Have you ever experienced an overwhelming amount of stress or exhaustion from work? You wouldn’t be the only one. These extreme feelings are often referred to as burnout, which is categorized by a decrease in emotional, physical, and psychological energy as a result of work-related stress. This is a problem employees face in all industries but is particularly trying to those in demanding professions such as healthcare.
How can you tell if an employee is suffering from burnout as opposed to just normal levels of work-related stress? Researchers have indicated that there are three primary aspects of burnout in employees. The first is emotional exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion is a result of the feelings of immense stress and pressure on employees that leave them feeling emotionally and physically spent by the time they’ve finished their shift.
This goes hand in hand with another aspect of burnout, depersonalization. This type of detachment reduces the amount of empathy an employee is able to expend toward the people they work with and for. In the healthcare industry, this can raise questions regarding the quality of care that nurses are able to provide when they’re experiencing burnout.
The final aspect of burnout is described as a feeling of low accomplishment. Employees will feel worthless despite their established skill and contribute less toward the responsibilities of their position. Which can have some serious implications in the case of nurses and other healthcare professionals.
For as common as burnout is in the healthcare industry, not many organizations feel they have a good grasp on programs to address the issue. Below are a few strategies that would serve as effective tools for combating nurse burnout.
- Creation and Implementation of Wellness Programs: programs that are designed to educate nurses on stress reduction and wellness strategies are a great start. These programs would provide methods that are able to be incorporated in their days to maintain stress levels.
- Healthy Work Environments: providing nurses with an environment where they’re respected and able to communicate about their issues openly has a positive effect on their performance and stress levels.
- Incorporation of Scheduling Software: integrated scheduling tools that provide clear information for nurses allows for a higher quality of care for patients.
- Establishing Healthy Habits: though it may seem cliché, the basics are often the most important. A nutritious diet, a full night’s sleep, and exercise go a long way in terms of positive mental health.
- Management Involvement: for the management staff, allowing nurses to bring attention to workplace issues with confidence and establishing an open dialogue will allow for a greater understanding of the employees and how they respond to stress.
For more information on how burnout affects the healthcare industry and nurses, as well as strategies to combat this burnout, be sure to review the accompanying infographic courtesy of ScheduleAnywhere.