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Throwing the Rubik's Cube at Nurse Burnout

Nurses Article   (42,910 Views 44 Replies 4,427 Words)
by AutumnApple AutumnApple (Member) Member Nurse

AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

1 Article; 9,328 Profile Views; 481 Posts

The topic of nurse burnout is discussed by many, nurses and non-nurses alike. Yet, despite our awareness of the problem, we don't seem to be any closer to finding a solution to it. This is my story of how I got burned out of nursing, and what I did to make it back. You are reading page 4 of Throwing the Rubik's Cube at Nurse Burnout. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Very, very interesting article. I do admit, you sounded completely insufferable as a coworker back then! Sounds like you were fortunate to work with some wonderful people.

The Rubik's Cube analogy is one that I believe may be useful to many readers going forward.

I'm so sorry about the fact that your friend knew about her brother's tendencies yet neither reported him nor warned you. No one deserves to be raped. I wish you had reported the rape, but it doesn't sound as if you did. If not, maybe you still can. Since his sister said he does this "now and again", it could prevent there being any future victims.

I wish you well in the future.

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AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

1 Article; 481 Posts; 9,328 Profile Views

In regard to nurse burn out, and the dangerous behaviors many of us may have exhibited while working as nurses - behavior widely varied, yet none the less self destrutive … I have to wonder why it occurs? I know I was not the type of person whom demanded perfection from myself prenursing school - what changed while in nursing school? How did I myself become so obsessive about little details? Is this behavior perhaps something that was encouraged and nutured unconsciously while in nursing school? Is it a flaw in the educational system in which we are all trained? I have to wonder, because as I said before already that type of behavior was NOT my style before entering the college of nursing prior to 1992, but it most certainly was post graduation. That type of dangerous behavior began almost immediately upon working, picking up horrible, self destructive habits almost right off the bat. Some seem impervious, but it seems the majority I've known are not. Just food for thought.

And for the record, I myself have been bullied by other nurses in my career early on with disasteous consequences to myself. This was something I didn't deserve (I used to be young and pretty - other nurses took issue with that). However, I myself don't blame the OP for behavior of other nurses. I doubt any of those previous colleagues would ever admit to having done something so terrible, and had perhaps done it many times before, and since. OP can't be held accountable for the things other nurses may have done to us - she is not a scapegoat to bear the brunt of every mean person also working as a nurse. There is a distinction.

In my humble opinion, it occurs because nursing is truly challenging on both a professional and personal level.

Sure, many career paths are a challenge. Few of us these days are making 'easy money'. But to be a highly effective nurse, we must have our nursing practice in tip top shape at all times, our personal lives together and every other duck in line. Or so it seems anyway.

For me, I can say with confidence, that a lot of my 'diva nurse' tendencies, my belief that I had to be 'super duper princess perfect nurse' were born from insecurities.

I saw the task that laid ahead of me, was intimidated by it, wasn't sure I could mange it and poor coping developed.

It takes a lot of wisdom, intelligence and objectivity to 'prioritize' one's life. Stepping into nursing made me feel like I was put in a 'do or die' situation and that I had to outperform everyone else. It was as if someone turned the difficulty level of this game called life up to 'expert' but I was only a beginner still. I saw no way to survive other than to achieve what I perceived to be 'the highest score'.

And this is where we get into the meat of why my peers, not me, are the heroes of this story.

You see, they had the answer to how to prioritize things and I didn't. And they didn't hold it against me that I hurt them a little along the way with my lack of having an answer to it.

They understood that work should only take up so much of your focus. They understood patient survey scores matter, but not to the point where stepping on toes is suddenly 'alright'. They understood being 'popular' at work and 'in' with management was nice, but not worth the price. So they continued on with their careers and lives while I tripped and stumbled along the way..........which often included being less than 'nice' to them.

And when I was done and had learned my lesson, they took things for what they were..........a girl who didn't know better.

They understood the Rubik's cube. Their ability to practice balance put them in a better position to not take me personally and to support me when my diva nurse phase was over.

I don't know if we truly can teach the lesson of the Rubik's cube. Often, we are driven to such insecurities and poor coping by this profession, we cling to whatever we feel safe with even if a better way presents itself. But, awareness is the first step, hence my article.

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PewpSmith has 23 years experience and specializes in Special Procedures.

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And when I was done and had learned my lesson, they took things for what they were..........a girl who didn't know better.

Did you really "not know better"? Did you never go to kindergarten? Did you REALLY not know That chopping people off at the knees so you stood taller was not a good idea?

And as far as making her a scapegoat for all who had wronged me- that's not the case at all. I simply thought the op was a very 1 sided (minority) perspective on what causes burnout. I wanted to show that it is usually not self inflicted and, instead, many times a result of a "diva nurse" which, that moniker feels like one neck of a euphemism

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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Did you really "not know better"? Did you never go to kindergarten? Did you REALLY not know That chopping people off at the knees so you stood taller was not a good idea?

And as far as making her a scapegoat for all who had wronged me- that's not the case at all. I simply thought the op was a very 1 sided (minority) perspective on what causes burnout. I wanted to show that it is usually not self inflicted and, instead, many times a result of a "diva nurse" which, that moniker feels like one neck of a euphemism

Having been bullied myself in the past, initially I had a similar reaction to the OP. I do believe she is trying to show others how "not" to be a bully and the errors of her past. There are many reasons for burnout. She is explaining how her's occurred and how she changed her life. It is a powerful story which causes one to think about a lot of issues in life. Bullies are human, too!

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Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Thank you for sharing a raw, honest version of your journey. I'm sure your story helps every reader in some way.

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3,726 Posts; 23,691 Profile Views

Did you really "not know better"? Did you never go to kindergarten? Did you REALLY not know That chopping people off at the knees so you stood taller was not a good idea?

And as far as making her a scapegoat for all who had wronged me- that's not the case at all. I simply thought the op was a very 1 sided (minority) perspective on what causes burnout. I wanted to show that it is usually not self inflicted and, instead, many times a result of a "diva nurse" which, that moniker feels like one neck of a euphemism

How do you know it's not usually self inflicted? Are you not speculating from your own experience?

I see a lot of forgiveness on this site, for many different infractions that we learned better of in kindergarten, all the threads to give a counter perspective, this one isn't it.

I think a thread of your own, that isn't personalized and accusatory of an OP who has exposed her failings, would be a good contribution to the nursing experience.

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I was this nurse. I lost myself for quite a while, I quickly became that go to nurse that has been there longer than anyone, worked 24 hours for free just to do everything right and be a good nurse. Suddenly everybody new. Nobody knows me or what needs to be done. 8 hours is up good bye end of story. Soon bounced out on my butt I find I'm considered a seasoned nurse but I have no experience anywhere but that one behind the times LTC facility. Ive had to learn everything I didn't even have clothes except for scrubs. I didn't know what to do when I got up in the morning I had completly lost myself. It's taken awhile but I'm coming back stronger and more complete than ever

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,059 Profile Views

In my humble opinion, it occurs because nursing is truly challenging on both a professional and personal level.

Sure, many career paths are a challenge. Few of us these days are making 'easy money'. But to be a highly effective nurse, we must have our nursing practice in tip top shape at all times, our personal lives together and every other duck in line. Or so it seems anyway.

For me, I can say with confidence, that a lot of my 'diva nurse' tendencies, my belief that I had to be 'super duper princess perfect nurse' were born from insecurities.

I saw the task that laid ahead of me, was intimidated by it, wasn't sure I could mange it and poor coping developed.

It takes a lot of wisdom, intelligence and objectivity to 'prioritize' one's life. Stepping into nursing made me feel like I was put in a 'do or die' situation and that I had to outperform everyone else. It was as if someone turned the difficulty level of this game called life up to 'expert' but I was only a beginner still. I saw no way to survive other than to achieve what I perceived to be 'the highest score'.

And this is where we get into the meat of why my peers, not me, are the heroes of this story.

You see, they had the answer to how to prioritize things and I didn't. And they didn't hold it against me that I hurt them a little along the way with my lack of having an answer to it.

They understood that work should only take up so much of your focus. They understood patient survey scores matter, but not to the point where stepping on toes is suddenly 'alright'. They understood being 'popular' at work and 'in' with management was nice, but not worth the price. So they continued on with their careers and lives while I tripped and stumbled along the way..........which often included being less than 'nice' to them.

And when I was done and had learned my lesson, they took things for what they were..........a girl who didn't know better.

They understood the Rubik's cube. Their ability to practice balance put them in a better position to not take me personally and to support me when my diva nurse phase was over.

I don't know if we truly can teach the lesson of the Rubik's cube. Often, we are driven to such insecurities and poor coping by this profession, we cling to whatever we feel safe with even if a better way presents itself. But, awareness is the first step, hence my article.

I am surprised more haven't responded to this segment of your story. You said so much, so well here. You truly "examined" yourself, the people you worked with and spoke very eloquently on the complexities of life and the journey you were on. You analyzed a great deal through all this. I don't know your age, but you have a lot of insight and wisdom. I'm a fan!

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CKPM2RN has 3 years experience as a ASN, EMT-P and specializes in Med-tele.

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Wow. That is all I can find to say right now.

Thank you for sharing.

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