looking to de-stress


I have been a nurse for 16 years mostly ALL long-term care or skilled settings. This past year I've started to experience what I feel is caregiver burnout. I've been through company buyouts before and yes it sucks when new management takes over and everything changes but I used to be able to roll with it. This time hasn't been as easy. I have had a lot of personal home issues as well, elderly parents, husband being diagnosed with a potentially serious condition, and a grown son with serious issues as well. The combination of going from 8 hour shifts and no weekends to 12 hour shifts and every other weekend(new company rule) is frankly wearing me out to a frazzle. I'm exhausted after 12 hours on my feet running even if it's only 3 days a week, it takes 2-3 days to recover, so your time off feels like nothing. I dread getting up in the morning for my job so much that I have trouble sleeping the night before. When I do get up I am in the worst mood. I have to force myself to remain pleasant on my job but really in my head the constant request from patients and the family members just get on my nerves now and irritate me. I used to never feel that way. I never minded helping my patients with ANY request. From actual nursing duties to a foot rub, I always felt like what I was doing was making a difference in their lives and hopefully making what time they had left comfortable. Now I just resent it taking time away from my family. I'm beginning to feel like how dare they complain that I didn't get to their room fast enough for their request? Don't they realize what I've given up just to be in there to help them?? And I know that attitude is wrong, but it is how I'm starting to feel. When I get home its kind of the same issue. The household seems to revolve around me being in charge, so if I don't monitor that, things at home don't get done as well. Yes, I know that other people could jump in and help more in that area, but why do I have to sacrifice raising my own children and keeping my own home up so I can be in there taking care of someone who won't remember my name after a while?? My kids are going to remember that I didn't come to the ball games cause I couldn't get off work without a 45 day notice, they are going to remember how I had to work every holiday and wasn't at home to share it with them. They are going to remember how I was so tired from work and my feet were swollen and hurting so bad, that I didn't want to play with them. My answer to this is to just get out of the field. I'm looking outside of nursing for a job. Trouble is, I'm really not qualified for anything else that pays what I make, and I'm still looking even if it means a pay cut. Jobs are not plentiful right now, and most places won't call me for their positions when they realize I was making double then what they offer. Over qualified or under qualified for just about anything other then being a nurse! But either way I want out of this field!

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Oct 20, 2011
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u r not alone
by: Anonymous

I hope things have gotten better for you. I have only been a nurse for about 4 years, and I am feeling burnt out already. The nurse/ patient ratio keeps increasing and our duties increasing. Where I work they have decreased our raises, our insurance has went up, and our working conditions are worse. The economy has so much to do with whats going on I know. I feel that I don't get the job satisfaction I always thought I would being a nurse. Its always something....."Pt in this room needs u, the Dr. Is on the phone, your Pt. Blood pressure is high, this Pt. Needs pain medication, and on and on....Its so overwhelming:( You are not alone, the stress is almost unmanageable for me:( Have u looked into doing home health or anything; maybe a Dr. Office?? Good luck!
Sincerely,
You r not alone

Nov 06, 2010
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How are things?
by: J

I hope things are getting better for you. The hours for nursing definitely have upsides and downsides. I have changed positions many times over the years due to the needs of my family. I loved 12 hour shifts when my child was young. Of course the days were long when I worked but the 4 days off to spend with him were great. Then one day he said he hated that he never saw me. He did not think about the days we spent together, only the days that we went to bed right when we got home. That stimulated one of my many job changes. I have left jobs I loved and taken ones that I didn't care for as much just to make the hours work for my family. Happiness in what you do must play a role as well so I have to admit I did not jump at the first opportunity that fit my family schedule. Changing jobs can be stressful, as is staying with one that you do not enjoy. Taking a little time to find something that fits and sounds enjoyable may be worth the stress of staying with the job you hate just a little longer. Keep us posted on your journey.

Aug 28, 2010
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looking to de-stress update.
by: Anonymous

Well, things have changed a little for me.. I certainly got out of that particular job (quit) now am looking for a new one. I was offered a position really doing the same thing but better hours but like I said, I'm really wanting out of the field entirely. But I will probably take the job I was offered for financial reasons..ugh. I have been looking in related fields, not a lot of luck so far but it is early yet. I am trying hard to wrap my mind around having a better attitude towards nursing because nursing is where my skills are at, I'm good at it ( my patients like me)and I can make a decent living at it. But truth still remains the same, I resent what it takes away from me as well. But I know I have the same dilema as many other mothers, and wives face..being a working mom or a stay at home mom. and again as truth will tell..financially I need to be WORKING!! I feel guilty for having these feelings about my work when so many people are out of work, but if I tell the truth about what I'm thinking and feeling, this is it.

Aug 04, 2010
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Cheer up..
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for what you have been through. Nursing is definitely a high stress job and a high burnout field. Have you considered looking into different areas of nursing that would allow you to be off of your feet some and work 8 hr shifts again? That is one of the great things about nursing... so many options.

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