November 26, 2006, 9:59 pm

Torched and Scorched: Recognizing Burn Out Before You See the Ashes

operationHere we have a classic picture of a surgery in progress.

Normal people see that.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

But first thing I thought when I saw the picture was:

“Now this patient is saving money by having her annual pap smear and her surgery at the same time!”

Well it does look like that, you have to admit!

Now, I know that is the anesthesiologist up there.

I’d say a nurse anesthetist but this happens to be from the 1950s and I’m not sure they had nurses in that role then.

But it just shows how warped my sense of humor has gotten after reading ads for a year-and-a-half.

******************************

It’s insidious.

You find that you are more exhausted after your shifts.

(And you weren’t that busy).

You stop just being happy that you have the next day off.

(And you start praying that today will be over soon).

*****

You find it harder to deal with challenging patients.

You find it very hard to deal with challenging doctors.

Your blood pressure rises just thinking of the last “incident” you had with a physician and you begin to get a headache.

(The “incident” was four months ago).

You are less able to tolerate the idiosyncrasies of your colleagues. Your first response is to snap at them, only to catch yourself at the last minute and respond appropriately.

(And all they did was ask for help).

*****

Every memo from management feels like an insult.

It seems like you can never do enough..

Nothing that you do accomplish is ever good enough.

You find the game playing and politics of the job tiresome.

You start dreading having to go to work.

At first it starts an hour before. Then two. Then the night before.

And eventually you leave one shift dreading the time you have to return for the next one.

*****

You feel you are “on stage” for eight solid hours playing the part of a nurse.

You smile so hard for so long your face hurts.

You resent everyone. The doctors. Your colleagues. Your manager. Your patients.

The point comes when you snap. You can’t play the role any longer.

(You don’t have a choice.)

Depression follows.

You have to take medication just to get to the point that you can put on those damn scrubs and put one foot in front of the other.

(A commercial for “ER” makes you physically sick).

You spend the majority of your time off sleeping. Your family suffers as apathy and anhedonia infuse every aspect of your life.

You can’t quit. You’re trapped. You need the money. You have to have the benefits. You desperately look for something outside of nursing to cling to, something else you can do for a living.

But… you aren’t educated to do anything else and besides, every other job you consider just pays minimum wage and you can’t support your family.

Soon you feel numb. The energy you no longer have is spent on lifting your five ton body out of bed.

You have nothing left to give. You have been sucked dry.

You are burned out.

*****

Not a pretty picture, is it?

I’ve been there and I’m living proof that it is possible to bounce back from the depths of burn out.

But occasionally I find myself at the top of the downslope that leads to burn out only now it doesn’t result in a free-fall.

Why?

I know how it starts and I’ve learned from experience that the best way to keep yourself from burning out is to recognize it at the beginning and take steps to stop it.

So, from the horse’s mouth here’s some hard-earned advice.

  • Do not work one day more than you need to work to pay your bills and live the lifestyle you are willing to maintain.
    • Picking up the extra day here and there to help with a sick call is fine.
    • Scheduling yourself for 24 extra hours a pay period for the next three months is just plain stupid and you are asking for trouble. Trust me on this one. I know what I am talking about.
  • Take as much control over your schedule as you can.
    • If you can’t do twelve hours because you feel like a quarterback who has been sacked fifty times by the end of the shift, then don’t do twelve hours!
    • Do not schedule yourself for long stretches without a day off. Define for yourself what you consider a “long stretch”. LISTEN to your body. If you are doing five twelve-hour shifts in a row you are asking for the toaster.
    • To the best of your ability try and get on a regular schedule. Your body will be more resilient if you keep to a regular routine of work, exercise and nutrition.
  • If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
    • Management is not going to listen to you when you say, for example, that they are pushing you to the limit with paperwork. They don’t care. The more you understand that, the better off you will be. They are required to produce a flood of paperwork to prove that work is being done. You, the nurse, are the bucket at the end of the waterfall made up of “regulations”. You catch it all.
    • Get involved.
      • For example: you may not like the fact that you now have to write a written report on every patient you transfer but you sure as hell can have a say in what the transfer form looks like.
        • Don’t just gripe. Come up with an alternative.
        • Join the committee to formulate the document, or at least give constructive feedback to the committee members who are working on it. You will feel empowered and that helps keep burn out at bay.
  • Consider a change of scenery
    • You don’t have to stay at the same hospital or job from graduation to retirement and while that may be anathema to the older generation, I know for a fact working in a variety of institutions gives you broader experience.
    • Look at other areas of nursing that interest you. Always been interested in neonatal nursing, for example? Does a hospital in your area offer a preceptorship? Is your own facility willing to train you in another area?
    • Consider transfering to a different floor or a different unit if you no longer find your current position palatable. Take the ER, since that is what I am familiar with: one ER can be a fantastic place to work and another five miles down the road can be the personification of hell. Do your homework.

Once you realize that you are in the acute stages of burn out and you are pretty sure it has become a chronic problem:

  • Keep your mouth shut!
    • No body cares that you are burning out. Trust me again, no one cares!
      • Your manager will listen, but don’t expect any slack.
      • All that management cares about, and your co-workers too, for that matter is that you show up for work, do your job and do it well.
    • You are a professional. Your manager and your co-workers are your colleagues, NOT your therapists. Forget that and you will pay the price; anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of unit opinion.
  • If you have reached the point of no return and need to take a medical leave for a few weeks so that you can get yourself and your sanity together, do NOT discuss your reasons with your co-workers.
    • If you need to take time off to recover from the mental hell of burn out, to get some space, take it! Better to have you not working for six weeks than to lose you from the nursing profession. But understand that burn out is synonymous with depression and mental health is not looked upon with favor, even by your colleagues. So understand that:
    • You will be resented and they will assume you are just doing it to get some “free” time off. Break a bone and everyone supports you. Take time to repair your soul and you are a slacker.
    • At this point your manager needs to know. These days it can’t be discussed due to HIPAA regulations.

Someone once commented that I only presented the happy face of nursing, that I was, essentially a cheerleader.

I guess I am. I love my profession. I’m passionate about it.

But I’ve been to the “dark side” of nursing, where is sucks everything you have to give and leaves you a dessicated shell. Maybe that’s how you feel right now. You may be working side-by-side with someone going through it.

This is an important topic.

By sharing what it felt like to slide into nursing hell, what I experienced as I desperately grabbed onto anything and anyone for help, I hope to make the point that burn out is not an inevitable result of nursing and definitely not fatal to a career.

The key is to recognize and deal with the early warning signs.

I wanted to show that you can bounce back and have the passion for nursing return even stronger than before.

If anything, I’m a better nurse having lived through it.

You don’t have to live through it. Learn from my experiences.

Even one nurse lost to burnout is one too many.

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34 Comments

  • TuxBaby
    TuxBaby

    November 27, 2006 at 7:08 am

    Oh, I have SO been there! I’ve signed up for the monster-overtime, and then found myself “overworked” when it was my OWN choice to overwork myself. But then that huge paycheck comes in and I get anmesia… and sign up for more. I used to work consistently close to 60 hrs a week… but yeah, I was getting burnt out. Not just burnt out- but simply TIRED. You can’t work enough 12-hr shifts to make 60 hrs, and STILL have enough rest time in there to remain a living breathing, functional human being.

    Excellent post, Kim- and good advice.

    ~TuxBaby


  • susan
    susan

    November 27, 2006 at 7:38 am

    god bless you, kim,
    you have written everything i have been thinking for the past 2 years. i worked for 2.5 years (felt like 25) in an er where management worked VERY HARD to make life miserable. i could go on and on for days but i will make it short and sweet. while i love er nursing more than any i have done, i finally left and now am beginning to feel like a normal woman again. fortunately, i had worked a job that was wonderful so i knew there was a better way.
    i totally agree w/ not working any more than necessary to maintain your chosen lifestyle. so many nurses i worked w/ prided themselves on how many extra hours they worked and considered anyone w/ sanity a slacker.
    as for experience, i have been there too. in 14 years i have done hospice, home care, public health, extended care, dialysis, er and now urgent care.
    thank you for putting into words in such a wonderful way what a lot of us think.


  • pieces of mind
    pieces of mind

    November 27, 2006 at 10:22 am

    I’m in a profession that’s also prone to high levels of burnout. And wow, everything you said has really resonated. Thank you!

    To your list of suggestions for coping, I would add: Find something outside of work that you can be passionate about. Grow orchids. Get a dog. Learn how to weave. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something you can enjoy and find meaningful.

    Learning how to nurture that inner life is what has kept me back from the brink of burnout. I love my work but I’m more than that. We’re all more than that.


  • Susan
    Susan

    November 27, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    I have always known that my family must always come before my job. That’s a no-brainer.

    But recently, I realized that I must come before my job, too. If I don’t feel that I can handle working more than six hours at a time, so be it. If I have to call in because I just don’t feel I can cope with work that day, I feel bad, but I call in.

    If I’m distractable, or emotionally preoccupied, I can’t do my patients or colleagues any good.

    And that’s that. Until I can manage my family life, I can’t be expected to manage saving someone else’s.


  • Susan Palwick
    Susan Palwick

    November 27, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Hey, Kim! Great post. And here I go with one of my pesky education questions: Why don’t healthcare providers take mental health seriously? And how can they be encouraged to take it more seriously? Do you think this is one of those massive-denial tactics: i.e. “If we acknowledged the existence of the elephant in the living room, we’d have to admit that it’s crowding all of us?”


  • jen
    jen

    November 27, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    I NEVER sign up for extra hours, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. You read my mind with this post. I do hope it is possible to bounce back. I’m burnt, but I have to pay my bills. I love the ER, but I also dread it. I wanted to email you, but couldn’t find your email address.


  • cath
    cath

    November 28, 2006 at 3:35 am

    These are all good tips for those of us who aren’t nurses, too. And have come at just the right time for me; I’m struggling to care at work at the moment, and need to take all of your advice, and that of the other posters here, on board.


  • mcewen
    mcewen

    November 28, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    Want to swap? [translation = trade]
    Cheers

    http://whitterer-autism.blogspot.com


  • Wandering Visitor
    Wandering Visitor

    November 28, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    Being on the burnout slope is NO fun – the whole world starts to look gray. And if you stay on that slope long enough, you forget who you once were and become toxic!

    Medicine can definitely suck a lot out of you, if you’re not careful. Great post! :)


  • NPs Save Lives
    NPs Save Lives

    December 4, 2006 at 6:11 am

    Kim, Great post! I’m lucky that school has kept me from burning out. It gives me something else to focus on though it is tiring in itself. I wish all nurses would take your advice. We lose too many to burnout.


  • mcewen
    mcewen

    December 9, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    Doctors, nurses or Special Education Teachers? Who do you think has the highest rate of burn out?
    Cheers


  • young RN
    young RN

    December 15, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Kim, I felt every word you said in your post…I am very much at the point of burn out myself. I work on a gen. surgery/telemetry unit..it’s the only place I have worked in my entire 3 years of nursing…and it scares me that I am this burnt already. Believe it or not…with 3 years experience I have been there the longest of the others RN’s on my shift and I feel like that has took a toll on me as well, because I have to help them so much (which I don’t mind…but its hard to focus on your own patients and everyone elses at the same time). I now only work 36 hours a week now (three 12 hour days) which has helped some…but I think I will soon have to maybe change my scope of practice and try something different in the nursing field. It doesn’t help that I drive 45 minutes to even get to my job which makes a 12 hour day even longer. I used to love my job..and it makes me sad that now I feel different. Thanks for the advice…and feel free to e-mail me anytime.


  • yvonne
    yvonne

    April 7, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    My advice is to leave. Don’t kid yourself there are a lot of career options out there. So, you may not make as much money, big deal, your health and well being are worth more. I am learning the hard way, having left nursing, only to come back for the money, and now trying to leave it again, this time never to return, I hope. You come in the field trying to save the world and leave trying to save yourself. The field needs radical, revolutionary re-structuring. Wake up America.


  • vet
    vet

    June 18, 2007 at 6:00 am

    The person who said the world starts to look grey is right. After working really long hours in what was often a very stressful and unsupportive environment nothing seemed as bright. Things that used to spark facination become a chore. I would often snap at people for mentioning how interesting a medical program was, or for wanting to know about my day. If it was even slightly related to work I’d try vainly to separate it from what very little of my time was not spent there. It doesn’t work, you end up miserable, burn out and sick. And once you burn out, you will never forget the feeling.

    My advise is be on the lookout for the signs and try to look after yourself. Do not let them get to the point that you burn out. If that means changing jobs, do it. You’ll be far better off in the end. I stressed over changing from my first job but am so glad that I did. Be warey of jobs that have a very high staff turn over, do some research. Sometimes there is a very good reason behind it, sometimes it’s simply because people get out as soon as they are able to.


  • B
    B

    August 9, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    GaRate post!!!!!!!!!!! I almost flew out my chair when you where saying don’t think others care & don’t make the mistake of making other coworkers your therapist!HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! AMEN sista!!! HEhawlarious!! I have been a nurse for over 11 years now & am THERE…BUrnt as toast! If one more patient complaints about wanting ice or one more patient that goes bad….O boy…i am burnt….I love being a nurse & yes, even after my statements, i love helping people but i need a friggin break….like a month or 2! Then change jobs….something where I feel like i can b me & nice to others & the ‘others’ not get getto….LOL


  • java jess
    java jess

    September 13, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you sooo much for your post! I have been a Nurse for 11 years, ER for 5 years of it… I am so fried right now! A crispy critter… I’m a good nurse, and I have loved working ER, but I have to get out… I’ve become sarcastic and angry. I resent the patients… I feel like everyone wants a piece of me. Having 2 young kids (one who is fussy and sick alot) leaves me with so little left. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have enough left for them even… but somehow I dig down and draw out a little more. THis here is stolen time. I should be sleeping, but I needed some help. I tried to talk to my aunt, an old ER nurse… But she is now an admit nurse (not direct patient care) & is riding high on positive vibs. She totally slammed me for verbalzing frustration with my job. Implied I was a crappy nurse. Funny I remember her verbalizing the same frustration some 8 years ago… reason she left the ER…. Hum funny… Anyhow, it’s not necessarily the drug seekers, or the patients angry at the wait times… Like you said in your post, it is giving all of what you have and having management ask for more! Hearing that your patient satisfaction scores are down again… Or that there will be a new form to fill out now… Not hearing from your boss “Great job today, you guys busted your butts!” NO POSITIVE FEEDBACK!! That has been the biggest problem… or maybe not, I don’t know… I told my boss that last week… that for once I wanted to hear what we did right! I am so damn tired of hearing about surveys. Alot of my patients tell me I have given them great care…where are thier surveys?

    All the suggestions for coping are great, but I have little ones, and not much time… So I have already begun the process of a job change. I’m going to the ICU…maybe a change of senery will help. In the mean time I’ll pick better people to rant to, like my husband (who is a saint)…
    Thank you for sharing your experience and advise! REading it, then getting to rant too has felt better then therapy!! I think I can sleep now!! :)


  • night cap carla
    night cap carla

    November 6, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Incentives? It would help the burnout if the companies threw in a getaway for free every year to a tropical island scheduled on when we want it. Traveling nurse jobs….no thanks, it ain’t worth it. A great get away once a year plus our regular vacation time. Give us a break and reward us CEO’s. IF it were you dealing with what we do… I know you would change many benefits for the sake of your sanity foremost.


  • Ellen
    Ellen

    January 15, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you one and all. I am a kindred spirit. Absolutely burned out by all the peripheral garbage that seems to plague every aspect of nursing. It appears that the vast majority of us remain committed to and nourished by the core value of caring for others. I’ve been around a long time, some 26 years. I actually remember, as if it were yesterday, a time and place where I felt valued and respected by patients, management and believe it or not Doctors. I left the hospital environment after gaining experience in med-surg, telemetry, ortho, oncology (my favorite), ER, & ICU (least favorite, made me feel like I violated human rights. Since my departure I’ve been in home health. The paperwork has finally taken it’s toll. I can hardly stand the thought of completing another OASIS document. I can change my venue easily enough. No problemo. What I can’t replace is the lovely salary, company car, et al… With a gifted son who has applied only to pricey private schools, and his sister right behind I feel trapped. Wow!!! An ah ha moment just occurred. A virtual breakthrough. I don’t know what my next step will be, but I certainly feel a sense of relief.


  • Liza
    Liza

    January 21, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I am a very young nurse. I beginning to hate nursing. The work load is unreal. I cannot believe I went four years for this. Am I the only young nurse with these feelings. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this.
    Liza


  • Beth
    Beth

    January 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Honesty is such a lonely word-I’ve been doing many kinds of nursing for almost 26 years. Moved to TN. about 2 yrs. ago to be closer to my grandchildren. Had to find a job close enough, so landed one in a 30 bed ER, which is double the size I left up North. It has been very hard, and like another nurse commented, it’s so much about patient satisfaction, but what happened to all those people who thought you were wonderful? Now they’re installing tracking devices for us. The manager says it will help her have proof that we really DID go in the patient’s room. There seem to be some practical reasons for it, but I can’t help the overwhelming sense of being spied on. The manager can actually count exact;y how long it takes for any nurse to answer a call bell. So, it will be “I know you can do better!” I can just hear her now! After working 20 months with only 3 sick days, I’m more than tired. I can feel my attitude slipping. I’ve been offered a job at a really nice Nursing Home as a night Supervisor. I know a great CNA who told me to apply. It’s 180 degrees from the ER, but maybe it’s time to be on top for a change.


  • [...] imagine the stress of such responsibility. However, more than that, in this particular post called “Torched and Scorched – recognizing burn out,” she gives us all a heads up about how to notice when things are going [...]


  • Sashali, RN
    Sashali, RN

    March 14, 2008 at 11:52 am

    That is the “aha moment” when you realize NO ONE cares and it is on you to take care of you that causes change. I also agree with yvonne that the profession of nursing itself must evolve, assert itself and change in order to keep nurses healthy. I have worked with so many silent martyers and handmaidens who will never, ever take care of themselves, assert themselves let alone see the need for radical change in nursing. “That’s how it’s always been…….” How many times do we have to hear that before we upchuck our way to unionize and kick out the ivory tower lip serving ANA? Wow, who said that?


  • Florida NP
    Florida NP

    March 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Very accurate! I’m in my 25th year of nursing,now going through a bit of NP burnout with all the same characteristics described…I really agree that nurses need to diversify, just because one has worked critical care for ten years doesn’t mean you have to stay there for another 10! Especially the young nurses, it really saddens me to hear someone who has been
    in nursing less than 3 years going through these feelings. Keep moving, learn new skills, work with different people. Get out of the hospital for a while…hey you’ll get paid more when you apply back for the same job! That is the medical business! I think once we understand it is a business, it helps us to cope better. I know one thing for sure, patients still appreciate a competent and honest nurse, and often over their burnt out MD!


  • What's left?
    What's left?

    July 31, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Am I the only one who works with others whom, I know, by there own off the wall admission ,are only there for a pay check. No one cares anymore.
    I think I’m burnt out. I keep recalling my nursing experience 14 + years ago, and my wonderful instructors would fall over dead ( if they weren’t already gone) if they saw or heard even half of the nurses performance these days.
    It’s like all the professionalism is gone. It’s very sad and dissappointing,, so disappointing.
    I sometimes think I slipped into a different world ,where there’s nothing left but me and physical illness ( and sometype of negative emotional affectedness that I have not be able to kick for 3 YEARS )when I am wittness to the disrespect, lack of concern and true lack of desire to apply nursing knowledge by my coworkers
    I’ve vented enough. Good luck to you all.

    I’m still afraid to find out what’s left when the dust settles and the smoke clears……


  • Florida NP
    Florida NP

    August 25, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    To “WHat’s left?”, you need to move on. Try a different unit or even a different institution. It is amazing how a unit can have a negative “culture” to it. It is scary to make a change, however from your comments I think you enjoy nursing. I can remember my last year in the ICU at our local hospital… I was embarassed to work with some of the new nurses, who instead of resetting the limits on their monitor alarms they suspended them, for the entire shift! I knew it was time for me to move on, and I am glad I did. You have too much time invested into your education, there is hope. You need to believe there is.


  • ER RN MN
    ER RN MN

    February 17, 2010 at 4:58 am

    This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning..I’ve been an ER nurse for 7 years and I feel like I’m at the end of my rope…sometimes I just fantasize about a clinic job where I can just take BPs and talk to LOLs all day (and make what I’m making now)…I feel like I’m going to snap if another drug seeker screams at me for giving them a Vicodin instead of a Percocet or if one more NPO pt screams at me about denying them water when they’re “dying of thirst”. I’m SICK of being harrassed by pts, I’m sick of being yelled at by pt families, I’m sick of being yelled at by ER clerks for not answering my phone when I’m in the middle of a foley catheter or an IV, I’m sick of heavy assignments..having to be 1 to 1 with a pt getting TPA, but having a pt next door close to being intubated, on bipap and a altered mental status head bleed who’s screaming…Yet, I just feel like I can’t walk away from the money…so frustrating!


  • javajess
    javajess

    February 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Hi all!
    I posted on this thread some 2 1/2 years ago, and I am here to tell you, a change of scenery can make all the difference in the world!! I went to work in an ICU soon after posting, and have really been rejuvenated. The transition was challenging, because I am an ER nurse at heart… and being new at something, all over again, is unsettling… but I now have renewed energy and again feel a deep caring for my patients. I have been fortunate to have supportive management this time around. The beauty of the Nursing career field is that there are so many different areas we can work in. & I know what you mean about money, ER RN MN, but a little cut in pay for a lot more sanity… well, there are some things that are just worth the cost (to me at least). Hope this helps some of you out there!! :)


  • SickRN
    SickRN

    April 4, 2010 at 6:05 am

    I live there every day..Some days just to wake up are difficult. you are right, no one cares. management doesn’t and your family gets tired of it. Looking for a way out.


  • Linda D.
    Linda D.

    November 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I’m @ it for 40 years with some time off when kids were little and I have 4 more to go to retire. I’ll still work then but NOT as a nurse. I think just leaving the job for a while and doimg something non-nursing is really the key. I’ve done that, then I actually looked foreward to returning. Years ago women worked as nurses for few years when they were young the left the profession to marry and have a family and not nessarily reutrn to the field, My generation has stayed @ it since graduation. Sometimes a complete change is what one needs. And sometimes you MUST put yourself 1st and every one else further down on the list.


  • Burned out and used up | HealthBeat
    Burned out and used up | HealthBeat

    February 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    [...] do you know when you’veĀ arrived at personal or professional burnout? In a post from four years ago that has since become a classic, emergency-room nurse/blogger Kim McAllister [...]


  • blueberryRN
    blueberryRN

    February 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    So relieved that I am not alone. ER nursing for past 8yrs tearing me apart! ER RN MN, I feel like we must work in the same facility,lol. Same crap, different day. I recognize now that I must get intervention from outside work and home. No one really understands unless they do the job. Warning: one counselor told me I was “horrible” because while awaiting a codes arrival, we referred to the 99yr patient with end stage disease, and unknown down time, with several rounds of drugs, as “a quick code.” Hello…Isn’t that how we cope? Humor, sick humor? I am really glad I came across this page. In the mean time, I will continue to seek support by other nursing professionals outside of my facility, and find a more realistic counselor. Thank you!


  • RNonHiatus
    RNonHiatus

    December 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Family affairs required me to quite my job and move to another state. It has been tougher finding a job where I am at as it seems there are more people going into nursing for its “job security”. It is during this period that I found our that I have been burned out. In the past, I have found myself constantly preparing for work–physically and mentally. There was no more joy. At this time, I remember all the horrible experiences I have had. Middle management was hardly ever supportive. It just comes down to saving your own ass. No one really cares! Patients and family have treated me slightly better than a cockroach. Many people still have the mentality that nurses are nothing more than glorified maids. Outsiders to the profession have no idea. Some doctors can be completely disrespectful and treat nurses like their own personal punching bag. Charge nurses, supervisors, your unit manager do not care that you are hurting all they care about is the productivity of the unit as this will affect their evaluation.I would like to believe that righteousness will prevail and that the Force will smite them down for the evil they are nurturing. I am glad to not be working but I miss the good side of human interaction and feel bad for not using my knowledge. Man, I need a hug!


  • Pat
    Pat

    February 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I recently left the ER after 27 years-33 years of nursing total. I have been so burned out!!! I presently work at a clinic in a totally different specialty. It is a little scary-hope I can handle the change. Otherwise, the next stop is to get out of nursing. I still enjoy the patients,though.


  • Tessie
    Tessie

    May 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I’m so glad i found this site. I’ve been a nurse for
    20 yrs. several differant areas but mostly OBGYN and
    L/D. Loved my patients and their families. I always treated
    them with the respect and care that I would want for my own family. Many times I felt blessed that i was able to
    Provide that Care for them and they in turn
    would always be so grateful for me as well.
    But so much has changed. too much
    technology. Too much corporate and too
    Little staff members. i realize that this is
    a business and that they have budgets and
    meetings to attend but at what point do we
    forget that these patients are human beings.
    Someones mother or father, someones daughter,
    or son, or even
    Someones sister or brother. Remember always
    we all took an oathe to do NO HARM. We need
    to STOP and remember why we all started
    this career. it was to try to help our patients, help
    eachother
    and try to keep them safe. .I remember

    when we had that envirinment.when we
    actually enjoyed helping others. that
    was probably when managers told us what we did right
    Not what we did wrong. back when we
    could use the rest room and have a lunch break.
    back when we really respected what great
    employees we really had. the ones that
    would work extra when the managers wouldnt.
    i only hope
    i get to see it again.


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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