Empathic burnout

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  freckles19 4 days, 22 hours ago.

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  • #6032

    freckles19
    Participant

    Hi. Been nursing over 30 years. I am trying hard to learn the correct difference between empathy and compassion. I understand the difference between the two and know I am at burnout for at least my 2nd or 3rd time in my career. I really love my work as a surgical nurse, am very detail oriented, but cannot stand the constant barage of drama and the handful of staff and surgeons I face every week. I am also “highly sensitive”; if you’ve ever heard of that. My intuition tells me I cannot stay in this particular field, my mood is shitty and it’s beginning to show. I have tried other areas of nursing, teaching, assisted living, and agency work. Meetings literally make me fall asleep. I dread the the thought of going back to the floor. Any suggestions Z-pak?? I keep looking for careers that I could use my knowledge and still be a contributing member of society. I have been in counseling numerous times and see a specialist for depression/anxiety, again many years….dread the trek to work

  • #6035

    PedsLuv
    Participant

    Hi! I’m sorry you are feeling that way. Have you considered being a nurse practitioner? Maybe having more autonomy would help. I have heard of HSP / highly sensitive people. The Myers Briggs personality tests may also be of interest though I wouldn’t take them TOO literally/seriously.
    Hope things get better ❤️

  • #6036

    PedsLuv
    Participant

    Hi! I’m sorry you are feeling that way. Have you considered being a nurse practitioner? Maybe having more autonomy would help. I have heard of HSP / highly sensitive people and am also one. The Myers Briggs personality tests may also be of interest though I wouldn’t take them TOO literally/seriously.
    Hope things get better ❤️

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  PedsLuv.
  • #6038

    PedsLuv
    Participant

    Crap this is just like charting in the EHR. Lol!!!

  • #6085

    Notreally
    Participant

    Just compassion from me. I’m also an HSP. RN since ’88, APN since ’94. I got out of clinical practice last year. I was a practice leader in a huge corporate system, and couldn’t take the nonsense anymore. My hands, neck and back are arthritic and I was fried to a crisp from 12 & 24 hr shifts. Now I’m working in a frustrating public health system … still trying to do good for the community. I got a DNP in ’15 to expand my options. Sometimes I think it was a good idea, other times not. After long enough, the chaos is untenable. We see through the manipulations, lies, diva personalities and just can’t play along anymore. No answers for you, but know you’re not alone.

    • #6104

      freckles19
      Participant

      You hit the nail on the head! Exactly how I feel and have been feeling many years! I was very close to my MSN for clin spec, but stopped. Family first. I appreciate the compassion and thank you for your insight. I plan on forging ahead with new opportunity hunting. I’d really like to combine nursing with another interesting field. Human Resources is of no help as they need specialized nurses to be their money-makers.
      I must stay positive and move on.

  • #6111

    20yearRN
    Participant

    Hi there I have been an RN for 20 years and burned out and am highly sensitive. I have worked in hospital where 12 hour shifts turned into 14 hr in order to get charting done. We have to spend more time charting than with our patients. Same but more charting when I changed to home health. It is ridiculous how much charting must be done to cover your ass and for insurance requirements. In home health, there is the empathy component added stressor as I would get very attached to my patients and wanted to do my best to help them. The patient and doctors love me and respect me which is nice for the ego but the charting is so much that you have no life. When home, you are charting and telling family, “Sorry, I can’t …., I’ve got to get this charted or I won’t get paid and the patient won’t have a care plan for other disciplines to follow (and most importantly for the company-billing). And then there is dealing with insurance itself when I have to explain to these managed care insurance appeals reps why the patient needs skilled care–which as we saw from the prior auth video–same deal—takes way too much of your time that you don’t have to spare. Nurses get burned out for so many reasons. Our jobs are stressful enough without dealing with so many different insurance companies and the charting that is required. Healthcare needs to be fixed. We all know that. Lets band together. It probably won’t happen in our lifetime for us older nurses as we all know how congress moves slowly and don’t play nice together. But we need MAJOR changes or people just aren’t going to stay in or choose nursing as a career anymore. I have not found any job in nursing that is not high stress. If I had it to do over again, I would not have chosen nursing as a career simply due to the stress load and time consumption. And, yes, the drama we endure from patients, families, insurance, and coworkers, and the complexity of care that we must deal with.

  • #6114

    freckles19
    Participant

    Thank you to 20yearRN!

    Somehow this validation sort-of feels good, as I have no one to speak of this. I always feel one step behind as I do the very best for my patient. Was just in a meeting last week about a near-miss (not mine, but my name on the chart). Another nurse said I sounded angry at the safety specialist. I responded that I don’t need to see 3 different documents about a safety feature we perform on every-single surgical case. The so-called specialists haven’t spent an ounce of time in our shoes! They wouldn’t make it! I sometimes spend my off day resting as I have nothing left, both mentally and physically. #domorewithless

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  freckles19.
  • #6239

    SurgeryRN82
    Participant

    I completely feel for you freckles19.

    I have been with my hospital for 13 years & in surgery for the last 7. I was just trying to brainstorm a variety of areas that are not as typically thought of. Legal consulting, community health line nurse, school nurse, surgery center instead of main OR, office nurse,chart auditor,nurse for an insurance company, case manager hospital or office based,mental health, JACHO? Lol, AORN…. sorry, just trying to brainstorm & think of some places that some of our people have went after leaving. I hate that we have to walk the line of getting so burnt out that we leave a profession/certain job we love. I absolutely love working in surgery, but certain coworkers & the never ending do more with less, who you know, or who complains the loudest/squeaky wheel gets oiled …. does get old very quick. I hope it gets better or you find something you can enjoy. Know you are not alone.

  • #6306

    LloydRuG
    Participant

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    • #6416

      freckles19
      Participant

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  • #6373

    Simonkl
    Participant

    I feel your pain. You sound burned out. That’s when we tend to get really irritated with others, fly off the handle, or just “sound angry.” I was like that for a while when I took a team leader position. I just couldn’t handle it—I felt pressured 24/7. Moved back to my old position and a few years later I still thank the manager who told me I needed to get out of that job. I see a lot of nurses move into doc specialist or ur or even the IT department. There’s lots of positions outside of face to face patient care. Just have to make the move.

  • #6411

    WilliamGoams
    Participant

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    • #6414

      freckles19
      Participant

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      • This reply was modified 4 days, 22 hours ago by  freckles19.

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