Help! Feeling burned out and the year hasn’t started yet!?

Specialties School

Updated:   Published

Hi all! I’ll be headed back to my job as an elementary school nurse in a few weeks. I am absolutely dreading it and really want to change the direction of my career. Unfortunately, I need to stay in my current job for the time being.

I have been at my current school for 7 years and have been feeling burned out for the last few years. It’s a Title 1 school with very challenging students and parents. I also have a principal that is s micro manager and doesn’t seem to want/respect my suggestions for improving things at the school.

This summer I have tried to rest, relax and take time for myself, but I’m still feeling down.

Any ideas on how to get through the burnout and make my job better??

Any suggestions are requested!!!

Thank you!

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

I am sorry this summer wasn't restful.

Regarding your principal - when someone doesn't want my advice I don't give it - but I document the pants off any situation where something happened because my admin didn't follow policy, gave out a favor to a parent s/he liked, etc.

Regarding your students and parents - you don't know if you are the only stability or help to them. You may well be. Just do the best nursing job that you can and again, document the pants off any time a parent doesn't show up, doesn't follow up, etc.

I am guessing you don't have a nursing director?

Any other jobs in the district? Can you at least switch schools? What about neighboring districts?

Good luck. This is a stressful time of year for us.

My first thought is to request a transfer within your district, but the grass is not always greener. But really my thoughts are to advice you to focus on the kids, that is why after all why we do what we do. It’s great if you have supportive administrators and friendly staff, but the real wins come from being there and making a difference in these students lives for 7 hours a day. Yes the parents can be a challenge but not all of them. Control what you can and try not to over analyze what you cannot. For some students your care might be the only smile they see all day and the only time they feel safe. Not easy, not at all.

How to overcome burnout without quitting your job.

1) Be more selfish, sometimes you just gotta say "no".

2) Compare what you do with what is on the job description. If you are doing a lot more than what is included in the job description, make a list, this may give you some leverage for change.

3) Find some workplace folk that you can vent to and get support from(hang out on AN).

4) Avoid work when you aren't working. Tune out and turn off. Take regular days off.

5) Meditate, take cleansing breaths, go into the bathroom and destress for 5 minutes if you need to.

6) Identify the most enjoyable part of the job and focus on that, try to do that part more. Have a fun thing to do when you aren't at work, be creative, spontaneous and adventurous.

7) Change things up. Start to dress differently, add funky jewelry, hair accessories if possible, move your desk, change up the office, put up fun posters, brighten the place up and make it happier for you.

I added a few notes from my own ideas but these basically came from the webpage I listed above. I have in the past put on my fav music on headphones before to drown out sounds or put in some music that makes me want to dance. There is no reason you can't dance in your own office if you get in the mood and it doesn't interfere with work. If you can gain the attitude of letting it all go and say to yourself, "I refuse to let it get me down and I am going to be free and have some dang fun for a change". Go for it!

+ Add a Comment