By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor
So what’s new on the nursing blogs. I’ve been checking around today, and here are a few good things I’ve found so far. Please let me know if there are any really new and lively nursing blogs we should add to our nursing blogs page. We need some new voices, and I’m sure they’re out there.
Burnout. At Nursing in Hawaii (this blog changes its name periodically to reflect the current location of its peripatetic owner), we find a pretty interesting and roundabout kind of post, “Nurse Burnout, Reality Shock, Marlene Kramer,” that addresses the stages of nurse burnout in a really useful and practical way (after discussing an early seminal book on the topic, what this has to do with the development of the Magnet program, and a few other items). Here’s an excerpt, but I’d suggest reading the whole thing for a look at this seemingly universal issue for nurses.
the honeymoon. This is where the new nurse is still being oriented and everything is wonderful. The preceptor is so smart! The staff is amazing! The paycheck is HUGE! we all love to be around such a person and delight in the innocence of youth.
crash and burn. the onset of this is hard to predict, but usually about the six-month mark. Takes place when the nurse starts getting feedback from every direction, not all of it is easy to take because people are telling him or her that they are not perfect. The nurse is now saying “These people are jerks. This hospital has its priorities wrong. nobody is listening. Why did I ever want to be a nurse?” This person can be angry and depressed. Nothing is wonderful anymore. The road has a fork in it. One choice is to leave; the other choice is to stay. When the nurse leaves (regardless of where they go), it causes the cycle to repeat with new nurses. Turnover of this nature is expensive for all concerned. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has recently recognized that up to 25% of staff nurses who do get a job, leave their first position within a year, which has caused the NCSBN to work on what they call “Transition to Practice” issues. In this way, we wonder if anything has changed since the 1970s……
recovery. This is a phase of letting go of anger and depression, characterized by the return of a sense of humor. The preferred outcome of crash and burn. The nurse wakes up and realizes that some things are good, some are bad and not everything is perfect. Or Burnout the nurse quits the job and goes to another job (to enjoy another honeymoon!) or maybe leaves bedside nursing altogether.
and resolution. where the nurse develops a sense of perspective and is able to contribute effectively.
For something more immediately practical, here’s a post at In the Round, “Lab Values and DKA.” What are some lab values that tip you off that a patient has diabetic ketoacidosis? Also check out their post “Spotlight on Men’s Health,” which details the crucial role that prevention should be playing in men’s health and notes that “more than half of all premature deaths among men are preventable.”
Lest we forget the policy side of things, which really does matter: At INQRI, the Blog of the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?), we find a post on the primary care challenge in U.S. health care and the role nurses can or should be playing in alleviating the problem.
A related post, “Let Us Be Heard,” one with a more personal slant, can be found at A Nurse Practitioner’s View; the post takes issue with the New York Times coverage of the primary care shortage in the U.S.
Other notable posts you might want to check out:
“Don’t Wreck,” at See Jane Nurse
“An Ethical Nurse,” video interview at Nursing Ideas