How Do You Deal with Burnout/Stress in the OR?

  1. Hey all, I'm a 1.5 year RN seeking advice about burnout and stress related to working in an understaffed OR.

    I have worked in the OR since I graduated, and inititally thought it would be where I lived out my nursing career. But unfortunately at my facility, we have been extremely understaffed since before I was even hired, and that has lead to very low morale and excessive amounts of weekend and night call. My last pay period, I worked my normal 80 hours with 28 hours of call back on top of that. The management has proved to be very unhelpful, and is of the mindset that "We're just going through a season and everyone needs to be supportive and pick up the slack." After almost 2 years of the same speech, I'm not optimistic that these issues will be resolved any time soon.

    I'm very saddened that I have been pushed to the point where I dread coming to work. I love being a circulator, but the stress of this environment has had a huge impact on me. I've interviewed at a few different OR's, but after job shadowing and talking with some of the staff, it seems like they are having the exact same issues that my facility is.

    At this point, I'm thinking about switching to a different specialty, but I'm curious if there are any other OR nurses have gone through these same issues and have found ways to effectively deal with the stress/problems without going to a different specialty. Or if you have switched from OR to something else, I would like to hear about your experience as well. Thank you!
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    About lejohnson93, BSN

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 4; Likes: 1


  3. by   WhoDatWhoDare
    You don't mention the region you live in, but I have to ask if you've tried applying at a different hospital?
  4. by   jeckrn
    If the different ORs have the same issues so will the floors.
  5. by   lejohnson93
    Yeah I've applied at two different hospital OR's and they seem to have the same staffing/call issues as well.
  6. by   Green Tea, RN
    I would suggest a facility like a surgery center which is closed at night and on weekend. No call will be required in that case at least.

    Other than that, cutting back hours of work may be beneficial to you if you can afford and your manager allows. When I was chronically stressed out from work, I talked to my manager to be part time and she allowed it. I think my manager thought having me part time was better than losing me.
    Last edit by Green Tea, RN on Oct 29, '17 : Reason: I wanted to add another option.