I am so tired…..

ICU nurses are facing burnout at an alarming rate due to repeated COVID surges, staffing shortages, the lack of efficacious treatments for severe COVID leading to very high mortality, and with omicron, increasing infection rates among staff members. Here is my attempt to give voice to an ICU nurse in the pandemic.

I’m tired I’m tired I’m tired….

*

That’s all my mind lets me think

As I come closer to the brink

Of losing empathy- is this burnout?

I desperately want a way out

A way that I cannot even find

Wave after wave has benumbed my mind

The layers of PPE no longer appear to be

Protective gear, all they do is stifle me

Mechanically my shifts I try to work through

I don’t stop to reflect on what I do

Now there is an immediate sense of deja vu

Each time there is announced a code blue

The adrenaline rush that would previously kick in

To save a coding patient is missing, my reserves run thin

As another life is claimed by the beast that is COVID

I want to explode in anger, I feel livid

There is no place to vent my anger or frustration anyway

We are all spent, we have nothing to say

*

I think about quitting in my weariness

Everyday we do more and more with less

I worry that the proverbial last straw lurks near

It could break my back any day, I fear

Ironically what prevents me from going berserk

Is the frantic pace- I have no choice in the face of excess work

Each day staff is dwindling, for reasons varied

The ones standing are stretched thin in this time of need

*

We’ve had a small victory for my patient, let me try

To celebrate it with others, and reinforce to myself why

I continue to do this day after day

I am an ICU nurse, I shall not run away..

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

One thought on “I am so tired…..

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