Nurse Burnout: Definition, Symtoms and Preventions you need to know

No matter which job you are working, you also have to deal with stress. However, the medical field, including nursing, is a particular environment that is considered as a high-stress job.  It leads to an urgent issue, which is called nurse burnout. Are you a nurse who suffers from that dangerous situation? Read this post to find out the burnout symptoms and ways to solve it.

Nurse burnout is an urgent issue
Nurse burnout is an urgent issue
 

1. What is nurse burnout?

According to WHO (World Health Organization), burnout is defined as:

  • Depleted bandwidth at work, sometimes to the point of exhaustion
  • Feeling cynicism about your career
  • Inability or failure to meet all work requirements

Thus, Nurse burnout is a term that is used to infer the mental and emotional exhaustion of a nurse. It can lead to big issues in nurses’ health, their working quality and even their patients.

2. What are nurse burnout symptoms?

It’s reported that more than 50% of nurses experienced nurse burnout. If you are a nurse and think that you got a nurse burnout now, check out the popular signs below to know more:

2.1.  Constant exhaustion

Nurse is a tiring job because they often work 12-hours shifts and have limited resting time. However, to be a nurse means that you need to pass a physical test to prove that you are capable of working under pressure. But regular exhaustion is not the same as Burnout. Tired all the time, even when you are not working, struggling to wake up and go to sleep, and can not focus on your job are nurse burnout symptoms.

2.2. Unexplained sickness

Along with Exhaustion all the time, nurses who have burnout also experience sickness for no reason. Some burnout symptoms can be listed as low immunity, heart palpitations or pain that doesn’t tail off. If you got one of those, check your health now! 

2.3. Emotional disengagement

Nurses are considered as empathetic people. They always enjoy connecting with patients. But if one day you start to feel not linked to your patients and co-workers, insensitive and can not sympathize with them, you are in an urgent situation.

Emotional Disengagement is a red flag for nurse burnout. It impacts badly not only on nurses but also on people around. Be careful with these nurse burnout symptoms. 

2.4. Constant work-related anxiety

No one can avoid anxiety in their job. Nurses and doctors are not exceptions. However, worrying all the time is not normal. It’s a sign of nurse burnout.

2.5. Working passion lost

Everyone might hate their jobs one day. However, it doesn’t mean you lost all the passion you have for the job you choose, especially nursing. Because when you determine to be a nurse, you are fully mentally prepared. Losing enjoyment in a nursing job is a nurse burnout symptom. 

3. What are nurse burnout causes?

According to WHO, the rate of nurse burnout is increasing sharply. What can cause those nurse burnout symptoms? 

3.1. Growing number of nurses

Nurse is a potential job with good payment and societal standards. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there will be a 12% increase in the number of registered nurses between 2018 to 2028. This pace leads to the nurses’ competence, which leads to nurse burnout. 

3.2. Long shift hour

One factor that contributes to the growth in nurse burnout is the hour shift. As mentioned below, a nurse’s shift is 12 hours, half of a day. It leads to sleeping problems. 25% of nurses said that they don’t have enough time to sleep. 

3.3. High-stress environment

What can be a stressful working place? Working as a nurse means that you face a high death rate, belligerent patients, catastrophic injuries, and ethical dilemmas all day, that link to high-stress levels and reach to the nurse burnout.

Besides, the uncollared between other staff can kill a nurse’s life. Lack of support, poor teamwork and bullying can commit not only nurse burnout but also medical errors.

A high-stress environment can cause nurse burnout
A high-stress environment can cause nurse burnout
 

4. What is the impact of nurse burnout?

It can not be denied that nurse burnout is a serious issue in the nursing field. It leads to bad influences in both nurses and patients.

4.1. Highly turnover rate

The higher nurse burnout levels, the higher turnover rates. Therefore, managers should take the responsibility to improve and create a better workplace.

4.2. Highly depression and suicide rate

Based on a trusted statistic, 25% to 45% of the nurses experience depression. Turnover and  Depression in nurse burnout can cause suicide. It is an alert to the government and managers, they must consider building a healthier environment for nurses.

4.3. Low quality of patients care

Burnout in nurses leads to exhaustion, tiredness and low quality of work. It increases the incidence of medical errors and infection rates and even the attitude of nurses to patients.

4.4. Negative impact on other staff

Nurse burnout could lead to a backside impact on the workforce in a system. It could harm the relationships between team members and make an uncomfortable working environment.

5. How to prevent nurse burnout?

You should bare in mind that to fix nurse burnout, both nurses and the organization must take the action for the nurse burnout prevention:

5.1. Take care of yourself first

The key to manage burnout is the nurse themselves. There are some steps that nurses can use to prevent nurse burnout:

  • Setting strong relationships: Solid relationships in the workplace and society can help nurses defend against burnout. It provides a safe zone for nurses to confess their emotions and get encouragement in high-stress situations.
  • Locating the boundaries: Nurses should make clear thoughts and feelings between work and family, and friends. Be mindful to reduce burnout.
  • Getting enough sleep: Sleep is essential for nurses to avoid nurse burnout because it is the main reason that causes this serious problem. You should schedule at least 8 hours to sleep to increase stamina and low motivation.
  • Taking therapy and assistance programs: Nurses should take advantage of any therapeutic or counselling services. If it is available in your workplace, it is wise to seek it.
Build up a strong relationship with your co-workers to avoid nurse burnout
Build up a strong relationship with your co-workers to avoid nurse burnout
 

5.2. Prioritize authentic leadership

Leadership is a key to preventing nurse burnout. Look for the leadership with an open policy in supporting members and creating a good team. It encourages the relationship between staff and helps with patient-centric methods.

That is all the information on nurse burnout. We hope this article may raise your awareness about this issue and know how to avoid and deal with it. 

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