Nurse fatigue and burnout are huge problems. So many nurses start their careers with optimism, enthusiasm and an overwhelming feeling of joy but then get bogged down with the realities of the day-to-day challenges of taking care of strangers in increasingly complex environments. The repeated feelings of stress and the inability to consistently care for patients the way we know they need to be cared for can slowly erode our “happy happy joy joy” emotions – resulting in burnout.
So many nurses believe they have no control over their environments – no control over their practice and therefore, succumb to a “victim” mentality when it comes to burnout. Many nurses don’t overcome these feelings of gloom and doom and eventually leave the profession.
What if I told you there was a way for you to get back the feeling of optimism, enthusiasm and joy of being a nurse? Would you believe me?
In my previous blogs and vlogs, I talked about committing to personal development and moving away from negative energy. Today I want to talk about another key strategy to prevent and reverse nurse fatigue.
OWN YOUR PRACTICE!
Here’s the good news – you are responsible for everything you have in your life right now – everything – even feeling burnout. If this is true, then you also have the power to change things.
There are two basic types of people in the world – neurotic and psychotic.
Neurotic people blame themselves for everything that happens in their life – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Psychotic people blame everyone else.
Owning your practice means that YOU take responsibility for everything – your current job, level of education, whether or not you have the necessary skills to get that promotion – even your current health status. YOU.
Nurses who own their practice have less fatigue, are more satisfied with their careers and are genuinely healthier than others.
Action Steps to own your practice:
Step 1: Make a list of characteristics in your current environment/practice and everything you think is contributing to your feelings of gloom and doom.
Step 2: Make another list of your ideal environment/practice and everything you think would promote feelings of joy.
Step 3: Look at your first list and circle 3 characteristics that if they changed would enable you to move towards your ideal environment/practice.
Many years ago I was in a rut. I was working for a managed care company and frustrated because when I started there, I was a clinical liaison to hospitals and physician offices. I LOVED my job. Then they changed my role and made me do onsite utilization and case management. Ugh…my least favorite thing to do. Although I learned a completely different aspect of healthcare (and that’s a good thing), it just wasn’t a good fit for me and I found myself dreading going to work every morning.
So, I made my list – current and then ideal. After carefully reviewing both, I realized that my ideal environment/practice was to be an educator. So I asked myself, what would I have to do to become an educator? I needed to have a master’s degree, however, I only had my associate degree. I can remember thinking how long it would take me to get my BSN and then my MSN!!! Overwhelming. However, I wanted to teach…period. Teaching would bring me the joy and optimism that was slowly being depleting in a job I no longer liked.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been teaching other nurses for more than 10 years and still LOVE IT!
Are you feeling fatigued and burned out? Just stop! And take 100% responsibility for your practice. Do what you need to do to change your life. Only you have the power to change things.
The late Jim Rohn once said, the day you take full responsibility for your life is the day you pass from childhood to adulthood – from being a victim to being a successful human.
I hope this tip helps you to feel good about the work you do…because if you don’t, it’s time to change things. Remember, you do have the power!
Thanks for reading, take care and stay connected.
Previous tips to prevent nurse fatigue: