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5 yr Nurse Burnout

Nurses   (818 Views 21 Comments)

ambersky004 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse in Cardiac/Telemetry Unit.

1,046 Visitors; 33 Posts

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I have been a nurse for almost 5 yrs now in a cardiac step-down unit/progressive care unit. This year, i feel like I am in a rut. I love being a nurse but lately at work, I am more grumpy and just feeling lost in my purpose. I don't know where to go or begin if I need to move on to a different nursing field? I don't want to come to work grumpy at my co-workers. That is the main thing. I still do my job with hard work and compassion to my patients and their family members. Maybe this is just a phase where I feel in a rut? Has anybody experience the same feeling? 

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RNfindingherway has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

11,331 Visitors; 786 Posts

I am one year in and felt like that. Every day my husband hear me complain about how i dislike the culture on my floor. Very petty nurses who always criticizing the new nurses. That's why I got another job. Maybe time for you to take a vacation or dust of your resume. Hugs. 

Edited by RNfindingherway

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1 Follower; 44,179 Visitors; 2,973 Posts

Even just apply for different units within your hospital. There are sooooo many different areas and kinds of nursing.

If there is a float pool that's a good way to try out other units.

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CalicoKitty has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Med-Surg Nurse.

1 Follower; 15,246 Visitors; 578 Posts

I like float pool a lot. A nice way to "change things up". See how different units work. Less unit-based drama.

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746 Visitors; 32 Posts

2 years in and i feel i might be. i used to have so much patience for my patients, but now i have less room for compassion. i sometimes take out my stress on my friends and family and its so unfair. the job is tough and maybe we just need to change things up often but im trying to reflect on my feelings and practice because i am aware i might be close to being burnt out. 

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Swellz has 6 years experience and works as a RN.

9,096 Visitors; 547 Posts

Almost 6 years in and I feel your pain. I moved to Florida, and healthcare culture is so different down here than where I started my career. Everything is on the nurses - nobody talks to eachother, especially the doctors. I do so much more non-nursing stuff down here than I ever had to do before. I just don't think I'll be able to do the bedside in this state lol, but I've only tried two health systems and there's a couple more in my area if I'm willing to sacrifice commute. I think I'm going to take a break and do outpatient infusion for a bit just to clear my head. I'm so tightly wound every time I go to work that I have no tolerance for the BS that gets put on me during the shift.

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NightNerd has 5 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and works as a Med-psych nurse.

15,350 Visitors; 761 Posts

I can completely identify. I'm about five years in and am losing my mind. I love my coworkers, but my hospital and patient population are wearing me down fast. I thought I was doing okay and keeping it together, but the burnout has hit me all at once in the past 4-5 months. I hear myself being snappy with coworkers and find myself apologizing to them so much more for being such a grumpy person to work with. It's not the people I work with for the most part; it's the increasingly unrealistic expectations placed on us. And my life at home has become all about recovering from work or preparing for it; I don't feel like a human being outside of this job. It feels like my whole life is being held hostage by this job all of a sudden.

For me, I know it's time for a fresh challenge, and preferably a job where I have more opportunity to see some happiness. What I do now is important, but it's gotten to the point where I don't recognize anything that I'm doing as good. I need to do something different, at least for a while.

Is there anything you feel is missing from your work now? That might help you decide whether a new position will fix the burnout, or whether something else would help more. There have been times in my life where therapy, mending personal relationships, focusing on eating well and exercising, etc. all helped me readjust to work. This time, these things aren't cutting it for me.

You mention grumpiness with coworkers as part of the problem. Is it something with them that's making your work more difficult, or is that more a symptom of the burnout for you? Teamwork can make or break a job that's already got you on edge.

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ambersky004 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse in Cardiac/Telemetry Unit.

1,046 Visitors; 33 Posts

4 hours ago, Swellz said:

Almost 6 years in and I feel your pain. I moved to Florida, and healthcare culture is so different down here than where I started my career. Everything is on the nurses - nobody talks to eachother, especially the doctors. I do so much more non-nursing stuff down here than I ever had to do before. I just don't think I'll be able to do the bedside in this state lol, but I've only tried two health systems and there's a couple more in my area if I'm willing to sacrifice commute. I think I'm going to take a break and do outpatient infusion for a bit just to clear my head. I'm so tightly wound every time I go to work that I have no tolerance for the BS that gets put on me during the shift.

I feel the no tolerance sometimes on their unrealistic expectations. I am trying to use some of my PTO hours for some break away from work.

Edited by ambersky004

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ambersky004 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse in Cardiac/Telemetry Unit.

1,046 Visitors; 33 Posts

4 hours ago, NightNerd said:

I can completely identify. I'm about five years in and am losing my mind. I love my coworkers, but my hospital and patient population are wearing me down fast. I thought I was doing okay and keeping it together, but the burnout has hit me all at once in the past 4-5 months. I hear myself being snappy with coworkers and find myself apologizing to them so much more for being such a grumpy person to work with. It's not the people I work with for the most part; it's the increasingly unrealistic expectations placed on us. And my life at home has become all about recovering from work or preparing for it; I don't feel like a human being outside of this job. It feels like my whole life is being held hostage by this job all of a sudden.

For me, I know it's time for a fresh challenge, and preferably a job where I have more opportunity to see some happiness. What I do now is important, but it's gotten to the point where I don't recognize anything that I'm doing as good. I need to do something different, at least for a while.

Is there anything you feel is missing from your work now? That might help you decide whether a new position will fix the burnout, or whether something else would help more. There have been times in my life where therapy, mending personal relationships, focusing on eating well and exercising, etc. all helped me readjust to work. This time, these things aren't cutting it for me.

You mention grumpiness with coworkers as part of the problem. Is it something with them that's making your work more difficult, or is that more a symptom of the burnout for you? Teamwork can make or break a job that's already got you on edge.

Nightnerd, what you wrote just summarizes about what I am feeling and thinking. Sometimes, I come to work happy and confident, sometimes I come to work questioning my worth and feeling like I am not supported or feel like not part of the team. I tried to delegate and follow-up the tasks with my co workers but when I do I feel that they get upset so I think to myself if I'm bossy.  I work in bedside nursing now for 5 yrs. There are just like these days and this year had me reflect really hard if I should be staying in bedside for next 5 yrs.

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3,578 Visitors; 103 Posts

I have been an RN for 11 years and trying to find a balance in nursing for 10. I have had a different job every two years or less, travel nursed, changed specialties....I have yet to find a job where most of time I see any ‘good’ (like patient improvement) in what I do. Most of the stories are heart breaking due to the diagnosis or the lack of social support for the patient. I rarely go home on time, I mostly do not feel well compensated for the work I do (travel nursing was the closest I ever got to decent pay), I now do Home Health, which is better because I can be at home with my husband, but I spend HOURS and HOURS at home charting. Do not let the 8-4:30 pm time frame of home health fool you, that is very rare as far as completed work, but I do usually get home by 4:30-5pm....Then chart until 9pm or 10pm. I don’t have an answer for you....I am looking into being a phlebotomist and opening an RV park.

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HighHotandAlot has 104 years experience and works as a RN.

43 Visitors; 8 Posts

On 4/12/2019 at 12:51 PM, RNfindingherway said:

I am one year in and felt like that. Every day my husband hear me complain about how i dislike the culture on my floor. Very petty nurses who always criticizing the new nurses. That's why I got another job. Maybe time for you to take a vacation or dust of your resume. Hugs. 

I'm so thankful I read your post tonight.  I'm old and  have been in  nursing many years.  I started a different job and went into it with rose colored glasses.  The women I work with are horrid, wretched, nasty, back stabbing, pot stirring, trouble.  Every single day I just HATE going to work because of the people I work with.

It's not the job or the patients that get to me.  It's my coworkers.

My boss is wonderful and she tried to implement some changes and these #itches purposely sabotaged it so it wouldn't work.

Every time I think I should go somewhere else I know it's the same any where I go.

Why is it so hard for some people to just be nice?

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ambersky004 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse in Cardiac/Telemetry Unit.

1,046 Visitors; 33 Posts

9 hours ago, HighHotandAlot said:

I'm so thankful I read your post tonight.  I'm old and  have been in  nursing many years.  I started a different job and went into it with rose colored glasses.  The women I work with are horrid, wretched, nasty, back stabbing, pot stirring, trouble.  Every single day I just HATE going to work because of the people I work with.

It's not the job or the patients that get to me.  It's my coworkers.

My boss is wonderful and she tried to implement some changes and these #itches purposely sabotaged it so it wouldn't work.

Every time I think I should go somewhere else I know it's the same any where I go.

Why is it so hard for some people to just be nice?

The topic of workplace incivility calls to mind. Our beloved profession can be taxing on the body and spirit.  With all of the pressures we face in our units every day as we take care of patients with increasingly complex comorbidities, there is no room for the added stress of lateral violence.  Some co-workers are not really aware of how to communicate well. They feel insecure and jealous and started bullying you. What we permit, we promote, and it is incumbent on all of us to draw a line in the sand and say “enough” when it comes to workplace incivility. 

Edited by ambersky004

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