Have you ever felt an overwhelming sense of stress and exhaustion from your job? One that seems to drain you of your mental and physical energy? You may be interested to know that this is what experts often define as burnout, a condition that results from large amounts of work-related stress burdening individuals. These feelings are particularly common in professions that are highly demanding and meticulous, healthcare professions such as nurses for example. Burnout is especially dangerous to the healthcare industry as these feelings of burnout can lead to an inability to provide an adequate level of care to patients in need.
Research has indicated that these three emotional aspects are the identifying factors of burnout:
Physical and Emotional Exhaustion: as previously mentioned, due to the overwhelming amount of stress and pressure from work, it is common for nurses to feel waves of depression or hopelessness. This is coupled with the feeling of being physically worn down and unable to will themselves to do much at all.
Lack of Empathy: sometimes referred to as depersonalization, a sense of detachment that makes those suffering through burnout much less empathetic toward those around them. This includes their peers and their superiors. For those working in the medical field, this can result in numerous disasters.
Decreased Sense of Accomplishment: another common result of these immense feelings can lead to inadequacy or incompetency at maintaining normal responsibilities and decrease the level of contribution to their positions. This again calls into question the quality of care patients are receiving from those suffering from burnout.
What can these healthcare facilities and professionals do to combat these feelings, though?
Create and Implement Wellness Programs: designing and implementing programs that educate nurses on stress reduction exercises and wellness strategies to incorporate into their days in order to take better care of themselves is a great start. This also allows for more awareness to be drawn to these feelings and for nurses to be more aware of the signs themselves.
Establish an Open and Collaborate Work Environment: an environment where nurses feel respected by their peers and superiors allow for less chance of these feelings of burnout to develop so intensely. Feeling able to communicate freely and discuss their issues goes a long way.
Scheduling Software: in order to reduce confusion and set clear expectations of staff, incorporating some form of scheduling software can be very effective.
Healthy Habits: often taken for granted, factors like a nutritious diet, a good night’s sleep, and exercise are great stress management strategies that can lead to nurses being less susceptible to burnout.
Remaining Alert: a responsibility of both the individual themselves and their superiors, try to stay on top of the early signs of burnout. In addition, creating a workplace that allows for employees to feel comfortable with bringing their problems to their superiors makes it easier to spot the signs before they spiral out of control.
While these strategies provide a good foundation for both employees and managerial staff to combat these feelings of burnout, it is imperative that additional steps are taken in fending off burnout for the sake of the patients in the care of these medical professionals. For more information on how to combat feelings of burnout, take a moment to review the infographic below. Courtesy of ScheduleAnywhere.