Engagement helps with burnout

Engagement is the interaction with others beyond self.

In the hospital, it is interaction with other departments, with other staff, with the councils and committees that make this world run. And allows for those at the bedside not to be run over by the policies on the higher levels. It’s kind of like functioning as the little girl at the end of the Emperor’s New Clothes, and she is the only one willing to point out that the Emperor is, in fact, naked.

The wonderful nurses that I work with in Shared Government help drive the conversation and point out things that may be embarrassing now for the higher-ups, but would be infinitely worse if allowed to continue. We have no problem pointing out when the emperor is naked.

And others do not.

It is not that they do not see, or do not care.

It is that they are tired. It is all they can do to work their 12s and go home. Only to rinse off, sleep, eat, and get up to do it all again.

I understand that they are tired.

And beat down.

And can only care during their working hours.

Because who knows what else they are responsible for outside the hospital. Spouses, children, and other responsibilities that drag on them. And for some people, the hours at work are a respite. And for some the hours at home are a respite. And still others are caught, suspended between the two rocks of home and work. And frankly they don’t have the time or the energy to get involved.

And that is okay. Others will take up the mantle.

However, I can’t help but wonder if the fact that I’ve been very involved, very engaged within the shared governance world has actually contributed to my not being burned out. Much. I’m not burned out much. Just a little toasty around the edges.

Can I propose engagement with your department, your hospital, or anything beyond the hospital as a bandaid and needed support to the burnout that every nurse I know is feeling?

It doesn’t take much.

Sometimes just a helping hand to others will do. .

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