Nursing

In the mix: Burnout: It happens to new grads, too

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, October 27, 2008

by Lawrence Underwood, RN

"That patient in 310 is soooo needy! He won't eat, complains about everything, and refuses to ask for help to get around! ARRGGHHH!"

How many of us are guilty of saying something like this about our patients? We say it to co-workers, ourselves, and doctors. We even say it loud enough to be overheard at the nurses' station. Then we wonder why the [patient's] family seems distant to us.

We all have the things that make us come to work. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we don't know what those reasons are. The alarm goes off. We get up, eat, shower, and leave the house with just enough time to make it to work to punch in. We get assignment and our first thought is the acuity of our patients.

"G-tube, total care, going to surgery ... what did they do, give me all the hard patients?" Time to pass medications, chart, call doctors, and MAYBE have enough time to drink something and go to the bathroom. Before you know it, the shift is over.

Burnout is common to the profession, especially for new grads. Once you get passed the "honeymoon" phase, the newness wears off. So, even though we all need some outside reason for doing our jobs, it's especially important for new nurses.

Care is part of our field's description. For some people, this is reason enough. The caution is to not let your desire to care for your fellow man shortchange your value as a nurse. Sometimes nurses work tired or sick because they want to see a patient from a previous shift.

Interested in reading the rest of this article? Visit the newly redesigned www.StressedOutNurses.com and share your opinions with your peers and colleagues. The blog on our site, which went live just last week, now allows you to comment freely on any and all of our articles. Check it out!

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