Monday, July 26, 2010

The two dreaded words a nurse will ever face...

Burn Out.

I never thought I'd say it... well at least not this early in my career... but I feel it. Completely and all consuming. I am burnt out! I am tired and overwhelmed and despite the fact that I have had 6 out of the last 7 days off of work... I am dreading returning tomorrow. Partly because I will be working 8 out of the next 10 days....all 12 hour shifts.
yup, that's 84 hours of work in the next 7 days...

ugh, I just felt my stomach sink. Maybe its the combination of being short staffed and over worked and tired and feeling like I haven't had a lot of support recently. Maybe it's also a product of getting tired of the gossip that constantly floats around our unit.... nothing awful, just little bits of people's opinions that come out here and there. It's exhausting to deal with.

Anyway, it's why I haven't posted about my nursing life recently. My nursing life has been tiring and hard. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to write about when you are desperately trying to run from it at all times. I have been really enjoying diving into my photography and reading and getting good, quality time with close friends and new friends recently. 

As a matter of fact I just had an impromptu dinner party tonight that was such a blast! Pictures soon to come from that.... As well as a Vancouver post and a post on a big topic that has been lingering within my group of BFF's recently... being single.

In the meantime... if anyone has any tips on dealing with burn out in the work place... I'm ALL ears. 

Here's to a (hopefully) good week ahead!


  1. Shortly after I finished school and started working, I felt severely burnt out too. It comes and goes in waves now - coping well and feeling completely unable to cope. Take one day at a time. Try not to think you have to work 8 in a row. Make time for yourself to do something other than work (sounds like you've got this one covered) and get a change of scenery on your time off (even if it is just a walk close by in a different spot than usual).

    You'll be ok. :)

  2. wow, I hear that. I'm sorry honey. I soooo understand, 'burn out' not in the professional world, but certainly in my world of being a mom. You know, you've seen...I empathize and sympathize. Talk about 'on call' ! I tell ya, my kids aren't on the verge of death and needing medication, but there are times when I feel I am! I miss my you in my 'world' :( I'll be praying for your strength, abilities, and soundness of mind for you this week. Hang in there. I love you, you inspire me....oh ya, when my eyes open on the days when the dark hole is trying to suck me in, I know I don't have the choice to let it take me down. My little people depend on me, and I gotta fight thru it. And if anyone is a fighter that I know, its you babe! and your patients depend on you. When you can't, God can, when you're willing! Loves, Aimz

  3. andi, by taking time to have fun and have a life, you are already ahead of the game. just pace yourself, and continue to thrive in what you do beyond the patients.

    by definition, burn out in the medical literature suggests a person being depersonalized and disconnected from their patients. when i read your blog, this is not what i see. you are so personalized and you are very much connected. i would say this:

    assessment: Tired. (and that's okay.)

    plan: Keep doing fun stuff when you're off to recharge, and remind yourself that God is using you. . . . .

    besides. . .technically, you're still an intern! cut yourself some slack :)


  4. Thanks for the responses guys! It's definitely been a journey and having any type of encouragement always helps. Love the blog community!