In my experience, I have rarely found a nurse who was truly unhappy with providing care. For many of us, it is considered a privilege to gain that level of trust and be there for our fellow human being in their time of need. It is important to recognize that some situations may be attributed to the loss of passion for providing care, a devastating thought for a professional nurse. Chronic poor working conditions such as low staffing, faulty or outdated equipment, or burdensome documentation requirements can erode the core of nursing practice. Compassion fatigue is also a phenomenon that needs to be recognized. This is a physical and stress reaction brought about by the continual vicarious exposure to disturbing events. Recognizing and treating these factors early are imperative to preserving nursing satisfaction.
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If a nurse is becoming more and more disillusioned and dissatisfied with their role in patient care, it is important to take a self-inventory before it progresses. An honest review of the situation will likely demonstrate the best path forward. Determine if the patient care setting is the culprit. If working with pediatrics is difficult, then consider clinical areas such as a cardiac or the stroke ward. Are colleagues professional and like-minded? If they do not have a shared passion, perhaps they have compassion fatigue themselves. Being in a clinical setting populated with nurses experiencing chronic compassion fatigue can be worse than a zombie apocalypse. Guard against becoming like them, as the negativity can be infectious.
Are you a nurse struggling with job satisfaction related to patient care? Are you questioning if nursing was the right choice for you? Perhaps you overcame a difficult phase in your career related to your professional satisfaction. Join the RxEconsult community to send me a message and share your experience by commenting.