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I’ve just figured out why “burnout” is such an apt description of what happens to a nurse.

Four weeks ago I had a particularly frustrating patient.  She wanted her drugs and she wanted them now.  The doctor, correctly, refused her.  She came up to the nurses’ station to (once again) beg me for drugs. I refused her.  She started yelling at me and telling me, “If you hate your job, you should just quit.”

I told her, “I love my job. And I’m really good at it.”

And then it hit me like a sledgehammer.  “Oh, my gosh. I hate my job!  When did this happen?”

It was such a sad realization because I used to really love my job. I’d look at the old, dried up nurses and I knew I never wanted to be them.  I told my husband that if I ever hated my job and was that dejected about my profession to make me quit.

And just like that, it happened.  I can’t walk away just yet but  I have my application in to some other positions.    The thing about “burnout” is, once a bulb burns out, it’s done.  There is no going back.

11 responses »

  1. Wow. That’s really sad. Good thing you are going to go change the world and make it better for the young nurses.

  2. One can hope!

  3. One does not know one’s limit, until it is crossed. This is what has happened to you, sadly. However, you will use the experience in your future in medicine for patients and staff. You have such a huge heart and talent…use this as a catalyst to change the system!

  4. Your blog has given me a glimpse of a world I never see -thankfully. With four kids, I’m glad we are healthy and don’t know much about healthcare. Anyway, it’s interesting, and you write well! I’m sure that was a big decision for you and I’m glad to know about it.
    Jen Thompson

  5. Does this mean you can come be my labor nurse now??? 🙂

  6. LOL. I’d pass out. Blood–no worries. But watching a watermelon be pushed out that little hole and all those fluids… puke.

  7. Courtney Peterson

    I think you are awesome Linds, and such an wise person to realize you need a change…and to actually DO it. I’ve always admired your strength! Can’t wait to see what God brings for you now! Love you


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