Let’s be honest. Nursing is an incredibly stressful and exhausting (yet, rewarding) profession. Nurse burnout is a serious issue within the healthcare industry, but one which can be nurtured and prevented.
In a nutshell, nurse burnout is a feeling of affliction, most notably stress, fatigue and general unhappiness. External factors such as the limitation of time and staff found in healthcare settings are at the core of the nurse burnout issue. This paired with long hours engaging with interpersonal relationships and dealing with physical and emotional demands, creates an exceptionally stressful environment.
Nurse burnout can affect both an individual’s mental stability, as well as their professional performance. The cycle of nurse burnout progresses from mental and physical exhaustion to feelings of isolation and a lack of professional enthusiasm. Studies reveal a lower patient satisfaction, which is directly correlated to a nurse’s level of burnout. Other notable consequences include absenteeism and decreased productivity.
In order to prevent burnout, the cycle must be stopped early by preventing the buildup of stress.
Tips to prevent stress and conquer burnout include:
- First and foremost, you must practice self-care. As nurses, it may be difficult to put your own needs first, but tending to your own well-being should top your list of priorities. Being aware and consciously fighting stress through diet, exercise and rest, will go a long way in preventing nurse burnout!
- Similar to self-care is the ability to manage time. Managing your time will add some stability to your work/life balance. Be sure to create time for nurturing your social relationships. Spend time with your family and friends. Kick back once in a while and enjoy your favourite hobby, whether it is writing, yoga, or mountain biking. Make the time.
- In your professional environment, nurse burnout can be avoided by seeking social support. Maintaining lines of communication with your colleagues is essential. This will allow you to understand each other’s needs and stressors and work together to manage workloads.
- In the workplace, do not try to mask your emotions. In times of grief it is important to accept the reality of loss, feel the pain, and most importantly, pick yourself back up and move on. It is necessary to communicate sadness, frustration or grief with your co-workers. This is another reason why a social support system in the workplace is essential.
In addition, nurse burnout should be mediated by healthcare institutions and organizations. It is important that there are strategies in place which promote a healthy environment, address staffing issues, and enhance psycho-social stability.
Sykes Assistance Services Corporation’s Telehealth Division is dedicated to providing registered nurses with careers which focus on exceptional care and assistance to both patients and staff. We are currently offering both full time and part time permanent positions.
For more information, or to apply with Sykes, visit our online job board.