Nurses General Nursing


Hey guys!! New here and I thought maybe you guys could give me some insight. I have been a nurse for 7 whole years. Long time right? I have been in L&D the whole time except for 4 months when I did ICU. I hate to go to work and I dread the days that I have to work. I want to call out all the time, but I don't. I have more patience with my patients than I do with my own children and I know that is not right. I work with great people in a nice hospital on night shift. I just don't know where all this is coming from. Have any of you felt this way? I have looked at other jobs, but the only thing close to me are 2 teaching hospitals and small, small hospitals. HELP :o I really don't know what else I would do besides OB.

Thanks a bunch just for reading!!

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

it comes and goes in waves for me. i definately have days like you described. then i have days or i should say weeks, that are total opposites. it may be wearing on you. how many hours a week do you work? maybe cutting back on hours? just a thought........ have a good day! :)


Nite Owl, you have pretty much described a smoldering burnout. I know because I have been there myself. I describe it as always giving, never getting......until you are totally empty inside.

Would it be financially feasible to go on a per diem basis? That is, not leave the facility payroll, just not work there full time. We had many nurses that worked as little as 1 weekend a month and remained on staff.

I hope you find answers. Right now I am an unemployed/disabled nurse making NO money and not able to DO much but stand here at the computer and surf.

Good Luck.

You know where I stand on this...YOU CAN'T LEAVE UNLESS I DO!! ;)

Called Wake Med N. Rec. today...ER internship for experienced (as in no ER experience, but no new grads) nurses there. 12 weeks, and they take you on the premise that they know you're totally clueless. Going to see how much $$ they'll throw at me, and if the hours are decent, I may jump. If I do, I'll of course stay RSP 'at home,' working a shift once a week just to keep my hand in OB 'cause you know I could never leave it...LOL! Got the blessing from the hubby today.

I'll keep looking and tell you about any hot prospects. You know I luvs ya, girl!!

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Call me crazy ( you won't be the first), but I'm thinking depression here. Answer these questions:

How are you eating and sleeping?

Any major hormonal changes, like menopause?

Any major life changes, like death, divorce, other losses?

Are you the caretaker in your family? And do you take care of yourself?

Have you had a physical lately with a healthcare provider whom you've seen more than once, and with whom you "connect"?

Are you weepy?

If you can rule out a physical problem, and don't think it's depression, at least try to take some significant time off if you can afford it. It will relieve some of the stress and you might just fall in love w/your kids again! And you'll have the "space" to figure out what's going on.


Me too!!! I have been on the burnout road for a while now. good luck!

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Niteowl, both you and Huganurse sound like you are in burnout-- and denial.

What are you doing to "fill your cup" mentally and emotionally? You need to take some time for yourself to refill your own emotional reserves. And whether or not you think you can afford it, try to cut down one shift every 2 weeks instead of working so much.

If it is at all possible, give a shift away to another nurse once every other week and spend that day with hubby or kids on a "runaway" trip to go camping, or fishing, or to a museum, or on a picnic-- do something that you enjoy and that doesn't cost much to do. And if you do this in the middle of the week, when everyone else is working, so much the better.

Then once you find that it doesn't hurt that much not to bring in a full paycheck, cut down on your hours. You can enjoy both your family and your job when you aren't working so hard at making a living. I work .8, and several of my co-workers have also cut down these past 2 years and we are all amazed at how much better we feel and how much more energized we are since cutting back and taking better care of ourselves.

Once you make up your mind that you don't need all of that money from working full time but you do need a life, it is easy to cut back your working hours. And you do feel human again once you start taking time out for yourself.:)

Dear Huganurse,you say you can't afford a week away at the beach etc. It sounds like you can"t afford not to. If you can take the don't sweat the small stuff approach at home,do the same about affording you as in YOURSELF a little peace of mind. Do you have family or friends who can keep your kids?Maybe church members?We nurses are so ingrained to take care of everybody else that we seldom take care of ourselves.If you really can"t get away,find some local interest that you can do.Is there a wellness center sponsored by your facility?Arobics? Please,please take the time that you need for yourself.We need you out here.Good luck and have a blessed day.

While I am only a student (but an older one) I can offer a suggestion that really worked for me when I was worker upward of 70 hours per week.

Don't laugh:D , I started taking karate class (I'm 45). I could go anywhere between 1-7 times a week. The workout relieved so much stress I couldn't believe it. Now I know you are thinking that "I'm to darn tired to do that", you are wrong. You'd be surprised how refreshing it is. You remove all bad thoughts out of your mind.

If martial arts isn't for you, try Tai Chi. While this is still martial arts, it is less "strenuous".

These are suggestions that you can also do with your family. It is allot of fun (my hubby and two sons joined me also) and I can say that my sensei is supportive of me no matter what I am doing for a living.

I have been in school full time so I haven't gone since March, but I ran into sensei and he reminded me that part of a fullfilling life is to have your center, and be at one with your world and yourself.

Just a suggestion.:)

nightowl, i know what you are going through. i had been experiencing the same s/s myself. i noticed that you also work noc. i was working 3 12's and an8 then two days off. which amounted to one. my pay checks were awesome but my family life was going right down the drain. so i cut back. i am now 3on and 3 off 12's. i feel almost human again. i had a brief inhalation moment with no breathing when i opened my first check since the change but it is worth it. i also had to make myself get up and get out of the house. once you start isolating yourself it becomes harder and harder to get back out in the stream of things. i do special things for myself when i feel like i need pampering. i fake and bake, (don't say a word, it makes me feel skinnier and it hides my spider veins), i love to have a ice cold beer or two after a tough shift, i love to read, i get lost in my lawyer/mystery books. i invested in aroma therapy candles, and light up quite frequently, prn. my personal favorite are my bubble baths. i own stock in vasoline intensive care bath products. the best is botanical garden. it turns the water turquiose blue. can you tell i love the beach. then i have tons of bubbles, more candles, and use a luxurious moisturizing soap like tone island mist. if i am stressed out at work, i go into the med room lock myself in and spritz with one of my many bath and body sprays. it not only soothes me but the other nurses immediately smell the peach, or the coconut or whatever and i simply must spray everybody after that! i hope this helps. you certainly helped me with your last post on my thread.

I went through what you went through. I had to drag myself out of bed to go to work, because I knew my day was going to be chaos from start to finish. I tried to make excuses to call in sick, and in a fowl mood when I did go to work (though not to my patients, I stuck a fake smile on just for them). I finally realized that I had no routine working in the hospital. Work schedules come out late so you can't plan anything, you never know if you are working or not on a holiday, you never get all (or sometimes any) of your breaks, and managers don't seem to care about their staff. That is when I realized I had to leave my job. I quit hospital nursing and when to work for the county as a PHN. I work m-f, 8-5. That means no weekends, no holidays, no mandatory OT, no OT period. My child knows when mommy will be home, I can plan a life, go to PTA meetings, etc. Maybe you should think of career options to help you get ahold of the chaos in your life. Also, look into counseling for yourself. I agree that it sounds like you have some depression going on there. Good luck to you and God bless.

Thanks for all of the input ya'll have given me. prmenrs, I can say for sure that I am not depressed. I do eat and sleep, in the correct proportions!, too young (I hope) for menopause, no life changes and a recent physical with a great provider. I am the caretaker here, but of course I don't take care of myself!! I would love to take time off, but since I bring in the checks routinely (my husband farms) that is sometimes feasible and sometimes not.

I did have a great patient the other night that made me appreciate what I do, if it was just for a moment.

Thanks again guys. Nice to know I am not the only one who feels the same way.

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