Burnout or what - page 2

i have been in nursing for 18 years. all in critical care or emergency dept. i feel like every ounce of compassion and strength i have has been sapped. every day it seems there is more and more... Read More

  1. by   sunshines66
    Thanks for the thoughts. My problem is it hasn't been going on just for a short time. It is a huge blown up mess, that has been festering for quite a while. I have moved before when the "bug" caught up with me. I am tired of moving. I agree I need to work on my outside activities. Some times it seems I can just barely survive with what I have. (survive in a profession sense) I am trying many different avenues to help alleviate the stress this has caused in my life. I am very interested in hearing what has worked for any one else in this situation. I am currently reading the compassion fatigue stuff I googled. Thanks for that idea. It sounds similair to what I am going through.
  2. by   Agent99
    I try to switch it up every few years. I work really hard, and get burned out. I'm there again, but I'm older and my body/spirit just can't take it anymore. This job running up and down hallways etc. is for the younger people. (I'm 40)

    I worked the hospital for 3 years, office setting 3 years, hospital 3 years, office setting 8 months, hospital now again for 2 years. I'm ready to quit hospital (I think for good) and get a "clean" job again.

    I just want to work all day, then go home and live my life. Now work runs my life. I had more of a life when I worked 9:30-5:30 M-F.

    You might need to leave the hospital for a while to refresh your spirit.
  3. by   AfloydRN
    I have only been an RN for 12 years and felt that way. I did ER/ ICU as well. Both very high stress areas and I think that drains you after a while. I switched to icu stepdown and have found it more rewarding. The patients are different and it was a good fit. Talk to your nurse recruiter for some ideas as well.
  4. by   lauralassie
    Wow I agree with many posts here. I really got burned out in ICU , ER before and getting to that point again for many of the same reasons. I agree that hospice was good for me. I found IN ICU I that felt I was restraining pt's, putting a tube in every orafice they have, as well as making new ones, starting them on every gtt there is, waiting until they become septic and edematous to the point of weeping skin , dealing with the endless disagreement between surgery and medecine, after about 2 weeks of pur H** for the pt, they finally decide to "let them die". So any way I found hospice was wounderful for my heart. As nurses we know how to care for other, but have know Idea how to care for ourselves. It's taken me mnay years to come to grips with that.
  5. by   ERERER
    i feel your pain. i have been a nurse for 32 years and have weathered through every different "innovation" of patient care. this past 10 years have frightened me the most, though. alot of the nurses i watch now are merely technicians. patient "care" has fallen by the wayside and it seems as if we are taking care of computers and charts more than the actual flesh. i spoke with a nurse the other night who went to school because "nowhere else i could make 50,000 + with a 2 year degree". the same night i worked with a Filipino recruit from a "nurse mill" who had no interest in anything but racking up a paycheck. I love ER nursing and will not give it up. I worry about my family and if they have to be admitted to a hospital, someone (probably me) will be sitting at their bedside to protect them. whatever happened to the love of learning? i learn something new every shift. i read journals, read the internet, talk with doctors, research unfamiliar drugs and symptoms. then i read about a nurse who gives 8 grams of Dilantin and kills a patient. i am sickened by what has happened to nursing. I worked with a nurse the other night who got his RN because he lost his job as an engineer, and it only took a year or so to get his RN and make comparable money. no interest whatsoever in anything "care" wise, just punch in and punch out and not get written up. something's gotta give.
  6. by   Agent99
    Yes, something's gotta give. And when it does, it's going to be horrific.
  7. by   nurseangel47
    No worries. The immense wealth of ED nursing experience/knowledge imprinted upon your heart, mind, brain, and soul will see you thru any specialty that you choose for the future. You can do anything in nursing, in my opinion, if you can be an ED nurse. You all have my fondest, most envious respect as the "top dogs" of the nursing world! Not everyone has the fortitude or gumption of what it truly takes to become an ED nurse. I once thought I would find ED nursing a daily exciting challenge. Never grew the "balls" for it, though! I'm too thin skinned to be one of the ones I admire. It has to be said that after 20 years in a variety of settings, I, too, have chosen to move on to prevent a huge meltdown. I've worked in a variety of settings, the most fondly remembered in nursing was for a hospice, community setting doing home hospice visits. Wish I could go back now but have some roadblocks where that is concerned. If I do return to nursing, I will probably revisit LTC where it is kind of a routine per se, versus never knowing what is around the next corner, read extra stress here....
    I'm working for a measly wage right now just to not sit at home and worry about finances. Does my current job pay my bills? No. I can honestly say that without my SO, i would have to sell my house and revamp into a much smaller house. Am I happy? YES, an emphatic, YESYESYES! More so than I've been in quite a number of YEARS! I am doing something I love to do with more of a passion than I EVER had for nursing, it seems, in looking back.
    I wish you much luck. Work on getting your financial situation stable if it isn't already then do what you have a passion for. I chose to be around four legged furry creatures and RECEIVE love in the form of doggy kisses and hugs each and every day at work. The poop scooping I do now is outside, in a huge graveled fenced in lot....I get to play and romp, scamper and laugh each minute that I'm at work. And I go home happy and contented, much like the dogs do at the end of their day from the day care center.
  8. by   banditrn
    Sunshine - I felt the same burnout you did after many years in critical care - I transferred to Ambulatory Surgery and loved it!!. Wide variety of ages from young people to the elderly - not so much critical care, but the opportunity to 'educate', which I'm good at.
    Very busy environment, but in a different way than ER or Critical care.
  9. by   LouleeRN
    You asked for suggestions that helped others get through similar experiences. I went through a time of work-related stress and ended up seeking counselling to help deal with what I was feeling. The previous suggestion of walking was a good one. Another thing that was suggested to me was to do something everyday just for yourself. In other words, "treat yourself" everyday. Doesn't have to be anything big--maybe a bubble bath,or curling up with a good book for an hour or so; maybe lighting some scented candles, or going for coffee with a friend, etc. Just anything that makes you feel good inside. I found that we as nurses spend so much time and effort caring for everyone else (our own families as well!) that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves! Go ahead and treat yourself! Amazing how good even the little things can feel! Good luck.
  10. by   Tangerine Lipgloss
    Sometimes a person just has to get out of bedside nursing for a while.

    I'm out now.

    Walking and reading help me. Planning fun things to look forward to are good too.
  11. by   pie123
    Quote from ptadvocate81
    With the critical care and ER background have you ever considered hospice nursing? It is a refreshing change and such a wonderful experience. Although not for everyone, just thought that it might be something for you. Best wishes and I will keep you in my thoughts. Maybe home health even? A change in pt acuity and scenery may be just the cure!
    Hospice can also be emotionally draining.
  12. by   sunshines66
    I am feeling much better now. I left the unit I was working in. I am currently doing travel nursing. I have gotten my "joy" back. That is I now am happy to see the new day, happy to go to work, enjoy my patients, can enjoy my days off. I didn't realize the effects my previous job was having with every aspect of my life. My dogs were not happy before. They were fast to go to their crate if they heard me move quickly or any loud noise, even if it didn't have anyhting to do with them. Now we are all good. I had developed a depression with it that did not help either. I did not work at all for 6-7 weeks, then I gradually increased back to a full time position. I saw a therapist, got medication, got out of the house more, walked, did relaxation exercises, got massages, cut my hair and got it colored at a salon. In short, I made myself the most important thing/person in the world. Even though I am single with 2 dogs I have never done that before. I am not saying I have become a self-centered &itch, I just am in the mix, much higher up the list of priorities.

    I feel I still have the tendency to fall back into that same trap again but now I have several safe-guards in place. I have told my family to let me know whenever they see a change happen. I think we all thought this would get better on its own but it got worse every minute/hour/day.

    THanks to everyone who gave me suggestions and hope. If anyone feels like I did, please get help and get out from under that oppressive cloud.
  13. by   LouleeRN
    So glad that you're feeling better!:spin: