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When The Job’s Got You Down


Publish Date: October 9, 2019

Despite your calling, you’re more dragging at work, lacking compassion for patients, and feeling grumpy with your team and yourself. Worse, you feel a bit guilty and you resent the fact that you aren’t feeling the same love for nursing that inspired you. Instead of hanging on to the guilt, let go and take action.

Here are some how-to tips to change your attitude and likely change your future.

Your health

Pursue a healthy body and mind. Regular exercise can lead to an enormous sense of well-being. You’ll feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about yourself. When you take a break at work, take a quick walk around the block, it will help recharge your batteries. For diet and the mind, a blog from Harvard reminds us, “Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress…” With a good diet and an exercise routine, you’ll have help to reconnect with your passion.

Don’t cave in to stress

Are you setting unrealistic expectations that are rarely met (everyone will show up for work and on time, everyone will pull their weight, everyone will be pleasant, patient, and appreciate your value). Heavy workloads, excessive overtime or working with a bully in a blame culture sap one’s energy. If you are in a toxic workplace, carefully consider your options. Is it time to talk to your manager about joining a different team, working a different schedule? Maybe it’s time to find a new job. Don’t settle for an unhealthy culture -- your skills and expertise are valuable and there are outstanding healthcare organizations across the country interested in hiring you. Check out the 1,400+ open perioperative positions on the AORN Career Center.

Reignite your passion

Think of the last time at work when you were excited and felt inspired by your patients, your team, and your facility. Were you learning something new? Many people enjoy taking a class, webinar, or watching a podcast. Your commitment to personal and professional growth will deliver a better life – at work and at home.


Educational conferences are an opportunity for making new connections to nurses who, like you, share a passion for the OR. When you engage with like-minded professionals, manufacturers and hospital reps, you can earn CE credits and build a new network of support. Registration is now open for the Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2020, this year in Anaheim, March 28 thru April 1.

Pat yourself on the back and pat the backs of your colleagues
Perioperative Nurses Week is November 10-16. Are You Periop Proud? Share why on your social channels using #periopnursesweek2019.

Need help to reignite your passion?

AORN members receive 90 minutes of career coaching. Sign up for your complimentary coaching session.