June 19, 2011

Burn Out

I'm getting burned out. I'm in desperate need of a vacation, or something. I used to wonder why nurses would leave L&D for offices or Monday-Friday dayshift jobs, but I think I've figured it out. Here's a quick list of things I'm tired of:

1. Working so short-staffed that we are all just running from the moment we clock in to the moment we leave. The worst part is feeling like you can't give good care because you have too many patients and not enough nurses.

2. Arguing with physicians to get them to come in. Don't get me wrong, most of the docs I work with are great. But some aren't. Yes, I want you on the way to the hospital when you have a multip present at 8-9 cm and wants to deliver in the tub. And yes, I would like you to come see my preterm patient who has quite a bit blood running down both of her legs.

3. Scolding by physicians. Really? Do you have to yell at me if a patient comes in ready to rock and she vomits and her baby delivers before you got there? I didn't do it on purpose. And on the flip side, please don't yell at me if you have to wait 15-20 minutes until the patient delivers. Or getting my arse chewed because I've called too many times...not for ignorant reasons, but because patients come in. I HAVE to call and tell you that you have a patient that is here and in labor. It's not an option to have one of your children tell me that you are occupied and without a phone (you are on-call for several other physicians) and unless it's an emergency, that you will call back in an hour (because you are taking a nap).

4. Lack of sleep. I'm so tired of being tired. Night shift is wearing me down right now. My body wants to go to sleep every night and not have to switch from sleeping during the day on some days and at night.

5. Unpleasant coworkers. Yes, I know they are everywhere, but the morale is so bad right now. I had someone flip out because another nurse got pulled from post-partum to labor and a stool softener got missed in the process. Really? It's a stool softener, not a big deal if it's an hour late.

I know that all comes with the territory, but sometimes, it just gets you down. I will say that it helped immensely to have an awesome delivery last night. She had a pretty horrible birth experience with her first, but after she was holding her new baby, she kept saying how thankful she was that her labor with this baby was so much better of an experience. So that's why I keep going back...for those patients who need someone to advocate for them, someone to help them have the birth and healthy baby that they want, someone to argue with their doc to come in to see them, someone to work in the middle of the night, someone to do what's right for the patient so they can have a healthy baby. I'll get out of this funk here soon.


Jessica said...

Oh I totally hear you!

I'm burnt out after 5 years.

How do nurses do it for 20-30 years straight! I don't think I'll be able too!

AtYourCervix said...

Yes, we are all burning out (or approaching it) left and right. It's not just you or your unit. It's every-freaking-where! One of my co-workers just interviewed for an office position - one that would cut her hourly wage in half.

Taking Heart said...

My friend is an OBGYN and I took a PRN job in her office... I'm telling you... MOST BORING JOB EVER... and if you think people are princesses in in L&D!

And another word: PESSARY

I'm so with you, though. I had a terrible weekend... IUFD on Saturday... no sleep... and delivered twins today... which turned out great in the long run... just hectic.

krediet said...

I totally agree.. had it to after 3 years.

Anonymous said...

My daughter just had a baby last week. I am so thankful for the nurse who worked so hard to help her, while the rest of us were just awestruck at the entire situation. Thank you for your service to people in deep need of your expertise. It's always been the nurses I remember that keep me calm and in control in every medical situation I have been in. I am so thankful for what you do. :)

Mrs. Mama said...

oh the joys of being a nurse. yeah. i don't plan on doing bedside longer than 5 years... er... and ive already been doing it for 2. 3 to go! lol.