Monday, September 10, 2012

Nurse Practitioner Burnout

How crispy am I? Let me count the ways.
Don't get me wrong. I do really love being a nurse practitioner. I just don't love the paperwork and the tedious part of my job. Most people say that I should just suck it up because I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for my job. True, to a point. I understand the awesome responsibility of my position and the stressors that would ensue. I would just love to have a way to make my job less tedious and more streamlined. Unfortunately, I am not the owner of my practice so I have to follow the herd and make sure that all of the boxes are checked and t's are crossed. We have to not only make sure that we are giving great care but also great education. All of this in your allotted 15 minutes. Actually, the nurse gets the first 5-10 so I get what's left to determine why your abdomen is painful (which can be very time consuming). Lunch usually consists of me stuffing in a frozen dinner of some kind while I chart or try to make phone calls that I can't get to during the day. If I make myself actually go to lunch, I feel like the pile grows like the Gremlins and I will never get out from underneath. The patients bang on the front door pretty much the entire lunch break time and get aggravated that we even close for lunch. There are great things about being a NP too. The ahh ha! moment when a patient understands how a disease process can effect their lives. The look of determination when a patient finally decides to quit smoking after all of the pep talks. The times that you can get a child to take their medicine when no one else can. Watching a teenager grow up into a young adult. Hearing a child say that they want to be just like me when they grow up. Seeing the light come back on after watching the despair almost cause them to commit suicide. The ability to tell a patient that they don't have cancer. These are the things that I live for and put up with the crappy side of medicine.


  1. Do you miss the days of staff nursing, where you gave report to the oncoming nurse and you got to go home and leave it all at work? Sometimes I do...and then there's the family who comes to see you and the mom tells you how much they "love you" and how happy they are that you had room on your schedule for them...the little girl who had erythema multiforme who came back for follow up yesterday looking normal again and her mom telling me that I"m "great"....keeps me coming back every time I feel like you do. No doubt, we have a tough job. Hang in there!

  2. Amazing how much paper work is still needed today with all the technology we have. It really takes a bite of most careers today and more so in medicine.

  3. NP, hang in there! I feel your pain... I'm currently re-evaluating my decision to go the management route in the OR.

    I recently read this: It helped me get some perspective on my job. Hope it works for you.

    Take care,


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