depression, burnout and nursing

  1. Is there anyone out there who has period with depression and feeling of burnout, sorrow, sadness and maybee tiredness related to your job as a professional nurse?

    I feel exhausted and sad, allthow I love being a nurse. Sometime I feel so alone about this feeling. Death and dying, tradgedy and sorrow are making me even more sad nowaday.

    It would be ok to hear from other nurses feeling the same in some period. How would you deal with it?
  2. Visit florry profile page

    About florry

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 185; Likes: 2
    spes. clin. nurse in a Canser hospital, working with sarcoma patients


  3. by   dabestrn
    Hey, I know a lot of nurses who feel this way, me included! It is one of the perks of the job. If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been nursing?? It takes some time to learn to adjust to the ****** parts of the job. Some ppl never do, these are the burnt out nurses that you can't help but wonder why they are nurses. Well, best thing to do is grab hold of all the good experiences, all the ppl you have helped in your job, and don't let go. If you find yourself getting down, just think about those poitives. I like to think that without my nursing and others nursing, many ppl's lives would be way worse off and some even very short lived. I work in the ER so I see a lot or one extreme to the other. See lots of ppl suffer but also play a very serious role in literally saving somebodies life. I just choose to hold on to those good moments. Somedays are better than others, and some are very bad, esp. when you are working with a group of nurses who dwell on the negatives. Just try really hard not to fall in to that rut. You might also try Zoloft or Paxil, i know many nurse who use it and works wonderful. Good luck and keep your head up!!
  4. by   florry
    Thank you so much for answering!
    I am ashamed, but I have been in proffessional nursing since 1985! AND I HAVE ALLWAYS LOVED MY WORK! I allways have been burning; as a nurse educator for 10 years, clin. nurse for 6 years, freelance nurse in educating (my own firm) as SOME OF my engasem.

    I AM WORKING WITH CRITICAL PATIENTS IN A CANSER UNIT FOR FAMILES AND THEIR CHILDREN WITH OSTEOGENIC/EWING SARCOMA; A VERY SERIOUSLY CANSER FORM. I am one of the veterans in nursing, and know from my collegaes, cheif and most of all the PARENT AND THEIR CILDREN: "THEY ADORE ME". I got a teleph. last day, were one of the parents was asking of me (and on of the other nurse; "where is "Florry", I miss her so much, evering is a mess here...". I hope you understand that I really appreciate theese comment, even I know that also other nurses are doing a great job!!

    Its high doses of chemo; 100 times doses of chemo; And I usually love my work! I have had a break for 6 weeks now, because of a seriously neurologic deciease myself,- I have a seriously migraine with attack (the last year every second day; Cronic Paroxysmal Hemicrani) BUT OF COURSE: I AM FOCOUSING ON THAT MY OWN MR CAPUT: ITS POSITIV THAT THE TEST WAS NEGATIVE! No I am waiting for a neurologic spec. Well, I agree, that I am depressed also, and Prosac in small doces is helping mee overcoming the day. Its the future that is bothering mee, Can I still work as a nurse? I feel that I am the only nurse in the world that is using antidepressant? I feel ashamed!!!

    The stress on the unit has been extremely the last year, and when I have gone the 10 hour shift after the another without eating and drinking, because of emergency happening, I collapsed.

    Death, dying and suicide among relatives and collegaes is really affecting mee. I am excausted! Allthow I feel that "nurse chatting" as this line really is helping mee! Its like not feeling alone!

    Its very hard and STRANGE, because at the same time I miss the "high tech - high touch", BUT I need a break now.

    The highest fear is that I cant get back to NURSING! I hope you understand, I dont mean to compain, but really try to focuse on the positive! But my body and mind is compleet excaused!

    I am trying to focus on spring, swimming, the nice weather, "the small positive thing", all the beutifull around mee. Yes, I am really trying. I think the future is bothering mee!

    Well, excuse my english, I know its not that good.. but I hope you understand me?! Am I UNUSUAL? Hope not.

    Love from Florry, Norway
  5. by   PowerPuffGirl
    I currently work with at-risk teenagers (suicidality, drug/ATOH abuse, self destructive behavior such as cutting, family violence, etc). It's fairly high stress, and burnout is definately a problem at my agency.

    I have a pretty box I keep under my bed, where I keep things like thank-you cards I've recieved, artwork that the youth have done for me, or things that remind me of positive outcomes I've helped with. I find that when I have a horrible day, it helps to go home, sit on the floor, and go through the box.
  6. by   MandyInMS
    It's not unusual nor strange to feel burned out with nursing from time to time. Think about give, and give, and give of yourself every single day. But how much do you get back?Sure, you get the occasional pt./family that tells you how much help you have been to them. But the majority of the time you hear the bad,depressing, heart-breaking things.Esp.with you working with cancer pts...and children no less.You're only human..I'd be worried about you if you weren't affected.Don't be ashamed of having to take antidepressants...been there done that have many other nurses I know. You're not alone (((hugz)))
  7. by   oramar
    florry, bless you for all the wonderful things you have done and the lives you have touched. One of the worse aspects of burnout is the feelings of failure. There is a tendency to see ourselves as somehow lacking. After years of doing the most important job in the world it is normal to start to feel the weigjt of others sorrows. However you feel it is OK with me. However you decide to deal with it is OK with me as long as it involves taking good care of you. Remember you practiced for nearly 20 years at a profession that a lot of people can't handle for 10 minutes. That is something to be proud of not depressed about.
  8. by   florry

  9. by   renerian
    Florry your not alone. After working 6.5 in the hospital, 3 in LTC, 1 in adult day care and 11 in home health I was dog tired. I am now in Sales with a DME and I absolutely love it. I work no weekends unless I want to, no nights, no holidays and best of all I have no pager. I help people pick out the right equipment and teach them about what is and is not covered.

    What do you think you will do to remedy your feelings?

  10. by   florry

    Well, you are asking what I will do to remedy my feelings,- and its a good quest.!

    Right now I feel I have to REST, "do what I like and sleep when I feel its right, even its daytime.

    I know that its not the life to live for a looong time! But I am there now that fex. discuss this issue together with other nurses really is helping me!

    Its other out there who has given so much over years, and ; yes they are/can be in the same situat. for some period! I am not alone!

    Also, I try to do something nice; as I said; swimming, playing golf, reading, be together with people who are "giving me" some understanding (allthough I will not bee complaining too much!) I am out of job now (with doct. permission for a while), but tomorrow I am attending a school together with a friend of mine and her child, for making "soaps", volonterally from my side. (I have no children and no man). I am trying to create something "good", not that "big", maybe listening to my inner voice about something good I have done, espec. in my job, witch mean A LOT TO ME!

    ALSO: I give me permission to listening to my sad feelings, I think its important to see both the "light" and the "dark" side of life.
    Do you agree that this is one way to handle it?
  11. by   renerian
    Florry that is an excellent way to handle it! I am sorry your off work on medical leave but enjoy your time with your child!

  12. by   nurse2002
    Originally posted by florry
    Is there anyone out there who has period with depression and feeling of burnout, sorrow, sadness and maybee tiredness related to your job as a professional nurse?

    I feel exhausted and sad, allthow I love being a nurse. Sometime I feel so alone about this feeling. Death and dying, tradgedy and sorrow are making me even more sad nowaday.

    It would be ok to hear from other nurses feeling the same in some period. How would you deal with it?

    Ive been thinkig about the same thing... A LOT.
    I dont think I am burnt out. I think I am more...disgusted.
    Mostly with the politics that go with nursing. The bad attitudes.
    The little "soap operas" going on on the units. But I love my patients and they are why I got into nursing, so im fully concentrating on them. Not to all the bull going on that I dont want to be any part of. I have a lot of thinking to do.

    The tragedy part does get me down sometimes. Death and sickness is not an easy thing for anyone to deal with day after day. But your love of people will help you get through this, just as it has helped family and friends of your patients and your patients themselves through hard times of tragedy.
  13. by   barefootlady
    I know I am in burnout, but nursing is all I know how to do. I try to get my rest, eat right, read a book, watch a comedy on tv, and plan for my next long week end off. I am looking into another setting to work. Hope something opens up soon.
  14. by   Brownms46
    Well I have been at this for a total of 23yrs now, and I have been burnt out, and depressed at one point or another. But I think the worst bout of depression came while I was working on an ICU/CCU contract in S. C..

    I got a small boy who was supposed to be 14yrs old, but looked about 8 or 9! He had a very small frame, and had been shot by a drifter the family had picked up during their move from JVille, Fl. to S. C.. He was placed on a vent, and dropped into my bed in the early am of a nite shift I was working. It was my turn to get the admit. His father had been killed by the drifter while trying to rob them. The little boy saw his father shot, and tried to run out the door, but was shot in the head!

    Everyone who went into the room came out crying. His head was in an ace wrap, and we had to go in, and wash him up, suctioning brain matter.. was also me who had to listen to the family members screaming in agony from the pain of learning the horrible news!

    This took me a long time to get over, and I don't think I would have made it without the help of some great friends! I probably should have received consuling, but thank God I was able to finally get over it. I didn't take any meds, not because I didn't need them, but because I'm terrrible at remembering to take meds. And I KNOW me...I wouldn't have stayed on them long enough for them to do me any good!

    I have seen a lot in 23yrs, and I have worked in a whole lot of places. Starting out in NICU, L&D, working OB/GYN, Med/Surg, Clinics, Residency programs, R. O. A. D. S. Team, ICU/CCU/SICU,ER including Level I trauma hospitals, PTSD, Industrial, Home Health visits, Mohs Surg, etc..etc. But this is the worst time I ever had in caring for a pt. This one got to me big time!

    I think if I hadn't become agency and later travel, I would have never made it this long in nursing. I think the constant change of scenery is what keeps me going, and keeps the burnout, and depression from taking me over.

    Right now I'm on an assignment at a facility I have been at twice before. And each time I return it seems new again. Upon returning I got hugs from everyone starting with the Asst Administrator, the DON, to housekeeping. I live across the street from the CEO of the hospital here, and yesterday he came over, and introduced hiimself, and invited me to visit him at the hospital. He also offered his sons to help me with getting settled. The funny thing is the last time I was here, I was constantly fussing about the housing I was in, but no one remembered that. They just remembered they thought I was great!

    I guess it's things like that, that make it worthwhile sometimes I wish you all the best florry. Hang in there, and take good care of yourself. We need all good nurses, and we can't afford to lose you...!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Apr 20, '03