I need some help over here!!!

  1. I became an RN 21 years ago. I'm a nurse because I can't imagine doing anything else. I have always loved being a nurse and going to work. I work as charge nurse of a 16 bed Neuro and Surgical ICU at night. I'm 44 years old and feel like I'm becoming indifferent about going to work now. I imagine it is "burn out", but labeling it doesn't make it better. I am independent so changing jobs is really not an optiion for another 9 years. What do you do to make it better, I would appreciate your input.
  2. Visit dv8rn profile page

    About dv8rn

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 45; Likes: 16
    Charge of the best bunch of scaundrels ever to oversee and ICU unit


  3. by   renerian
    CAn you take a vacation? Would changing units be an option? Do you think it is the managment that has left you tired? I did home health management and got back into a less demanding role and felt refreshed........hmmmmm.

  4. by   Jenny P
    How about getting back to the bedside at least 1 day a pay period? Being charge nurse kind of pulls you farther from the patient; maybe being at the bedside again would renew your interest in nursing again.
  5. by   renerian
    DV8rn how are you feeling about it now?

  6. by   dv8rn
    At our hospital, the Charge Nurse frequently has a patient assignment. This is not only because of short staff, but also, they are not replacing the Charge Nurses as they quit or transferr. There is a relief charge assigned each shift, that doesn't get regular charge pay (of course) and is often a different nurse each day. Out of the three ICU Units under this manager, and a possible 12 Charge spots, I am one of only two left. Boy, from all this rambling, do you suppose that's part of what's bothering me? haha. I do feel better, renerian, thanks!! Guess having someone to hear my rantings is theraputic!!
  7. by   mattsmom81
    Rant away, many of us here do ...LOL!

    I've made it clear I do NOT do charge anymore and I feel much better going to work these days.

    Good luck to ya!
  8. by   renerian
    I think venting can really help. I used to feel bad when the charge had to take a load plus do all the charge duties. Seems unfair. I am glad your feeling better.

  9. by   jadednurse
    Originally posted by dv8rn
    I am independent so changing jobs is really not an optiion for another 9 years.
    Independent meaning on your own, sole breadwinner, etc?
    Not sure I understand this part?
  10. by   passing thru
    I worked in an 8 bed Neuro ICU for 4 years. The stress was tremendous. A sampling of our patients: Young adults in their 20's & 30's who went 4 wheeling on weekends, intoxicated, rolled 'em, & wound up in our unit -quads-with broken necks, and also people who were assaulted on the street with a "rock in a sock"--"lock in a sock", post their sub-dural hematoma evacuations--with 50 % of their prior neurological and intellectual capabilities, folks with aneuryms, "near-drownings", electrocutions, near suicides and homicides, teen-agers in MVA's......
    So many quads, brain dead, "near" brain dead, ...
    I quit that unit about this same time of year, after we had 9 teenagers from 4 MVA's,.....6 became organ donors.
    It was the most challenging and emotionally demanding unit I have ever worked. I couldn't take it any more..
    What you see there, day in and day out,.......40 hours a week,
    well, I don't think the human mind was meant to cope with such pain and suffering, the families, the unforgettable injuries.

    Even the docs are at the bedside only a few minutes a day, not with all eight patients as you are....for 40 hours a week.

    For starters, a meeting needs to be held with administration. They are asking the impossible.

    In our hospital, and it was a large one, the 8 bed SICU had their own "specialty SICU charge nurse", and the Neuro ICU had their own "specialized charge nurse." These are two different specialties. I have worked many hospitals, and I've never seen a single nurse in charge of both of these units.

    Your hospital is getting "two for the price of one."

    I wouldn't ask, "what's wrong with me?" I'd ask "What were you all (administration) thinking?

    I'd suggest not ever letting them know you NEED this job....you lose all your negotiating power.

    If you quit, (went agency) they'd hire two nurses to take your place.
    That's my guess.

    And in a lighter note, like "Lonesome in Seattle".......you're
    bored in Las Vegas?
  11. by   dv8rn
    Thanks, Passing thru, it's good to know that there is someone else that has been through this too. By independent, I mean single mom, my "baby" however is 18 and in college, still lives at home. My husband died a year ago in May, and I haven't any other biologicals.
    Our hospital is under union contract and I have now been allowed in after discussion. First thing I did was file a grievance about my schedule, and I won!! Who knows maybe things can change for the better.

    Thank you:kiss
  12. by   jadednurse
    I am sorry for you loss. I'm sure that makes things more stressful. Good to hear you had some resolve with your schedule. Keep up the good fight!
  13. by   passing thru
    And it isn't just the schedule...it is one nurse covering two units.
    Also you have to be willing to '''give up''' some of the control/ power,responsibility.
    I've seen nurses complain out the kazoo about how hard they were worked , the frustration, etc. Along comes a manager n with ideas, and offers to relieve them of some of their responsibilities, ..............and BAM!
    The complaining nurse gets territorial and doesn't want to give up a single responsibility/duty or job.
    Of course I know this doesn't apply to you DV8 but you will see it, especially around the specialty units.

    When those charge and management positions were offered to me in the units, I told the managers -- real quick-- ""You couldn't pay me enough to take that job !"
    I love to walk out the door without a care after my shift.
    Take care of yourself DV8, and make sure they understand there should be two nurses in charge of those 16 patients. You do have a secretary on your shift don't you?
  14. by   renerian
    I am sorry for your loss as well. I agree with a previous post don't let them know you need your job........