I've been in the healthcare field for 3 years. I started off doing home health for private individuals and agencies, and then moved on to being a CNA and a CMA in a nursing home. For the last couple of years I've been really interested in nursing school. I'd done a few years in college majoring in Psychology and I was really excited at the idea of how different nursing school would be -- feeling like you actually learn things from experience and are challenged by more than deadlines for papers.
I've been burning out for a while, mostly due to the fact that I had for 6 months been the only one supporting my boyfriend and me when he lost his job. He was able to start working again in June which has helped a lot but, of course, it takes a while to get back on track financially after that long without working. I did a lot of 60 hour weeks for a while.
It's just been in this last month that the frustration has really taken over. I feel so overwhelmed at work. As a Med Aide in Assisted Living, we are treated as the charge nurses. We are expected to step in an help (as we should be) when our CNAs are not able to get things done. Normally this is not a problem, but in the last few months we've lost 5 people, most of which that were FT. Two people we hired less than 2 weeks ago are already either leaving or transferring. It's just getting so hard to keep people so the people that are left behind are so stressed, thus making them want to leave. I'm passing meds to 24 residents so I'm already allocating roughly 6 of my 8 hours a day just to doing that. The other 2 hours are usually divided between getting vitals, helping CNAs serve meals, testing the wanderguard doors, documentation, sometimes a 30 minute break, etc.
Though we are assisted living, a lot of our residents require more care than a lot of ALs would allow (at least that's my understanding, I've only ever done healthcare before). We have one gentleman that we get up and dressed every morning, we have some ladies that need help with 45 minute showers, and different things like that, so it's not a rare event for us to be called into a room to give extra assistance.
I'm getting so frustrated with myself because...it's like my patience and empathy is just gone. I used to love this business and now it's really hard for me not to get cranky when something puts me behind (which happens pretty often lately). I know that passion waxes and wanes but I'm not even in nursing school yet and I'm already feeling so wiped out.
I started doing pre-reqs this semester but I'm so stressed and expected to put in OT at work until we get more people so I am putting it on the back burner. Just 3 months ago I was sooo excited for nursing school (which I was hoping to start Fall 2011) that I could couldn't stand it, now I am really questioning if it's right for me.
I know burnout is common in nursing but...how do you come back from it? As you can see, taking time off is not an option. I don't want to quit, though there are days when I would give up a limb for a desk job where I never had to deal with people. I never last long in those jobs, though, because I don't feel needed! But right now I can't even enjoy my time off (this if my first full weekend off in a month and I'm too stressed to enjoy it!
It seems like lately all I do is worry, snap at people and cry.
How do you get your passion back for helping people?