Most importantly, nurses play a vital role in patient safety and positive patient outcomes.
As healthcare facilities struggle to retain skilled nurses, most Gen Z and millennial nurses are leaving their facility within the matter of their first two years. Nurse burnout is common and is one of the main reasons why nurses are leaving the practice setting and seeking ways that will service a steady work-life balance.
What is Nurse Burnout?
Nurse burnout is described as, “A physical, mental, and emotional state caused by chronic overwork and a sustained lack of job fulfillment and support.” Common burnout symptoms may include physical or emotional exhaustion, job-related cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. Various factors contribute to burnout to include experiencing high stressful environments, working prolong periods of time without adequate rest, mortality, and prolonged physical emotional exhaustion can lead to clinical depression.
Symptoms of Burnout
Everyone experiences. Burnout differently, so it may be difficult to detect in some individuals. By familiarizing yourself with common signs and symptoms, you will be able to recognize the driving force behind the burnout. Common signs and symptoms include:
• Disengagement/ Withdrawing from social circles
• Cynicism in the workplace
• High turnover rates
• Poor bedside manner
• Toxic work environment
• Poor work performance
• Excessive callouts/ showing up late for work
It is difficult for a nurse to give his/her best care to others when they are physically and emotionally drained. Nurse executives and/or administrative officials can offer computer based or live sessions to nursing staff instructing methods of stress reduction and self-care initiatives. Sessions can range from self-enrichment courses, developing programs that promote positive psychological factors, incorporating elements of mindfulness in their life, meditation, breathing techniques, and even seeking outside sources of therapy. Encourage staff to seek other constructive elements in their life including new hobbies, make efforts to have a work-life balance, volunteer, read, and journaling.
Engage in Healthy Activities
Engaging in healthy activities consist of assuring you are getting an adequate amount of sleep, eating foods that are healthy and nourish the body, as well as engaging in physical activity or exercise. Studies have found that these combined elements have a profound effect on ones’ ability to perform especially for those nurses who work 12+ hour shifts. Consider partnering with or introducing a wellness program that staff can participate in to optimize their physical well-being.
A nurse mentorship program provides supportive relationships among experienced and novice nurses, promotes professional and personal growth, increases job satisfaction as well as retention. Mentorship programs typically consist of healthcare organizations assigning an experienced and knowledgeable nurse to assist in the professional growth and transitioning of a new nurse by developing critical elements of thinking and clinical skills. Programs as such encourages positive feedback and support in stressful situations.
Strengthening Internal Relations
Building and establishing relationships with nursing staff can result in mutual trust and positive work environment. Team members want to feel as though their viewpoints, suggestions, and opinions matter. And that the concerns they have are valid. By establishing strong internal communication, this will encourage nurses to speak on day-to-day obstacles and challenges they face. By encouraging open dialogue, team members will feel more supportive in their role and hence possibly produce better outcomes within their work.