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Running on Empty

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jeastridge jeastridge, BSN, RN (Trusted Brand)

Specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

There are times in nursing when we begin to run on empty, when our emotional, spiritual and physical resources dry up. This article is a discussion about the importance of continuing to feed our spirits so that we are able to provide the best possible care to our patients. You are reading page 2 of Running on Empty. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

Going to stop opening up these messages as this nurse board is letting spam on and not catching it in time. It is a waste of time for continued opening up and finding "start working at home with this or that and make $".

They actually delete them pretty quickly. Why don't you help out and report the posts? It helps the mods find them faster.

needshaldol

Specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

I didn't know I could report but now I do thank you. Now if they could get rid of the ad that pop up as I was scrolling, some dude with a horse, a cowboy type looking for love.

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

I didn't know I could report but now I do thank you. Now if they could get rid of the ad that pop up as I was scrolling, some dude with a horse, a cowboy type looking for love.

Well, if you want to be able to use this board for free, you'll have to put up with some ads. They have to pay the costs of running it somehow.

Brenda F. Johnson, BSN

Specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing. Has 28 years experience.

Well written, which is lacking in so many other articles. You touched on a subject that all nurses can relate to, spirituality is so important as well as supporting each other. Thank you for your insight!

jeastridge, BSN, RN

Specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

Jean, in my opinion, the documentation will always be what is most important in nursing in the hospital setting. It is all about liability now. At the hospital I worked at, patient satisfaction was most important and a nurse would get called into the office when a patient filled out a form with a complaint, even if this patient ran every nurse into the ground. The manager "had" to call the nurse in. I call this sort of "nurse bashing, getting control of the nurse". And I loved my manager, she was and is a wonderful manager and person but she also is part of the chain ladder up to the CEO. Next, everything was/is about "budget". There is enough in the "budget" for manager meetings, and then meetings about the meetings" but not enough in the budget for patient care. What would help tremendously would be for more aides. Our aides had too many patients and few would get the care they really need. Since the RN is dealing with clicking on the computer, documenting to avoid a legal issue, and seldom has time to do what an aide is trained for, then if we had more aides, patients would be happier, the RN would have time for all those tasks, and a good assessment of the patient but I am afraid, at least where I worked, that this is not in the cards. Don't get my message wrong; I truly loved the job.

I appreciate your comments. It is so hard to focus on the important instead of the urgent, isn't it? The urgent looms large in our lives and often obstructs the view of what really matters. Also, you offer some helpful suggestions about possible changes.

jeastridge, BSN, RN

Specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

I am a Rn with almost 30 years in; a couple of weeks ago I floated to another unit, leaving my floor short. Got a crappy assignment of course. Spent the day running, no time to chart, demanding families, the whole shebang. I was giving meds to a patient who was talking to his son. He was 84, came in with osteomyelitis, put on vanco, sent to a SNF. Back in Acute Renal Failure. Needed "temporary" HD, except his kidneys were not responding. As I'm busy scanning meds, racing to move on, I hear fragments of the conversation. This man was telling his son, he had had enough. He was bone tired, he was ready to "go home". His son was agreeing. I had to take a deep breath. Stop what I was doing, accept this was going to be another 14 hour day. I talked to him, told him that this was his choice. HD was his decision. He was doing it for his kids. I asked his son to call the family, called the doc and cancelled his HD for the morning, got a palliative care consult. I believe he went home with Hospice two days later. But holding this mans hand while he was crying. A man who thought he had no options but to accept all the invasive treatments. It was a massive wake up call to me. I'm not there to perform tasks. I was there for just this. I left late, tired, thirsty, hungry that night. But I did knowing I did something for a man who really needed my help. It made it worthwhile.

Thank you for telling us about your experience. Thank you for being there for this patient and his family. Thank you for taking the time to stop and focus and listen. Having the mental, emotional and physical resources to be able to pause and re-direct is what it is all about. As we would say down here in the South, "You done good!" (No offense, please to our southern readers. Just a tiny bit of humor!)

Hello! I do hope I can post on this. I am a new nursing student, on an assignment to join a nursing listserv. I am sorry if I am out of line posting here, but this topic really spoke to me. As I mentioned, I recently started nursing school. Already, I am struggling with burnout and feeling inadequate. Even though I'm sure all of you nurses have to go through much more stress than me at this point, but I think you have all been where I'm at. Most days, I feel like I am running on empty and I wind up spiritually drained. I am drawing from my own cup, so to speak. Your article, and many of the comments as well, have given me some peace and helped me see that I have to maintain a balance and not allow myself to become drained. As I move along in my education and career, I know this will become even more important, as I will be having to take care of others and cannot let my burnout affect them. Thank you for this article!

jeastridge, BSN, RN

Specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

Hello! I do hope I can post on this. I am a new nursing student, on an assignment to join a nursing listserv. I am sorry if I am out of line posting here, but this topic really spoke to me. As I mentioned, I recently started nursing school. Already, I am struggling with burnout and feeling inadequate. Even though I'm sure all of you nurses have to go through much more stress than me at this point, but I think you have all been where I'm at. Most days, I feel like I am running on empty and I wind up spiritually drained. I am drawing from my own cup, so to speak. Your article, and many of the comments as well, have given me some peace and helped me see that I have to maintain a balance and not allow myself to become drained. As I move along in my education and career, I know this will become even more important, as I will be having to take care of others and cannot let my burnout affect them. Thank you for this article!

Thank you for your note and you are not out of line! It is important to learn to reach out to other nurses for support--from the beginning. As with any profession, getting started can be stressful and very intense. During school and your training, be especially vigilant about eating right, getting enough sleep, and attending to your spiritual needs, so that you can remain open to learning the material and interacting with co-workers and patients. I wish you the very best in your career. Joy

Sensibility, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 17 years experience.

I can totally relate to this post. The days that my patient's parents derail on me and just want to attack anyone who happens to be there, which is me. The days that I feel so overwhelmed that I can't get everything done that is mandatory to get done while at the same time giving excellent customer service and then at the end of all of that being told that it wasn't enough because the parents complained that they were not attended to immediately. I have not been to church in 5 years because of working night shift. I spend time in the Word daily and I spend time with my Lord Jesus but have not had a nickel's worth of fellowship except with my husband, which is good. We are both strong believers. For that, I am grateful. When coworkers start talking behind my back for no reason, I feel totally and completely spent. My legs hurt. My body aches and my heart is broken. Few people ever show any kind of gratefulness. Nursing is not what people think it is. It is the most selfless job on planet earth. I do not believe I could do this job well without Jesus. No way. Songs that I sing on the way to work that minister to me say, "Lord, I need you!"

jeastridge, BSN, RN

Specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

I can totally relate to this post. The days that my patient's parents derail on me and just want to attack anyone who happens to be there, which is me. The days that I feel so overwhelmed that I can't get everything done that is mandatory to get done while at the same time giving excellent customer service and then at the end of all of that being told that it wasn't enough because the parents complained that they were not attended to immediately. I have not been to church in 5 years because of working night shift. I spend time in the Word daily and I spend time with my Lord Jesus but have not had a nickel's worth of fellowship except with my husband, which is good. We are both strong believers. For that, I am grateful. When coworkers start talking behind my back for no reason, I feel totally and completely spent. My legs hurt. My body aches and my heart is broken. Few people ever show any kind of gratefulness. Nursing is not what people think it is. It is the most selfless job on planet earth. I do not believe I could do this job well without Jesus. No way. Songs that I sing on the way to work that minister to me say, "Lord, I need you!"

Dear Sensibility, My heart goes out to you because in so many ways nursing can be a lonely journey. As you point out, we are often more apt to highlight the few things that did not get done rather than to focus on and lift up the beauty of our many interactions with others. My God bless you with renewal and refreshment. I hope that you find a small group--even if not on a Sunday--to fellowship with. As a Jesus disciple in this day and time, we continue to need that group support from each other. Blessings on you.

NursingNerd1

Has 1 years experience.

I love this and really needed to read it. :inlove: