Feeling jaded...

  1. Hello all!

    Just want to see if anyone else feels jaded in the ICU. Working in the Trauma/Surg ICU is starting to make me...a wench. I have done a week's vacation, stress relief, etc. It's just that when I'm at work, I have been losing my patience quickly with certain patients. I can't stand the whining anymore. I try to give people a chance but once they continue with certain behaviors (whining, constantly on the call light without reason, yelling, pinching, being snotty, etc) I just can't handle it.

    I have been in ICU for about 3 years, and am scared I'm losing my compassion. The ICU where I work is very urban, very very busy and we get a ton of GSWs, traumas, transplants, and surgeries of all kinds. I think I'm just sick of patients and their families being so damn demanding, lying to me over and over, and thinking that I am there to cater to their every want. Don't get me wrong, I take excellent care of my patients, I really do. I just want to get some ideas on what everyone else does when they really are at the end of their ropes. When I can, I escape for a minute, even if it's just walking to the pharmacy. Getting a little breather can really help.

    I also think a part of my problem is that I have started an internal countdown, as I'm starting CRNA school in the fall.

    Suggestions are welcome on how you deal with this feeling!
    Nurse Kern
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    About optimisticSRNA

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 87; Likes: 7
    Stepford SRNA
    Specialty: MICU, SICU

    6 Comments

  3. by   RedERRN
    Hmm, it's kinda funny that you posted this because I am going through the exact same thing - except my area of 3 years experience is the ER. I've deliberated about making a change from the ER to the ICU for about a year now and I have finally decided to make the leap. The hospital that I work in is VERY bad about holding resentments against those who do departmental transfers within the hospital (ie ER to ICU) so I am going to a different hospital to do work in the ICU there.
    Maybe you could use a good break from the same thing too. I've talked to almost all the 15+ years experienced nurses that work in my ER and every single one of them says they experienced the same type of thing early on in their careers and switched to a different specialty for a while.
    That is the best benefit of being a nurse - we get to choose where we work and what we specialize in...might as well close your eyes and jump - as long as no bridges are burned, what can it hurt?

    Sally
  4. by   steelcityrn
    yup. I agree. Pretty normal. Even in non-nursing fields I am told.
  5. by   oldiebutgoodie
    Yesterday I had a patient in uncontrolled a-fib, who had also just had a seizure, His wife was beside herself because he had diarrhea and she demanded Immodium, and because his butt looked red, and she was afraid his pressure ulcer would get worse. Couldn't understand why we didn't jump to get Immodium, and put him in a chair to get pressure off the butt. (Could it be we don't want him becoming unresponsive and falling on the floor?)

    I had the hardest time trying to be patient with this lady. It's only been 2 years, and I am losing my compassion, too, and this isn't even an ER!

    Had to explain that the heart takes precedence over the butt. (Not in so many words).

    Oldeibutgoodie
  6. by   RNperdiem
    Take extra shifts on a med-surg floor, and experience the chaos. ICU will start to look pretty good again.
  7. by   first_lobster
    They told me when I strted that at about 2 years I would start to have burnout, and you bet your sweet bum, at two years I was thinking it was them or me. Dont' worry. this too shall pass.
  8. by   oldiebutgoodie
    Quote from first_lobster
    They told me when I strted that at about 2 years I would start to have burnout, and you bet your sweet bum, at two years I was thinking it was them or me. Dont' worry. this too shall pass.
    So two years is a critical point, hmmm? Kind of like the 7 year itch? Interesting....


    Oldiebutgoodie

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