Stress/Burn out

Specialties Hospice


I like my job, however coping with the stress is really getting to me. Emotionally I'm so worn down. The go go go of seeing 5 or 6 emotionally needy patients a day, the obligation of answering all of their questions, and feeling the need to be what everyone needs is wearing on me. It never fails that I have 2 or 3 declining or dying at once and it overwhelms me. Admissions are so much work and I don't finish my charting for days because I just need a break at the end of the day. I think eventually an on call position would be good for me but until then I need to figure out how to detach or cope better. Any advice?

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

Hugs. Hugs. Hugs. We try to do our charting in the home to avoid charting at home; the only two exceptions seem to be writing up a clinical screen for an evaluation for eligibility to be on hospice and admissions if either are in a home environment were we just get what we need signatures (concents) and then do the rest either from home or the office depending on the time of day.

Can you share more about what you mean by "feeling the need to be what everyone needs" means to you?

Hugs, and I pray you find peace and comfort.

On call provides my life with a much needed detachment from the demands of day shift hospice. I'm on nights f, sat, Sunday.

Gentle hugs from Georgia.

I guess I just have growing anxiety about being enough. Saying the right thing, doing the right thing, preparing the family appropriately. I know that this is mostly my perception and that I can't please everyone or fix everything but it's still creating a lot of stress. I think I probably need some time off, I have some days off in a few weeks which I think will help.

When I first started in hospice I had similar feelings. It took a concentrated effort to pause and breathe after each visit and to leave work at work when I went home. You can't be all things to all people, and that's okay. Give yourself permission to not know everything. Turn your phone off when you get home unless you are on-call. Leave the after hours stuff to those working after hours, they can handle it. When I find myself thinking about work on my off hours, I say to myself "On call can handle it, let it go." Establish and maintain boundaries. Do your best, but don't harp on yourself when you're not perfect. Don't put pressure on yourself to do more than you can. Instead, do your best at what you can do. Ask for help when you need it. It takes time and effort to manage the stress of working in hospice. Honestly, I'm still working at it myself, but when I look back I can see how far I've come. And remember, breathe! It's amazing what a difference just breathing right can make.

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