5 Sure Signs You’re Overdue For A Vacation

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Is it time for you to take a vacation? Here are five signs you need one, stat!

1. You can’t seem to get into your job. Codes leave you cold. You’re having trouble getting up in the morning, and nothing feels as important as it used to.

This is classic burnout. You need to spend a week or two someplace totally different, where you won’t be asked any medical questions or need to get up at any particular time.

2. Conversely, you’re getting way too into your job. You’ve just started a new home-study course on head transplants, you’re the acting president of your unit’s governing committee and you’re working overtime.

This is not good for anybody. What you need is a week at home without checking your work email or answering your phone. Sometimes it’s nice to remember what your home looks like.

3. You feel like punching people in the face more than usual. A certain degree of punchiness is normal for nurses, but feeling that way all the time signals a need for a break.

You need a few days playing tourist in your own town. Take off for a long weekend, put on comfortable clothes and hit the used bookstore. Have dinner in that cool restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Go to the park. Do not, under any circumstances, hang out or have dinner with people from work.

4. You feel the sudden urge to clean your house top to bottom and make a huge drop-off at Goodwill.

By all means, do that. When you have a physically and mentally taxing job, you occasionally have to do major triage on yourself. If you’re looking around your place and thinking, “I have too much *#^&,” it’s time. You’ll go back to work with a clear head and a light heart.

5. You can’t remember the last time you had fun.

This is particularly true for student nurses and new nurses. The pressure of school and the transition to nursing can be harrowing. You don’t need to take a lot of time off; just trade a day with a coworker so you can go dancing to that kick-butt polka band. Have a late breakfast the next day with all your favorite foods and some really good coffee. You’ll feel so much better.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Most of the time, I love my work as a nurse and am the spirit of compassion. I have no regrets about this work and most of the time I’m filled with gratitude, love, smiles, and giving out hugs. However, I haven’t taken a vacation in almost 18 months and find myself being annoyed at people for getting themselves sick. I give the anti-smoking lecture with more rage than caring. When the violent-suicidal-baker-act-trying-to-bite-and-scratch-me-chick or drunken-under-arrest-rage-calling-the-PO-a-tiny-d&ck-MFer-guy mostly just make me want to let natural selection work, I know that it’s time to take a giant step back and refresh my batteries. When the diabetic in DKA comes in after years of self abuse and asks, “why is this happening to me! What did I do to deserve this? Why does God hate me?” and I have to bite my tongue off the keep from telling them the honest truth in a brutal, mean-girl manner. I still do my job well, but the positive attitude and smiles are harder to conjure because they don’t come from a place of honesty. Luckily, vaca is on the way i a few weeks. Recharge time is how nurses have the strength to face the worst of humanity and not develop a substance abuse problem.

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