Reducing And Preventing Nurse Burnout

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or drained at work, you’re not alone. According to a recent poll of more than 7,500 full-time employees, 23% frequently experience burnout. Another 44% noted that they feel burnt out occasionally. 

Employee burnout is likely to impact those in stressful, demanding professions. Thus, it’s not surprising that so many nurses deal with burnout. 

Burnout can be described as a condition that results from work-related stress, causing a decrease in emotional, physical and psychological energy. This, in turn, can lead to negative feelings toward medical staff and patients potentially due to a lack of a positive attitude in some cases — as well as an inability to function effectively at work. 

Researchers have identified three primary aspects of burnout: 

  • Emotional exhaustion involves being overwhelmed by the stress and pressure of work, which may include feeling depressed, helpless, hopeless, and physically and emotionally “spent.”
  • Depersonalization is a type of detachment, where individuals are less empathetic toward others, or don’t care about the people with whom they work — including medical staff and patients, as mentioned earlier.  
  • Low personal accomplishment means feeling inadequate or incompetent at work, which also affects the employee’s level of contribution to his or her position. Medical professionals should always look to provide the most expert level of care, but as a result of burnout, this may not always be possible.

While burnout among nurses is relatively common, there are strategies to help combat it:

  • Creating wellness programs: These can encourage nurses to incorporate stress reduction and wellness strategies into their day to help them take better care of themselves. 
  • Establishing collaborative, respectful work environments: When nurses’ opinions are sought and considered, they feel engaged and valued. An inclusive environment can go a long way in decreasing burnout.
  • Incorporating scheduling software: Scheduling tools ease the demand on nursing managers — leaving them free to devote more time to patients and staff. 
  • Encourage healthy behaviors: Factors such as a nutritious diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercising and embracing stress management strategies can help make nurses less susceptible to burnout. 
  • Staying alert to nurses’ emotional and physical health: Make sure that nurses feel comfortable bringing workplace issues to their superiors and encourage an open door policy. 

For further information, be sure to review the accompanying infographic courtesy of ScheduleAnywhere.