Help!! Burning out and I've just begun - page 2

I've been working on an UNBELIEVABLY busy med/surge floor for a few months now and it is completely burning me out! Things are so crazy all the time, my last shift I had something going on with just... Read More

  1. by   Rena RN 2003
    It sounds like your a new nurse. Quit whining and suck it up. Once you learn the ropes and you still have to ask total strangers if your stupid for staying then leave, but for now suck it up.
  2. by   meownsmile
    I think what you are going through is very much normal. I have been in the RN position for about as long as you have and I also work med/surg. It can get hectic/chaotic/freakishly crazed and whatever other words you have would describe it. I have stayed late, called others on different units for advice or for questions.
    I have called a couple different people before when i couldnt get an adequate answer to a question i had. Ive even had to hang up on a doc for a patient going bad so i could code another.
    So here i am on my med/surg unit since June, and the other day i find myself as the "eldest" member of the RN staff for the day(seniority wise). The other RN had only been on my unit 2 times prior as per diem no less with only clinic experience and I found myself having to help her plus dealing with my own team!!!!
    Trust your judgement, trust your instincts and you will be ok.
    Dont give up to quickly we need you out there with us.
    As far as "sucking it up",, nope ,, if we dont let our managers know what and why we feel like we do we have no chance of any change for the better.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    hmmmm who is go navy anyhow? and how rude is THAT?

    anyhow, I for one, knew better than to get into med-surg fulltime after school. I KNEW the pace would kill me and that I would burn out quick. Have you tried the float pool or PRN? I think you might like that better. That or, try a new position. DON'T burn OUT; we NEED YOU!
  4. by   Gardengal
    Typically it is said that you should wait 6 months before you makea decision to leave ajobe because part of the stress is learning the job. It's tough to tell from the outside as to how another 2 months would help you.

    Do you feel like it's your skills being slow as a new person keeping you from accomplishing your work or the unit routines themselves. Sounds like probably a combo. Take your time to make a decision.

    Although the market is wide open and you could find another position, will it meet your expectations? Sometimes we're better off putting up with the pain short term to make the long term better. If you've spoken to your manager has she/he given you a mentor? Suggested a mentor? have you worked with your preceptor about your frustrations?

    If everyone is as overwhelmed in your department as you then there is a problem. Is the manager addressing this problem? Is is a staffing mix problem? Is there a change anticipated? Communicate with your manager. If your needs are not addressed only after you give some time to this isssue should you move to another job. Don't jump ship just to swim in the ocean.....You need to learn how to surf the waves.....
  5. by   MICU RN
    Maybe this is why there is such a nursing shortage? Believe me what you are going through is very common among new nurses. And I have talked to many other college educated professionals and most can't believe we put up with conditions like this. There a few good positions out there, for example I work in a very good MICU, we are never given more than two patients. In addition, my management is very supportive. But, I had to go through 3 jobs before finding this one and I have worked in some hell holes as for work conditions go. It is really ashame that new nurses are put through this crap. And what the older nurse managers and nurses need to realize is that young college educated woman are not going to stay. And why should they? If they can go into other professions that offer better pay and work conditions. Not to mention better respect. Part of the reason I went into nursing and went to college was that I thought I would be treated as a professional. I was sadly mistaken, I feel for the most part that we are still looked at the way nursing was perceived years ago. Mainly as helpers for the doctors who don't require much training or education. And that is sad, because to be good nurse today you have to have more than just a desire to care for people you have to be educated and bright. The problem is that we are still treated like the nursing assistants you find in a doctor's office instead of college educated professionals. When I tell doctors and friends that the nursing program I went to accepted approx. 60 out of 450 applicants they are amazed, I can tell by there facial expressions that they had no idea. That is one of the reasons I get frustrated in general with nursing, many of us could have gotten into any other profession if we would applied the same effort it took to become RN's, so why should we not be disappointed when we find out how crappy most of the bedside jobs are?
    Last edit by MICU RN on Oct 22, '02
  6. by   VickyRN
    It's the common, everyday horrendous working conditions like you describe in post #1 that are causing nurses to leave the bedside in droves and new grads to burn out in only 1 or 2 years (2 years is about the max nowadays). That's why you have to have wisdom and be very choosy. Pick a unit that's right for you--one you can live with and grow with over the long haul. And yes--if you look carefully--there are still a few units around that meet that criteria. In my last institution (BIG teaching hospital), the general med-surg floors are AWFUL (like slave camps, or working in the mines--totally unsafe and chaotic--14 hour shifts are the NORM--very sick patients); the only DECENT medical-surgical-type units in this hospital are the CARDIAC ones--the cardiac stepdowns (ratio 1:4). In this time of business degree people running (ruining?) health care--ruthless people interested ONLY in the bottom line--we are just SERVICE PEOPLE in their estimation WAITING ON CUSTOMERS (aka 'patients')--much like the clerks at McDonalds. If you don't believe me, read Karen's post "Who Will Change My Bedpan?":
    We also live in a very litigious society--can your hard-earned license really afford (not to mention your health and sanity) such chaotic working conditions?????
  7. by   CMERN
    Dear Nurse502, ((((hugs)))). wanted to say that 1st off. I finally have my first year under my belt. I remember the very feelings you are stating now... It is real. I know that my first 3-4 months I would delegate nothing to a tech. 1st off because most of them had been in the dept. longer than I. 2nd because I had to learn wich techs were competent. I became sooo overloaded. Please stop and start thinking how you can delegate, make it as TEAM WORK, and always let the PCT's know how you appreciate their help. Taking care of the numerous patient load is hard...but managable with a teamwork attitude... If the unit your on wont or doesnt have a teamwok attitude find ways to start it. My heart goes out to your skills in prioritizing grow things will seem less horrible..altho some shifts will still be very challenging. Learn from the Nurses who allow it...ignore the ones who'd just as soon eat you. Gleen the good advice from every experienced nurse and honestly .... respect will come your way. Your patients will benefit from all you bring to them. HANG IN THERE!!!!!! your going to be a great nurse I can tell..
    Last edit by CMERN on Oct 22, '02
  8. by   502Nurse
    Thanks to all of the kind and encouraging replies to my post. It is really touching to see the kind of support and encouragement you are willing to give to a frustrated colleague! To answer some questions, I have been off orientation for a few months and therefore have no preceptor or mentor. I was told to ask the charge nurse questions as needed, but when they are busy I ask whoever is standing closest for help - if I can track someone down. I am fortunate to work with some wonderful nurses especially those who really helped me out on that last shift. On my floor I see a lot of nurses who are worked to the bone, experienced or not, and 12 hour shifts do become 14 hour on many days. We are short on techs, and they are swamped as it is so many things that could be delegated become quicker to do yourself. Management is in transition. I am going to keep 6 months as a goal, and then find something else. I feel bad that I couldn't get my 1st year experience on this floor, but I am not the only new person there who feels this same way. I think retention is a HUGE issue in nursing, and until it is addressed things will only get worse.

    Thanks also for recommendations of areas to look into: ICU, ER, endoscopy, OR, stepdown, ambulatory. I am looking into lining up something in these areas. Any other suggestions? THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
  9. by   Go Navy
    I sincerly apologise for that reply. I just registerd on this discussion board and had to step away from my computer. That was not me replying but someone being mean. I am very upset and embarrased. That is not how Naval personel conducts themselves.
    Once again I am very sorry for this mishap.