Matt thank you so much for writing this article. It's like you wrote it specifically for me. I have completely burned out and I'm afraid I'm past the point of no return. I am an RN in a Surgery Trauma ICU at a Level I Trauma Center in a major metropolitan area. We are the number one trauma center in the state so we get it all. I've been working here for 8.5 years. Over the past few years I have felt I was starting to burn out. I spoke to one of our NP's who had just completed his DNP and did a lot of work on burn out and his suggestion was to read some articles on the AACN's website about it. Not the help I was hoping for.
Fastforward to this May/June when the flame went out for me. There was a major trauma pt I admitted and who was there over 3 weeks. His wife eventually made him a DNR then she withdrew care and he passed away. One of the Trauma Attendings ended up starting a war with Nursing because she wasn't happy that the pt's wife made him a DNR and no one discussed it with her, even though she wasn't there because it was not her week on. (We have 10 Attendings and they each are on one week at a time and cycle through). Even though all these things were communicated with the Attending that was actually on service at the time all these things happened, this particular MD threw Nursing under the bus. I'm not going to go into details but it was really, really bad to the point Ethics and administration got involved. And this was something this Attending has done in the past and is known for. Of course nothing ever happens to her disciplinary wise.
It was at this point where I was done. I officially burned out. That was this past June and things just keep getting worse for me. I get anxious every day that I wake up and I know I have to work that night. I am angry at work. I hate my patients and their families. I snap on almost all the residents. I hate my boss because she has not once ever spoken to any of us nurses about this issue with the Attending. I used to put my all in my job and would work tirelessly for some patients. Now, to be frank, I just don't give a f#$! I am sick and tired of our Attendings flat out lying to patients' families about the patient's prognosis or treatments. I'm tired of the verbal and physical abuse by the patients and nothing being done about it. I'm sick of the verbal abuse of visitors and nothing being done about it. I'm tired of being treated like a doormat. I'm done. Finished. I hate nursing and everything that is involved with it. I never want to work closely with patients again. If I could manage it financially, I would walk away from healthcare this second and never look back.
I went to my Nurse Clinician asking for help for how I was feeling but got nothing. I'm at the end of my rope and I don't know what to do. No one seems to either want to help me or there is nothing at my hospital to help people who are going through this.