HELP!! RN burnout!!!

Specialties MICU


If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated.

My husband is an ICU nurse and a level II trauma center. He has been in the ICU for about 1.5 years and seemed really excited about it in the beginning and mostly now. He loves to help people who are victims of accidents and in need of help and such, however he has been having a really hard time emotionally dealing with all the drunk drivers that come in in critical condition or people that attempted suicide and missed, etc. He is getting very condescending about alcoholics, drug users and the nationalities of people that predominently use them in this area. It is getting really hard for me to handle and I know that he is getting burned out!

Does anyone have any suggestions about how he can overcome this, if it gets better with time, etc.?

Thanks, Jacki

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

108 Articles; 9,984 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

He needs a geographic cure. At the very least, he needs a vacation, if you can possibly afford it, of at least 2 weeks during which he (and preferably you as well;) ) can get away from the job both mentally and physically.

I can relate all too well to what he's going through; about 4 years ago I too was completely burned out and depressed, and my attitude stunk so bad I was actually on probation at work. A couple of weeks' worth of road trip to California with my sister and my adult daughter proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered. It did wonders for my perspective, and the total change of scenery---far away from all my responsibilities---was more therapeutic than a hundred therapy sessions. And when I finally came back to my job, I was refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life and work sent my way.

Good luck to both of you. Let me know how things go.


Wow! That's hard I could not even image what your husband sees and deals with every day! I bet he could use a vacation to clear his mind! He might want to think about a different position maybe the ICU is not for him its not for every one!

I hope everything works out!


206 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Practitioner/CRNA Pain Mgmt.

Try to get him to work in the ER for a change. That'll get his perspective in order.


720 Posts

Specializes in CCU/CVU/ICU.
Try to get him to work in the ER for a change. That'll get his perspective in order.

If this guy is burnt-out because of drunk-drivers, drug users, alcoholics, and failed scuicide attempts, i doubt a move to ER would cheer him up. Unless of course he wants to add fit-throwing kids (w/freaked psycho parents), doctorless people with stuffy noses and flu, homeless people w/no other place to go, frequent flying hypocondriacs, rape victims getting swabbed, etc.

That stuff'd get old REAL fast...unless of course he's a Springer fan....

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