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Nursing Burnout

I have observed nursing burnout in several of the hospitals I have been in. What do you feel in the number one cause of nurse burn out and what suggestions do you have for a new nurse to avoid this situation?:banghead:

imanedrn

Specializes in ED/trauma.

I have observed nursing burnout in several of the hospitals I have been in. What do you feel in the number one cause of nurse burn out and what suggestions do you have for a new nurse to avoid this situation?:banghead:

I'm a new nurse. In January, we swapped roles: He got out of the Air Force (after 10 years) and went back to school; I got out of school after 9 years (and 2 degrees) and went back to work. So... Although I make good money, I don't make as much as my husband did. Fortunately, our income is currently supplemented by his unemployment & GI Bill money. His unemployment runs out in August though, which is financially unnerving. All that being said...

We thought about me working 1 OT shift per pay period to bring in some extra money. After working for 2 1/2 months now, though, I've realized that -- if I were to do that -- I would burn out in no time fast. While I enjoy my job, it is emotionally and physically demanding. That being said...

I am very fortunate to have a friend who knows someone who knows someone in home health. Long story short, the HH agency is small and willing to hire me part time (for now, with the future prospect of working full time for them). I will make great money with them, not working nearly as hard or as many hours.

So... all that is to say that, although I enjoy my job, I KNOW I would not be able to handle OT there. It would ENSURE my burnout. I need to bring in more money, though, and I'm certain I'll love HH, so I've taken this alternate route to secure the finances we'll need.

I know that was a roundabout answer answer, but that's my personal experience with the prospects of burning out.

Good luck to you!

MoonRN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele.

Being understaffed/ pt ratio-acuity too high. Long hours. Non supportive management who have never worked the floor. Too much value placed on profit. To name a few.

loricatus

Specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

Having seen a lot of burn out (and having been there myself), I noticed a common theme of a total lack of having a sense of humor wherever there is burn out taking place. When you can not laugh or joke with your coworkers, the everyday stressors seem to build up and internalize. On the other hand, wherever the staff are encouraged to apply a sense of humor throughout the shift, the workday becomes pleasurable, no matter how intense it may get. It also helps to have a sick sense of humor.

Dorito, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, , Home health, Education.

I also think working in the same environment long term contributes to burn out. I switch departments about every 5-8 years and in almost 30 years I think this has prevented major burnout. It keeps me curious and learning something new and working with different people. (also, I agree with loracatus....a sense of humor helps a LOT!)

I think if nurses felt as though they weren't obligated to take extra shifts, and OT wasn't the norm, that would help alot. Also, if someone would finally do something about the horizontal violence that occurs, instead of just doing studies, that would personally contribute to my job satisfaction. Also, managers who demonstrate understanding, and don't just expect us to keep on keepin' on, for weeks and months of working short, OT and denied vacations.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Please keep in mind that I cannot possibly speak for all nurses out there. Therefore, here are a few of the issues that have contributed to my personal burnout (I'm not burned out yet, but approaching it at the speed of light). If you're familiar with my posts, you're probably read this before.

1. The lack of respect from doctors, patients, family members, coworkers, managers, and society

2. Too much accountability for patient outcomes without much pay

3. The managerial view that nurses are warm bodies who simply fill shifts

4. Low workplace morale that can often be observed at many healthcare facilities

5. The low self-esteems, passive aggression, and bullying tactics of some nurses

6. The public's very outdated perception of the nursing profession

7. The female domination of the nursing profession

8. The desire for hospital administrators to maximize profit margins, without regard to nursing staff or patient safety

9. The societal demand that nurses "do it all" while being overworked, understaffed, underpaid, and lacking supplies

10. The assumption that the nurse is also the customer service rep, bellhop, handmaiden, concierge, waitress, clerk, messenger, courier, pillow fluffer, and receptionist

commuter, you forgot to add #11:

the fact that you work a zillion hrs/week.:)

that alone, will escalate the speed of burning out.

please, remember that.

leslie

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

commuter, you forgot to add #11:

the fact that you work a zillion hrs/week.:)

that alone, will escalate the speed of burning out.

please, remember that.

leslie

I know, Leslie. I know that I need to lighten my workload. :)

It's kinda like the point of diminishing returns: the more I work, the less I enjoy work. If I'm spending a billion hours per week at the same workplace, it's inevitable that I'll grow tired of the job.

I know, Leslie. I know that I need to lighten my workload. :)

please believe me when i tell you i cringe when i read about all the hours you work.

just take it from a much older nurse...and someone old enough to be your momma.

you remind me of my dd...

except she's only 18 but darn it, she is one motivated young woman.

you both need to slow down.

(i refuse to use that finger-wagging icon)

leslie

ranaazha, You said it beautifully

I just completed an eight page research paper on these issues. I am so glad that they aren't going unnoticed and I really wish that things weren't the way they are with nursing. What struck a nerve with me was when my professor made the comment about the issues not being a big deal. :eek:OOH!!! What I did not want to say or do to him but I did tell him I hope you don't ever get sick......

Rhone

Specializes in Psychiatric.

7. The female domination of the nursing profession

This caught my attention; can you expand on it (or link to a post where you've already expanded on it)? As a male trying to switch careers into nursing, I'm curious about how the female domination of the profession contributes to your burnout.

MaryAnn_RN

Specializes in ICU.

This caught my attention; can you expand on it (or link to a post where you've already expanded on it)? As a male trying to switch careers into nursing, I'm curious about how the female domination of the profession contributes to your burnout.

Is it because society expects nurses to conform to female gender stereotypes? We don't conform and conflict ensues?

ArwenEvenstar

Specializes in med-surg, teaching, cardiac, priv. duty.

This caught my attention; can you expand on it (or link to a post where you've already expanded on it)? As a male trying to switch careers into nursing, I'm curious about how the female domination of the profession contributes to your burnout.

I'm not the person who posted this, but I just had to comment. My husband and I are both RN's. I feel bad for my husband sometimes having to work in a female dominated profession! Of course, these are general statements that I am making, but men and women tend to deal with things differently. Men are more problem solvers, ie: "There is a problem. What can we do to solve it? Lets do it!" While women tend to like to just complain, chit-chat, gossip, and gab about the problem. My husband has told the female nurses he works with more than once to shut-up and stop complaining and instead DO something to SOLVE the problem! (By the way, these nurses have gotten used to my husband. And interestingly, they rarely complain in his presence anymore! haha!) Another example, if my husband has a "problem" with some nurse, he does not hesitate to directly deal with it. He will go to the nurse personally, share his concern, and clear up the issue with her. It seems that women are less likely to do this... instead they will complain about the other nurse to other staff members, and be CATTY about it. Female nurses can be very catty.

Okay, I am a female posting this, but I hope I am not offending other females. My statements are general, and I am not saying every female is like this.

But to get back to the OP issue, I think that with the generally stressful atmosphere of nursing that can lead to burn-out, that when you add on the fact that nurses are mostly females who tend to complain instead of problem solve, be so catty, etc - well, this only contributes to the stress!!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

if my husband has a "problem" with some nurse, he does not hesitate to directly deal with it. He will go to the nurse personally, share his concern, and clear up the issue with her. It seems that women are less likely to do this... instead they will complain about the other nurse to other staff members, and be CATTY about it.
There's a term to describe this behavior: Passive aggression.

Being understaffed/ pt ratio-acuity too high. Long hours. Non supportive management who have never worked the floor. Too much value placed on profit. To name a few.

Exactly.Too many pts per nurse,short staffing,poor management,lack of support etc etc

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

(i refuse to use that finger-wagging icon)

leslie

I'll use it...:nono::nono::nono::nono: (my finger got stuck)

Being understaffed/ pt ratio-acuity too high. Long hours. Non supportive management who have never worked the floor. Too much value placed on profit. To name a few.

DITTO.

Add non-supportive management that FORGOT what it was like to work the floor or are too worried about their jobs to care about their nurses.

imanedrn

Specializes in ED/trauma.

I also think working in the same environment long term contributes to burn out. I switch departments about every 5-8 years and in almost 30 years I think this has prevented major burnout. It keeps me curious and learning something new and working with different people. (also, I agree with loracatus....a sense of humor helps a LOT!)

This is what I plan to do (though probably less than 5-8 years) because I KNOW I get bored easily. It's actually part of what drew me to nursing in the first place. If I KNOW I'm getting burned out (and therefore hating my job, dislike myself, not caring enough for my pts, etc.), why on earth would I stay there?? I know some people feel limited (or are -- I won't dare to try put myself in some else's shoes), but I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where moving around won't be a problem.

I want my nice broad med/surg background, but I KNOW I will grow weary of it and need to move on. Also, the pt ratio is yucky :trout:

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