As a nurse, you’re used to taking care of your patients – after all you’ve taken an oath to do so. With hectic shifts, social commitments and erratic schedules, it can be easy to forget the importance of taking care of yourself. Yet, self-care is crucial. It allows you to continue to be the best nurse you can be. Work can be stressful. With short-staffing, long days and night shifts those stress levels can easily rise. If this stress isn’t dealt with it can lead to nurse burnout. Keep on reading to find out everything about what nurse burnout is, its causes, signs, statistics and prevention.
Burnout is recognized by The World Health Organization (WHO) as a work-related phenomenon in its international classification of diseases. It is defined as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Burnout has three key features:
Nurse burnout affects your well-being at work. Many different factors can contribute to it occurring.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic, pressures on nurses have increased. With fears about inadequate PPE, the emotional stress in dealing with COVID-19 patients and the stress of redeployment all contributing to an increased risk of burnout in nursing.
Nursing burnout or burnout syndrome encompasses physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Symptoms can include:
Nurse burnout prevention is important to stop the detrimental effects of burnout affecting you or your organization. Sharing these tips with colleagues and leaders in your organization can help prevent this phenomenon in its tracks.
Ironically, since you are taking care of others, it’s often easy to start neglecting your own health. Taking part in corporate wellness programs can offer much-needed self-care for everyone.
Scribl’s creative workshops promote wellness in a simple, fun way. This is not therapy, facilitation or training. Instead it offers a no-pressure space for emotional release. Just bring yourself, some paper and a pencil. No fancy equipment needed.
There are on-demand classes which you can use day or night to provide yourself with a breather. There is also an organizational subscription. Head over to the Scribl subscriptions page to find what suits you or your organization the best.
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1. Reith T. Burnout in United States Healthcare Professionals: A Narrative Review. Cureus. 2018.
2. Kronos Incorporated. Employee Engagement in Nursing [Internet]. Kronos Incorporated; 2017. Available from: https://www.kronos.com/blogs/industry-insights/healthcare-wake-facts-about-fatigue
3. Vahey D, Aiken L, Sloane D, Clarke S, Vargas D. Nurse Burnout and Patient Satisfaction. Medical Care. 2004;42(2):II-57.
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