clinics and I walked in there Tuesday morning, not knowing one other nurse there- feeling like a burnt out Krispy Kritter (I'd worked 3 horrible 12 hr nights over the w/e and didn't get enough sleep Monday and came out this evening so energized that I couldn't believe it! And knowing some new friends who I will be in contact with again!

    Check and see if there is something like this offered anywhere near you. It was just a wonderful experience that I hope to keep in touch with.

    The other thing you might want to check is that there might be a physical reason for you being so exhausted. Have you had a physical in the recent past? Might be something to check before you chalk it all up to job burn out.

    Good luck and take care of yourself this w/e; no extra hours or shifts. Find time for yourself; you may find yourself again.
  6. by   dianthe1013
    A woman named Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book called Nickle And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America. In it, she asserts that it doesn't matter if you work at Wal-mart or are the CEO of a large corporation - if you pull a full day's work, you will go home feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically.

    Of course, anyone in this profession can attest to the fact that you must add emotional exhaustion when speaking of nursing!

    Take care of yourself. If time off is an option, do it. If not, seek out someone who can and will listen to you as you talk all this stuff out. You deserve it. And it sounds like you need it right now. ::hugs::

  7. by   fedupnurse
    I was in full blown burn out a few years ago. I was doing way to much, working days, on committees and very active in the Union among other things. Even though I would take a pay cut, I decided to go part time (2-12's instead of 3 per week) and I also went back to nights and away from the vast majority of the politicians. It helped. Part of my burnout was also from dealing with my mother's dementia. It was actually very mild a couple of years ago but it is a tough thing to watch. Is there anything going on in your life outside of work that might be the cause? As JennyP said, make sure there is no physical cause. If need be go on meds and get into therapy. You don't have to suffer alone! And you aren't. Depression and anxiety are getting to be as common as a cold. Get treated. You'll feel a lot better!
  8. by   l.rae
    thank you all! this bb is a sanity saver....well there is stuff going on...i feel guilty cause it could be worse and i'm so thankful it isn't, that makes me think these feelings are not valid. two years ago in june my daughter gave birth to a 2#5oz baby boy...he has done wonderful! almost 2yr old, no delays. dgtr married the dad. i work full time in case they need help and they do from time to time. i babysit when i can, she has to work p.t. i finally had to stop watching him on the am's when i had worked the night before...my hubby is a great guy, does a lot for the kids, but my kids are from marraige #1..you get the picture? i have vacation time sched in aug, 1 wk in garden city sc on the beach sooo i'm kind of trying to hold out. i have enough al to take some extra time but it is very hard to get it approved right now. years ago i had a bout with chronic fatigue... had the sore throat, fever off and on for months...even ended up in the hospital for 2 wks. from time to time at high stress times, i get these mild flash-backs.. my md says anti-depressants help.. and they did! but the side effects omg! i had these horrible hot flashes, thought i was changing!hee hee. i would be standing over someone with an iv needle in my hand sweating buckets...i honestly don't know which is worse... the cure or the disease. i know we all have problems..and this will work out. my faith in god has sustained me thru nightmares or i would never have made it . nancy...i watched my grandfather go thru the stages of alzheimer's...my prayers are with you. as nurses we always hope we can make a valuable difference in others lives... thank you all for sharing....this does make a difference.....lr
  9. by   fedupnurse
    Glad this BB is helping. Also glad you have a supportive family. Don't feel guilty about what you are feeling. You can have "everything" good in your life and still have anxiety/depression. It's chemical. Maybe your doc can try a different drug than you had in the past, there are so many out there now, that could possibly avoid the nasty side effects.
    Hang in there, kiddo, we are pulling for you. Feel free to PM me anytime, I'm online just about everyday.
    God Bless!!!!
  10. by   micro
    all great advice.......

    only thing I can micro reiterate.......

    don't live your work.....
    live your life......
    work 110% when you are there, but time away is time away.....

    vacate your normal mindset and your locale routinely.......

    and heck with the grass is always greener.........
    sometimes change is good, sometimes not.....
    you are the only one that knows.......

    micro and out
  11. by   dianah
    It helps me to separate things I can do nothing about, from things/situations that I CAN make a difference in. We all want to feel as if we have SOME control over our lives, yet in a real sense we have very little control, and it is in times that I feel the most out-of-control, that I experience the most "burned-out" feelings. Fatigue, home stressors, financial worries - all contribute to whether I feel optimistic or oppressed. I have found, truly (and I continually need to reinforce this w/experience), that prayer helps; to whatever higher power one chooses to apply. Often we in our burned-out, finite vision, cannot see a solution, or the silver lining to a situation. Yet we've all experienced a shocking, amazing or surprising resolution to that previously hopless situation. I have had more of these "surprise endings" following prayer - a basic "I have NO idea what to do here, I need someone with larger vision and power than I to help me out." Ideas surface, opinions shift, situations de-compress . . .
    Sorry if anyone is put off by the testimonial tone, but it works for me! I wish you all cushions for the bumps of life, and springs to toss you higher at the high points. -- Diana
  12. by   dianah
    Consider a physical cause??? Approaching pre-menopause, hypothyroid condition, CFS, fibromyalgia . . . .??? --D