Burnout is defined as physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by being overworked and a sustained lack of job fulfilment and support. Burnout leaves the individual with a sense of hopelessness and a low sense of personal accomplishment. Clinician burnout can have wide-ranging consequences, and is a critical matter that’s not only a serious matter for clinicians but also for the patients they care for. Making it important that we invest in the well-being of our clinicians – so that everybody is better off.
With the shortage of nurses in the USA and the growing gap between supply and demand, it comes as no surprise that many nurses in hospitals and healthcare facilities are being overworked, in addition to long shift patterns, and be given more responsibilites than they can handle. On top of this, hospitals and healthcare facilities are often very stressful and emotionally-charged environments. Nures deal with a difficult situations on a regular basis, like death and concerned family members.
Burnout can occur at anytime and the last thing we want it to do is burn away at any nurses passion for the job they love, that's why we've pulled together some tips to help you avoid Burnout
Know the symptoms
The most important thing is to know the symptoms of burnout. Symptoms of burnout may include physical or emotional exhaustion, job related negativity and a low sense of personal accomplishment. If left untreated, burnout may lead to clinical depression. So make sure you know the symptoms and make sure to ask for help when you need it. Take a look at a more concise list of burnout symptoms here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-the
Talk about it
You know what they say - 'a problem shared is a problem halved'. Dont understimate the power of talking about how you feel. Talking about how you feel with someone often makes you feel better and helps you gain perspective and clarity. Discussing how you feel will help reduce stress and help you feel more supported. With that, it's important to learn to say 'no' or to ask for help. Knowing when you've stretched too far and being calmly able to communicate that, is in itself empowering.
Working in such a demanding profession it's easy to forget about yourself. Drained nurses who don't practice self care may harm themselves and thier pateints so it's important to find time to un-plug, relax and unwind, as well as ensuring you are getting enough quality sleep and choosing nutritious food options.
Get active - away from the screens
We're not asking you to sign up to a marathon but looking after your physical health has a direct impact on your mental and emotional health. Why not take up jogging or find your inner zen by giving yoga a try. Being active will help lower your stress levels and boost your mood.
Take a look at the Exhibition of Clinician Well-Being project. The project aims to prevent burnout and promote well-being and is part of the NAM’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, is committed to reversing ‘trends in clinician burnout by improving baseline understanding of the challenge to clinician well-being’. The project allowed clinicians, patients and their loved ones to express their own personal experiences of burnout through creativity on their critical own journey to wellbeing.