Job Burnout: What To Do About It

by Patti on March 26, 2012

in Advice for CNA's, Spot Light Series

We’ve all experienced it.burnout

We hate getting up on the days we have to work. We drudge thru the shift, barely able to turn a smile. We love the residents, but lately everything they do bothers us. We cringe when the nurse seeks us out. We hold some resentment towards our peers. And we really feel angry with management.

Job burnout is common among nurses and CNA’s. The work itself is very hard; the environment can be unforgiving. The workload can be unbearable. Add to this the low pay and low level of respect we get, it’s no wonder more of us don’t burn out sooner.

The MAYO Clinic offers the following symptoms to consider:

Have you become cynical or critical at work?
Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?

So what does the average CNA do when he or she has had enough of work?
Sometimes a mental health day is just what a doctor would order. Taking a vacation works wonders as well. Just getting away from it all can refresh us and keep on an even keel.

If this isn’t helpful, there are other things we can do:

Sometimes it is helpful to simply transfer to another shift at the facility you work at. Many CNAs get bored with the routines of the shifts they work. A new routine, with new peers can change things up for CNAs.

Other times, going from full time status to part time can help if one can afford this. Just knowing you don’t have to work so many hours every week can really lesson the burdensome thoughts you have.

Other times no amount of days off and shift changes can take away the misery of being totally burnt out from work. Getting another job isn’t always an option, but if you continue to feel this way for more than a month or so, a new job might be needed.

Will a new job at a different facility be helpful? For those who are troubled by a particular facilities policies and rates of pay, the answer to this would be YES.

For those who are fed up with the physical demands of the job- lifting, pulling, tugging, pushing, transferring helpless people all day; watching the inevitable decline of older people day in and day out- a new CAREER might be in order. Nursing work is nursing work. Although many RN’s and LPN/LVNs don’t have the same job descriptions, the physical requirements will be the same. A career change would be something I would consider if I were not able to do the physical aspects of the job.

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