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Have you ever been getting ready for a shift at work and you feel unmotivated, unhappy, or downright dreadful? You may be experiencing nursing burnout.
What is nursing burnout?
Nursing burnout can manifest in many different ways. Here are a few symptoms of burnout…
- Chronically tired as… You find that even after getting a significant amount of sleep you still feel utterly exhausted. No amount of caffeine in the world can give you the energy that being happy and high on life can!
- You lost your joy. Remember when you were new and you were so excited to see your first trauma, start your first IV, or massage a fundus? Do those things still bring you joy? Does any part of your job still bring you joy?
- You have lost compassion. Not that you wish harm to anyone, but maybe you’re not as compassionate as when you first started. You may find yourself irritable or do not particularly care about your performance at work (Doing the bare minimum to get by.)
You’re not alone
Many nurses have felt burnout at one point or another in their careers. It is nothing to be ashamed of or think that you are not meant for nursing. Many nurses do not feel the joy they once felt, they feel under-appreciated and disposable. This is why we see many nurses leaving the bedside in droves.
What you can do
Sometimes it is a simple as doing something for you, something to recharge and rejuvenate you. Here are a few examples of things you can do to help with nursing burnout.
- First, recognize that this is a normal process for nurses and give yourself some grace.
- Do something for you. Start doing yoga, hiking, take a cooking class; do something that brings you joy and do it frequently.
- Take a vacation. (Seriously go book one right now!)
- Evaluate your circumstances. What makes you unhappy about nursing? Can you change it? Can you choose another field of nursing that may bring you more joy? Can you cut back to part-time or even PRN? Can you start a side-hustle that can help you bring in money?
- Make a change! The great thing about nursing is there is always something different to do! I hated med/surg nursing and wanted more, so I went to the ER (even though I had terrible anxiety about if I was good enough)
My last piece of advice, if you only want to stay at a place or in a unit because you will miss your coworkers, DON’T! You have to do what makes you happy. You can still schedule coffee or workout classes with your old nursing comrades.
Take a chance to be HAPPY, give yourself GRACE.
Let me know your experience with nursing burnout, and how you overcame it.