When was the last time that you saw a nurse cry at work? Or a nurse saying she can’t wait to go home when it’s only a few minutes into the shift? These are clear signs of Burnout.
If you sit down and think a little, you will notice that these signs are a lot more common than you realise. In fact, in 2017, a study showed that roughly 50% of the nurses were thinking about quitting their job.
Like any other healthcare profession, nursing carries an extra burden that increases stress: that of dealing with traumatic experiences. This often leads to nurses becoming depersonalised and emotionally frustrated.
What is Burnout?
Burn out is when you feel emotionally, psychologically and physically exhausted due to too much work. You might notice Burnout as bursts of anger, a depressive mood or clouded thinking.
What Causes Burnout?
Over the years, several studies were done to understand the cause of Burnout in nurses. In most cases, the results showed:
Shortage of staff
Lack of teamwork
Nurses all over the world are expected to work long shifts with very short breaks. They often have too many patients to care for, and way too much paperwork to fill out. But the worst part of it all is that when nurses try to voice their opinions, they are often shut down by the management. Nurses are expected to accept the conditions as they are and learn how to cope with them.
Why is Burnout Such a Terrible Thing?
Well firstly, Burnout causes severe negative impacts on the nurse. Physically, Burnout has been proven to increase blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, headaches, and other illnesses. It also takes a toll on one’s personal life, creating a lot of unnecessary arguments, and depressive moods.
But just in case that is not enough, Burnout has been proven to have severe effects on a patient’s health and safety.
It is a fact that Burnout harms the quality of care. It causes an increase in:
Mistakes in treatment administration
Well, this is a bit difficult to say, since you do not control most factors that cause Burnout. But there are still a couple of things you can do to help.
Look for help: Most hospitals provide a staff psychologist, so if you feel overworked and burnt out do contact the support team.
Learn how to say no: Do not work overtime if you are already tired even if it’s for your friend. Make sure to inform the management that you can not cope with the given workload and that you will not accept extreme conditions.
Get enough sleep: I hate to break this to you, but your social life might need a pause for a while to make sure you get enough sleep.
Get some sun: Being in the sun helps to lighten up your mood. So try to get a few minutes of air and sun every day
Exercise: When exercising you not only produce endorphins which boost your mood, but you also release all the stress and tension in your body.
Treat yourself: If you’ve had a bad day, cuddle up in front of your favourite book or tv show, get some comfort food and just be alone a for a while. You’ll be surprised how nice this feels, just don’t make it into an everyday habit
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