I'll tell you a secret: I want to be appreciated, just like most people. Don't get me wrong. I don't need flowers and chocolate, or constant pats on the back. I just like to think that what I do matters. Whether it's cleaning my house for my family, or trying to find the right medication for a patient to control their pain, I want to make a difference, even if only a small one.
I was wondering why is it that so many nurses are burned out when so many of us love what we do? Sometimes I think it can be the job itself. It's often long hard hours, even if it's only an eight hour shift. It's family members or patients who are resistant to care. It's coming on shift, getting report, and realizing that you have to deal with 10 problems before you can even begin your actual routine. Some days or even weeks are just plain hard. But I think those are usually balanced out with good weeks, gracious families and patients, and the support of incredible coworkers.
Some places are harder to work than others. There is no substitute for a place that makes you feel like you're part of a family, cared about, and doing good work. Honestly, I think we nurses will put up with a lot if we still feel like we matter to management, like they appreciate what we do, and like they care. Even if there are problems, we'll stay loyal to a job where the powers that be are at least trying to find solutions that will benefit everyone.
When nurses are overburdened, overworked, under appreciated, and have no voice, it is almost always the patients who will suffer. We nurses put all of ourselves into our work. It's not just a job, it's who we are. Maybe the reason we burn out is that we often give everything we have, to make sure that our patients receive the best care possible, not matter how overwhelmed we are. We take care of people. That's just what we do.
This past week was nurses week. If you know or love a nurse, please tell them how much you appreciate what they do. Because when the job is hard, it's sometimes that encouragement that helps us keep going.