Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Burnout

The past month has been pretty grueling.  Workwise.  I’m to the point where I’ve worked at least 6 hours every single day over the past two weeks – some days culminating in up to 12 hours.  Because I work nights, it’s hard to get a day that’s really off.  And yes, I’ve been a bit frustrated about it.

Right now, I’m experiencing what nurses call burnout.  What happens when someone is worked so hard, given so few breaks that it’s hard to focus…or care.  Which is something that I hate.  I’m a nurse because I love nursing, I love being there for the patients, and knowing that I can make a difference.  So when I’m exhausted to the point that I don’t care, I know that I need to get away.  I need to step away, focus on something else – especially myself.

Burnout happens quite frequently because of the nature of nursing.  There’s a lot that’s expected, including keeping people alive.  And there can be days that are so stressful you want to scream.  Even at nights. 
Unfortunately, burnout doesn’t happen in just nursing.  It can happen to anyone who doesn’t balance their lives.  Too much of anything can be bad.  Too much physical, too much sleep… the body needs balance. 
In my health class, I remember learning about the five areas of development.  Physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, spiritual.  Each area is important, and we need to learn how to focus them. 

Right now, I’m feeling a bit lopsided, too much physical and emotional, not enough spiritual or mental.  For me, the best balance for nursing is writing.  It’s a chance to sit down, focus on my thoughts, be with myself.  I’m an introvert, which is not an option when nursing.  I’m always speaking with doctors, patients, family members, even other nurses.  No matter how much I’m working, I always come into contact with other people.  So it’s nice to come home, curl up and spend some time with my imaginary friends.
I just wish we could spend some time together.


How do you keep balance in your life?